Established in 2009, the HERCULES Lab is a research infrastructure from University of Évora, devoted to the study and valorisation of cultural heritage, focusing on the integration of physical and material sciences methodologies and tools in interdisciplinary approaches.
HERCULES Lab is based in Évora, a UNESCO World Heritage city, comprising several laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment with the capability to develop ground-breaking research comprising in-situ non-destructive analysis and imaging, laboratory microanalysis, high resolution chemical analysis and development of innovative materials and products, from bio to nano, making it unique and one of the most fit of its kind in Europe.
Nowadays, the laboratory researchers are engaged in the material and historical study of different cultural heritage artifacts, namely, archaeological artifacts (ceramics, glass, metals, organic materials), art objects (easel paintings and polychrome sculpture, metals, historical textiles, ancient manuscripts), and built heritage (mortars, stone, mural paintings and glazed tiles). The study of the biodegradation processes of the materials used to produce artistic artifacts led to the development of novel biotechnology based products used for identification of biocontaminants and for materials conservation.
Creation of a reference infrastructure dedicated to the study, conservation and valorisation of cultural heritage.