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Exhibiting Forensic Archaeologically-Derived Holocaust Data Through Virtual Heritage Technologies: An Ethical Perspective

Kerti, Janos (2019) Exhibiting Forensic Archaeologically-Derived Holocaust Data Through Virtual Heritage Technologies: An Ethical Perspective. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

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Abstract or description

Forensic archaeology has demonstrated its ability to identify, record and analyse evidence from Holocaust landscapes. With an increased number of investigations over the last two decades, vast quantities of evidence are generated, providing unique spatial and temporal understandings of the Holocaust; which can enhance commemoration and education perspectives. This research explores the ethical complexities when using virtual heritage visualisations to represent forensic archaeologically-derived Holocaust data. Desk-Based Analysis (DBA) and non-invasive archaeological fieldwork data acquired by the author in 2013 and 2015, from investigating Sylt camp (1942-1945) (Alderney; Channel Islands) provides a case study for research. This data was presented through an online platform (‘Explore Lager Sylt’) which resourced a photorealistic virtual tour, series of abstract evidence-based 3D reconstructions and various multimedia. Guidance for developing this platform was provided by the London (2009) and Seville (2011) Charter, with research assessing their suitability for Holocaust representations. To acquire comparative data, the ‘Explore Lager Sylt’ and ‘Anne Frank Secret Annex’ platform created by the Anne Frank Fonds, was disseminated to 104 participants through focus study groups, interviews and questionnaire surveys. Employees and visitors of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) and (UK) secondary school students formed the participants to research. Using grounded theory and thematic data analysis, four key themes were identified (accountability, communication, education and presentation), underpinning dissemination considerations. This research highlights that many benefits stem from learning about the Holocaust from a forensic archaeological perspective, emphasising the importance of incorporating historical and contemporary evidence within education. By demonstrating how ethical complexities can be addressed, this research establishes a framework for future archaeological representations of the Holocaust.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty: School of Law, Policing and Forensics > Criminal Justice and Forensic Science
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2019 09:45
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2019 09:45

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