Heritage preservation requires preserving the tangibles (monuments, sculpture, coinage, etc) and the intangibles (history, traditions, stories, dance, etc). Besides these artefacts, there is a huge amount of background knowledge that correlates all these resources and establishes their context. In this work, we present a new paradigm for heritage preservation - 'an Intellectual Journey into the past', which is more advanced than physical explorations of heritage sites and virtual explorations of monuments and museums. This paradigm proposes an experiential expedition into a historical era by using an ontology to inter-link the digital heritage artefacts with their background knowledge. A multimedia ontology encoded in the Multimedia Web Ontology Language (MOWL) is used to illustrate this paradigm by correlating the digital artefacts with their history as well their living context in today's world. The user experience of this paradigm involves a virtual traversal of a heritage site, with an ontology guided navigation through space and time and a dynamic display of different kinds of media. © 2013 Springer-Verlag.