In ruins today, Hadrian’s Villa can only hint at its second-century glory. But a new digital archaeology project promises to transport computer users to the Roman emperor’s opulent compound as it might have been nearly 2,000 years ago.
Five years in the making, the Digital Hadrian’s Villa Project brings to life all 250 acres (101 hectares) of the estate in Tivoli, Italy, through 3D reconstructions and gaming software. The project launched Friday (Nov. 22), and the first of its 20 interactive Web players should be publicly available sometime before Thanksgiving (Nov. 28), said the project’s leader Bernie Frischer of Indiana University.
The demo videos for these Web players sort of look like “The Sims,” as they take advantage of a “virtual world” gaming platform. Read more.
University of Leicester experts have tried to recreate two Tudor monuments using a mixture of humanities research and scientific technology.
The experts have studied two tomb monuments which originally were intended to stand in Thetford Priory, Norfolk, in an exhibition at the Ancient House Museum, Thetford, Norfolk, from 7 September 2013 to 29 March 2014.
The elaborate tombs were planned by Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk – one for himself, and another for Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond. Read more.
Over 5.5 thousand years old brewing installation discovered by Polish archaeological mission at Tell el-Farcha in Egypt has been reconstructed in 3D by Karolina Rosińska-Balik, PhD student at the Jagiellonian University Institute of Archaeology.
"The presented reconstruction is a hypothetical assumption based on preserved structures of similar analogous buildings at both Tell el-Farcha and other brewing centres in Upper Egypt" - reserved the archaeologist.
The installation consists of three vat pits and measures about 3.4 by 4 m. The entire structure, with plan reminiscent of a three-leaf clover, was surrounded by a wall with a height of up to 60 cm. Vat pits were also separated from each other with low, narrow walls. Read more.
The grave of King Richard III has been preserved for posterity — digitally at least. Scientists say they created a 3D reconstruction of the monarch’s burial place discovered beneath a parking lot in Leicester, England, last year.
The researchers combined laser scanning with digital photogrammetric techniques to map the terrain of the grave as it was after the battle-scarred skeleton of Richard III was removed.
"Historically, you would have had to physically go into your survey area and measure every point by hand," explained David Ackerley, a geography researcher in the University of Leicester.
"This technique allows for a quick, high resolution recording of features in areas that may be inaccessible — or where you want to preserve the layout of your site," Ackerley added in a statement. Read more.
The latest project from Dassault Systèmes with the help of historians and archaeologists is the remarkable Paris 3D Saga, an interactive model that guides you through two millennia of Paris’ history.
You are taken through the French capital at various stages of its’ development from 52 BC Gallic Oppida through the Roman city and on to the present day. You can witness the construction of the Bastille and Notre Dame and walk through winding stone streets in the middle ages and then visit the 1889 World’s Fair to see the Eiffel Tower just after completion.
The Paris 3D Saga let’s you experience the city like you have never seen it before. Go on a journey through more than 2000 years of history: Read more.
Scientists have used a new x-ray technique to produce spectacular 3D images of Roman coins that were corroded inside pots or blocks of soil.
The rotating images built up from thousands of two-dimensional scans are so clear that individual coins can be identified and dated, without a single battered denarius – the Roman currency – being visible to the naked eye. The advantage of the new method – developed by a unique collaboration between archaeologists and scientists at the British Museum and Southampton University – is that it means coins can be identified and even dated much more quickly and without risking damage to them.
Roger Bland, a coins expert who is also head of the Portable Antiquities and Treasure schemes for reporting archaeological finds, based at the British Museum, said: “The initial results are very encouraging and in some cases remarkable. The techniques could have profound implications for the way we assess and study finds in the future, producing results in a few hours that would take a conservator weeks or even months.” Read more.
CyArk and partners have launched the Hopi Petroglyph Sites Digital Preservation Project website, a portal featuring sacred Hopi sites documented through state-of-the-art 3D capture technology. The resulting information collected has been used to create online interactive and educational multimedia freely available to the public.
The 3D models and virtual tours captured at Tutuveni and Dawa Park in Arizona provide the basis for this rich interactive web portal, but they also represent a permanent and highly-accurate 3D digital archive of the sites and the petroglyphs contained within. With the increasing vandalism and deterioration occurring at these sacred Hopi Sites, it is more important than ever to document what exists and educate the public about its importance, not only for members of the Hopi tribe, but for all of us who stand to learn a great deal about the diverse history of the Native American people.
View site here: Hopi Petroglyph Sites web portal
Sunk in 1606, the Portuguese merchant ship Nossa Senhora dos Martires is sailing again — in 3-D presently but perhaps one day in reality. If the cyber-replicated vessel ever does hit the high seas, the way will have been paved by the research of a persevering Texas A&M University nautical archaeologist combined with the high-tech applied study of a graduate student well versed in computer-based visualization techniques.