How the ancient other half lived

November 22, 2013

Ever wonder how the ancient other half lived? Take a virtual tour below, through the 3-D virtual expertise of Indiana University Bloomington archaeo-informaticist” Bernie Frischer.  A professor of informatics in the School of Informatics and Computing at IU Bloomington, Frischer brings to life one of the Roman Empire’s best-known and best-preserved imperial villas — Hadrian’s Villa — in the Digital Hadrian’s Villa Project.

Frischer, one of the first academics to use 3-D computer modeling to reconstruct cultural heritage sites, spent five years leading the development of a 3-D virtual world modeling the Roman emperor Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli, Italy. The virtual simulation interprets the entire 250 acres and the more than 30 buildings of the second-century site.

Using a live 3-D multi-user online learning environment, visitors can interactively explore the entire villa complex. In the video below, Frischer takes on the avatar of Hadrian to give us a look around. A related website documents the state of the site today and gives the scholarly background needed to understand the virtual simulation.