Displaying intangible heritage using ICT. Roman everyday life on the frontier: Vindolanda
Carillo, E., Rodriguez-Echavarria, Karina and Arnold, D.B. (2007) Displaying intangible heritage using ICT. Roman everyday life on the frontier: Vindolanda In: Arnold, D.B., Chalmers, A. and Niccolucci, F., eds. VAST 2007. The 8th International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage. Eurographics, Aire-la-Ville, Switzerland, pp. 51-55. ISBN 978-963-8046-89-5
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Virtual reconstructions are increasingly been employed in archaeological museums and sites, principally to improve the comprehension of structures no longer visible or clearly identifiable. They can become tools to explore ancient environments and enhance their understanding. However, can information technology also be employed in the process of displaying intangible heritage, such as reconstructing every day life in the past, through the interpretation of tangible evidence? If so, how is it possible? This project aims to answer those two questions through the case study of Vindolanda, a Roman auxiliary fort located just south of Hadrian’s Wall in northern England. Like most Roman forts, Vindolanda followed several phases of construction: one of the most interesting is the so-called Period III timber fort (ca. AD 100-105). This Pre-Hadrianic phase is particularly relevant since more than 1000 writing tablets have been found at the corner of the commander’s house. The Vindolanda writing tablets provide interesting information about one community on the edge of the Roman world, offering a fascinating insight into the life of specific people, such as the prefect of the fort and his family. The life of the people in Vindolanda at the beginning of the second century AD will be displayed within a 3D virtual environment - the Period III fort itself; hence the first phase of the project focuses on such reconstruction. This paper will address the issues related to the 3D reconstruction of Vindolanda Period III timber fort - using the evidence regarding buildings, size, orientation, and layout - and the relevance of the accuracy of such model as a setting for the storytelling.
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