One Place, Many Stories - Madaba
The One Place, Many Stories program in Madaba aims to foster greater appreciation and protection for Jordan's cultural heritage by showcasing the connection between members of the community and their local heritage. The program provided training in 3D documentation and storytelling to members of the local community, empowering them to share their perspectives through an interactive web-based experience.
Where is Madaba?
Madaba is an ancient town located southwest of Amman. Famous for the incredible concentration of Byzantine-period mosaics including the famous Madaba Map, the oldest known map of the Holy Land, the city today is home to a vibrant community. This project was carried out in collaboration with the Madaba Regional Archaeological Museum Project (MRAMP), an Italian-American-Jordanian collaboration committed to establishing a new Regional Archaeological Museum in the city of Madaba.
Virtual Workshop on Photogrammetry
In December 2020 CyArk provided a virtual workshop on 3D digital documentation of cultural heritage to two faculty members and one student at the American University of Madaba. Trainees were shipped the necessary equipment in advance of the workshop so they could follow along at home.
3D Digital Documentation
Following the virtual workshop, participants documented many of the intricate mosaics found in Madaba. At the end of each work day participants transferred the data back to CyArk staff who reviewed and provided feedback. In total over 5,000 images were taken of the site and combined together with newly collected drone imagery. All the images were processed together by CyArk to generate immersive 3D tours of Madaba. The resulting data will serve as an inventory of the sites and will be made available for research and education on OpenHeritage3D.org.
Immersive Guided Tours
The processed 3D data was combined with interviews with tour guides from Madaba to share the historical context of each location. In the first tour Fuad Hamerneh shares the history of the Church of St. George and the famed mosaic Madaba map. In the second tour Osama Twal shares more about the Burnt Palace, a palatial residence in the center of Madaba. In the third tour Saber Twal discusses the unique mosaics found in the Hippolytus Hall/Church of the Virgin Mary that illuminate the Greek myth of Hippolytus.
In addition to the three Immersive Guided Tour Experiences of Madaba, local residents were also brought together in an online storytelling workshop, to share their memories of and relationship to the city. Working with StoryCenter, a nonprofit based in Berkeley, California, community members recorded personal memories of growing up in Madaba. Each community member also received virtual English language coaching from the English Language Program at the US Embassy. StoryCenter creates spaces for listening to and sharing stories, to help build a just and healthy world. To learn more, visit StoryCenter.org
Madaba Storytellers (2020) by CyArkCyArk
Open Heritage 3D by CyArkCyArk
3D Data from this project is now freely available through Open Heritage 3D. Download the data from this project.
A special thanks to the residents and tour guides of Madaba who shared their stories and expertise for this project.
This project was made possible through the generous support of the US Department of State through the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation/Cultural Antiquities Task Force and the cooperation of the following partners:
Madaba Regional Archaeological Museum Project
Collins Institute for Archaeological Research, Gannon University
Center for Near Eastern Archaeology, La Sierra University
U.S. Embassy in Jordan
American University of Madaba