Overseas Research Achievements [The Ruins of Tyre, Lebanon]
Making a wide variety of international contributions through research.
Located in the modern middle eastern nation of Lebanon, the ruins of this once-flourishing capital city of the ancient Mediterranean kingdom of Phonecia date back to the Roman Era and are some of the most important ruins sites remaining today. At the behest of the Lebanese government, survey groups from the Nara University Department of the Preservation of Cultural Properties began surveying these ancient remains. There they discovered a great number of underground tombs, considered to be the quintessential architectural remnants of that city.
The survey group first embarked on a survey into the preservation and restoration of the site. Through a series of multi-faceted surveys inside the tombs, such as excavation surveys, environmental surveys, deterioration surveys on the pigmentation and surfaces of wall frescoes, and cleaning tests, the groups made several new discoveries regarding the architectural era of the underground tombs, and established a clearer direction for the preservation of these ruins.
In March of 2008, a series of conservation projects on the doors to the tomb entrance and the stairway was completed, and the project was handed over to the Government of Lebanon in anticipation of opening the site to the public. This is the first time in Lebanon that underground tombs from the Age of Rome have been restored.
During the preservation and restoration work, the survey groups found that the temperatures inside the underground tombs ranged from 20íC to 25íC, and the humidity remained stable at 100%. They also found that during the winter rainy season, molds and mosses were growing on the floor, but they did not grow on the wall surfaces.
The groups found that the red pigmentation on the wall surfaces was iron oxide, while the green was terra verte, a volcanic ash pigment similar to glauconite. In the future, there are plans to conduct a comparative investigation on the Roman pigments and the natural pigments in Lebanon.
Several of Nara University's graduate and undergraduate Cultural Properties students are continuing to volunteer their participation in these projects. Our students have great possibilities for in-depth education, not only through their regular daily classes and seminar groups here on campus, but also through practical, hands-on experience at actual world heritage sites such as the ruins of Tyre.
Academic Exchange [Overseas Academic Exchange]
Prospects of sharing research in cultural property preservation.
In March of 1997, we established an academic and educational exchange program with Fudan University in China.
Fudan University, established in Shanghai in 1905, is one of China's top two universities, along with Beijing University. The university has approximately 12,000 students studying in 35 departments. The university conducts a wide range of research activities, with its two libraries for arts and sciences, 34 associated research facilities, and 42 research centers. This is a university committed to its overseas exchange programs, with deep standing exchange relationships with universities in Japan such as the Tokyo University, Kyoto University, Waseda University, and Keio University.
In November of 2005, we established an academic and educational exchange program with Hanseo University in Korea.
Hanseo University was established in 1992 in Seosan city in the central western area of the Korean Peninsula. The university has more than 9,600 students in seven departments and a graduate school, with fields such as humanities and social sciences, fine arts, engineering, and science. It has implemented active overseas exchange programs, having established academic exchange agreements with 30 universities in ten nations. Each year more than 100 students are exchanged between Hanseo University and its sister universities. Nara University is the ninth school to enter into a partnership with Hanseo University, following such schools as Ehime University, Sapporo University, and Kyorin University. The Hanseo University School of Fine Arts also has a Department for the Study of Preservation of Cultural Properties, with registered staff members who have studied at the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties.
The Korean National University of Cultural Heritage
In March of 2006, we established an academic and educational exchange program with The Korean National University of Cultural Heritage.
The Korean National University of Cultural Heritage was opened in the eastern part of Buyeo, the ancient capital of the Paekche kingdom. This is a four-year National University with around 560 students studying in six different departments: Cultural Properties Management; Traditional Landscape Architecture; Traditional Architecture; Traditional Arts and Crafts; Archaeology; and Conservation Studies.
Suzhou University of Science and Technology
In January of 2008, we entered into and academic and educational exchange agreement with Suzhou University of Science and Technology in China.
Suzhou University of Science and Technology was established via a merger in 2001 between the Suzhou Institute of Urban Construction and Environmental Protection and the Suzhou Railway Teachers College. The University has 21 academic departments and centers, at which approximately 14,000 students are studying.