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Cambridge Heritage Research Centre



Current Research Projects

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Recording Decisions and Actions connected with Claims for the Removal/Protection of Statues in UK Civic Places during the Summer of 2020 

The Cambridge Heritage Research Centre (CHRC) is conducting a six-week data gathering project which will record two dimensions of the on-going debates on the removal of statues in the UK: i) the public debate and actions, and ii) how core institutions are formulating their responses.

We aim to record data that will reveal how the rhetoric develops (if it does), what factors affect the rhetoric (i.e. is it responding to critique from grassroots movements, from politicians, or from various spokespersons), and how different statues become drawn into the claims (who instigates this and why).

The project is lead by Prof. Marie Louise Stig Sørensen, Dr Dacia Viejo Rose and Dr Liliana Janik.


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Places of Joy: The Role of Heritage After Lockdown 

The Cambridge Heritage Research Centre (CHRC) is collaborating with University of Southampton and Historic England to carrying out a study on whether visits to heritage sites can contribute to feelings of wellbeing in the period after lockdown.

The project seeks to find out:

  • What motivates people to visit heritage sites after lockdown
  • The impact of these visits on wellbeing
  • Whether lockdown has an effect on attitudes to visiting heritage sites

The project is lead by Prof. Joanna Sofaer (Southampton) and Prof. Marie Louise Stig Sørensen (Cambridge).



Yangshao Culture: 100 Year Research History and Heritage Impact

The Yangshao Culture: 100 Year Research History and Heritage Impact project analyzes the historiography of the Yangshao Culture and its functioning as a heritage icon for the Chinese nation.

The Yangshao culture refers to a cultural complex along the Yellow River in what is now central China between 5000 and 3000 BC.

The project, led by Prof. Marie Louise Stig Sørensen and Dr Guohua Yang, consists of three strands of analysis, integrated through a final synthesis reflecting on national iconic heritage.

The project runs from 2019 to 2024 and is funded by the Beifang International Education Group.




The Barrow Revival Project

The Barrow Revival Project looks at public attitudes and engagements with newly built chambered tombs which seek to replicate a prehistoric form for the internment of modern cremations.

As an ‘embedded researcher’, Prof. Marie Louise Stig Sørensen is following the construction of the Soulton Longbarrow by Sacred Stones Ltd and the involvement of the local landowner, Tim Ashton. 

The company, formed in 2014, is dedicated to "creating meaningful final resting places for cremation ashes, inspired by the ancient burial mounds of our prehistoric ancestors."




Restoring Cultural Property and Communities after Conflict

This AHRC funded project based at Queens University, Belfast, seeks to develop a theoretical and practical understanding of the relationship between reparations, responsibility and victimhood in transitional societies. CHRC Deputy Director, Dr Dacia Viejo Rose is a co-investigator on the project, her work aims better understand the impact of the destruction of cultural property on the affected communities and explores the practical challenges associated designing meaningful reparations.

This research was conducted in partnership with the Documentation Centre in Cambodia (DC-Cam) to explore this question.




Sites at Risk: Guidelines for Best Practice

The project is funded by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). This project will identify sites at risk – such as through demolition, inappropriate reuse or threats to site integrity - and develop concrete ways of risk mitigation to safeguard the record for the future. It brings the IHRA together with international conservation NGOs to develop best practice approaches to the preservation of physical, authentic sites such as camps, mass graves and ghettos. Members of the project core team are: Dr Gilly Carr (UK), Dr Alicja Bialecka (Poland), Dr Heidemarie Uhl (Austria), Dr Steven Cooke (Australia), Martina Maschke (Austria), and Zoltan Toth-Heinemann (Hungary). They will be joined by a research assistant, Margaret Comer, based at the University of Cambridge with Gilly Carr.




The Rock Art of the White Sea 

The Rock Art of the White Sea is an international collaborative project initiated in 2008 is led and directed by Dr Liliana Janik (University of Cambridge) and Dr Nadezhda Lubanova (Karelian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences) has been working on 3D recording,  analysing and interpreting of the carvings and their locations since early 2000’s. The project has led to the creation of preservation by record archives of 14 sites of White Sea rock art, and has also investigated heritage aspects of rock art preservation in post-Soviet Russia.



Cabo Verde

At the invitation of a local university and the island's Ministry of Culture's IPC, the CHRC  - Chris Evans & Marie Louise Stig Sørensen - have been investigating its early Portuguese town of Cidade Velha since 2006. Founded in the middle decades of the 15th century, and then for some three centuries the Islands' capital, it became a major hub of the Atlantic Slave Trade, with thousands of Africans transhipped each year to the Americas.