Cross Disciplinary Program 2017.
Science of heritage: perspectives on cultural artworks.

Create an interdisciplinary heritage science that integrates and structures through multidisciplinarity: Patrimalp’s main challenge is to enhance our scientific knowledge of cultural heritage, through the creation of an interdisciplinary heritage science. This project is made possible by Université Grenoble Alpes researchers from various fields, including social sciences, material sciences, geosciences, and mechanical engineering, along with heritage and culture stakeholders.


Patrimalp aims to:
  • Develop an interdisciplinary scientific community at the heart of Université Grenoble Alpes
  • Create innovative heritage research methods
  • Initiate an interdisciplinary academic course on heritage
  • Support heritage and culture policies

Carrying out these goals will strongly contribute to the attractiveness and international outreach of Université Grenoble Alpes.


The project is completely based on interdisciplinarity. From its definition stage, Patrimalp has called upon the knowledge of social sciences, material sciences, geosciences, and computing heritage restoration. And for its current organization, in its Work Packages, PhD work, and study fairs, interdisciplinarity plays a crucial role. Our research method is based on an intrinsic, extrinsic and contextual look into a single object through different disciplines.

Project's organization...

Patrimalp takes an innovative exploratory approach that aims to converge contrasting and complementary views from different disciplines on a particular cultural object. This approach is based on carefully selected case studies carried out in the Alpine region and Rhône corridor: the scenery and pigments found in Neolithic rock shelters, archaeological remains and epigraphs from ancient theaters in Lyon and Vaison-la-Romaine, and the ornaments, jewelery and brocades transposed onto sculptures and paintings from the Middle Ages.

... and its international visibility

Patrimalp is part of a new approach to research and recognition of our heritage on the national and international scales. This project has the backing of a world-renowned network of actors including CAIRN, rBDD, Sculpture Alpes, IFRAO, Artemir, Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage, and the International Union of Cristallography. Patrimalp is characterized by a large concentration of top level research teams and the support of 2 research departments: CEA-Arc-Nucléart and ESRF (synchrotron). 

The creation of this new “heritage science” discipline is proof of a strong level of scientific attractiveness on both the national and international scales, seen most notably in the organization of an international symposium at the end of the project. The Patrimalp project will reinforce the site’s visibility through its engagement with local economic and cultural stakeholders, in particular through the scientific collaboration with cultural initiatives (conservation of artwork, exhibitions, media coverage, and so on).

Updated on February 18, 2020