Incipit-CSIC / Institute of Heritage Sciences

Institute of Heritage Sciences (Incipit), Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC, founded in 1939) is the largest public institution dedicated to research in Spain and the third largest in Europe (it employs more than 14,000 persons devoted to scientific research in the main fields of knowledge). Belonging to the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness through the Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation, its main objective is to develop and promote research that will help bring about scientific and technological progress, and it is prepared to collaborate with Spanish and foreign entities in order to achieve this aim.

The Institute of Heritage Sciences (Incipit) was created by the CSIC in January 2010 by resolution of its Board of Trustees. Felipe Criado-Boado, as Research Professor of CSIC, is its director. The Incipit has, in fact, a 20-year history and a complex institutional evolution. It started in 1991 as a Research Group devoted to Landscape Archaeology, in the University of Santiago de Compostela. Since 2001 joined the Spanish National Research Council as Landscape Archaeology Laboratory and within the Institute of Galician Studies “Padre Sarmiento”. In 2009, after the conception of a scientific project focused on the interdisciplinary study of heritage, the group is reformulated as Heritage Laboratory (LaPa) to approach and address the problem of how heritage is constituted and valued from a broader and deeply interdisciplinar research project. Finally, in year 2010, it was incorporated into a new research institute of CSIC created at that point and settled in Santiago de Compostela.

Incipit shares an integrated concept of cultural heritage. We understand it as a human phenomenon, a cultural construct determined by social relationships. The actual vestiges of these relationships represent the visible part of the historical past and so constitute the cultural heritage. This part of the heritage, as tangible and material, should be maintained and preserved. On the other hand, there is an intangible component of heritage that gives us significant information and whose recognition and management is also necessary to study. This research strategy is completed investigating both emergence conditions and construction of cultural heritage (heritagization processes) as its valuation and social uses.


Rocio Valera-Pousa


San Roque, 2
15704 Santiago de Compostela
+34 881 813 641
+34 881 813 601