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Heritage interpretation: Collective reconstruction of Sompur Mahavihara, Bangladesh
conference contributionposted on 2010-12-01, 00:00 authored by H Rahaman, Md Mizanur RashidMd Mizanur Rashid, M Rahman
The 8th century Buddhist Monastery of Sompur Mahaviahara at Paharpur drew deep attention by the architectural historians of the South Asia from the very discovery of the ruins for its unique architectural features and strategic spatio-temporal location. During the first phase of study, we have developed a preliminary reconstructed 3D model of Sompur Mahaviahara - as 'professional interpretation'. But this attempt was hindered due to non-availability of substantial resources. At the same time we have found it almost impossible to depend solely on materials that are available at first hand to demonstrate a continuous narrative of this monument. This leads us to a second phase of study which attempts to collect and investigate 'public interpretation' of the same monument. We propose a novel approach of heritage interpretation for general people, opposing the traditional interpretation method. We have developed an interactive web-portal, where active online participants can collaborate and collectively generate a knowledge base of cultural memories. We hope through this participatory approach of reconstruction/interpretation will provide an understanding of public view about this monument and at the same time will generate a popular database which can later support our previous study to get a clearer picture of the past glory of Sompur Mahavihara. As a methodology 'heritage interpretation' is first conceptualized; followed by elaboration of professional interpretation. Similar cases have been studied and some new strategies have been picked to develop an online portal. ©2010 IEEE.