The PIER Partnership with DESY
Putting the materiality of written artefacts at the centre of research has led to numerous innovative cooperations across disciplines and institutions.
One of these is the partnership between DESY, one of the world’s leading accelerator centres, and CSMC/UWA to combine their complementary strengths. Their cooperation, which started in 2018, creates an unprecedented opportunity to analyse written artefacts using the large-scale analytical facilities at DESY while drawing on the long-standing experience of CSMC/UWA to create sustainable research links bridging the humanities, natural sciences, and computer sciences. Both institutions also share an active interest in internationalising research well beyond Europe and North America, including DESY’s close links with synchrotron radiation research labs and research communities in the Middle East and Asia, such as SESAME in Jordan, SLRI in Thailand, and SSRF/HEPS in China, which perfectly match CSMC/UWA’s emphasis on working with partners across Asia and Africa.
In 2023, ‘Artefact Profiling’ was formally established as an ‘Emerging Topic’ at PIER (Partnership for Innovation, Education and Research), thus embedding the various joint projects of DESY and CSMC/UWA in an institutional framework and giving them more visibility. In particular, ‘Artefact Profiling’ is expected to yield new methodologies in material analysis and ‘fingerprinting’ of cultural heritage objects. Among other things, these methodologies have the potential of putting provenance research on a more systematic footing.