Short Term Scientific Missions: Overview and Results

Müge Akkar Ercan, Middle East Technical University (METU), TR

The four underground heritage sites, selected by 2020 to conduct the case studies and living labs, were:

  • Camerano Caves in Ancona hosted by the Municipality of Camerano (IT), 
  • Dolmen de Antelas in Oliveira de Frades hosted by University of Aveiro (PT), 
  • Monastery of Aya Napa in Ayia Napa hosted by the Cyprus Institute in Nicosia (CY), 
  • Old Quarries in Paros is hosted by the Municipality of Paros (GR).

Of the six applications for four Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) the five selected candidates completed their missions despite the difficulties and challenges of pandemics. Maria Murillo Romero, who visited Camerano Caves in Italy and Maria del Carmen Solano Baez and Chao Wang, who studied Dolmen de Antelas in Portugal, completed their studies and scientific reports in 2020. Tommasina Pianese and Lola Vico, who was selected to conduct the case study and living lab in Paros and Ayia Napa respectively, had to postpone their visit plans due to the rising COVID restrictions in 2020. They have completed their missions in the first half of 2021. We are proud of our STSM grantees for their successful works under these complex and uncertain conditions. 

The pandemic restrictions and lockdowns posed some difficulties for the researcher, but they still managed to bring successfully some new knowledge and scientific content related to the four UBHs. They flexibly planned the case study site visits and the living lab programs despite the uncertain period. With the ease of travelling due to the increasing vaccination, we look to the future STSMs more positively.

In 2022, three case study sites were selected: 

  • underground mills in Malta, 
  • the system of the “nevere” for the conservation of milk and cheese in Switzerland valleys, and
  • The Three countries Park for the valorisation of mining landscapes at the borders of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. 

Two possible cases are under consideration for the fourth case study site, one of which will be selected shortly by the case-study selection panel. We are looking forward to the next missions not only to add value with their scientific view in the selected sites but also to enrich all the research in the COST action with the selected cases.