Powered by
JSPWiki v2.8.2
g2gp 17-01-2009
View PDF

Creating and Using Virtual Reality: a Guide for the Arts and Humanities#

Virtual Reality Case Study Library#

Case Study 4: Learning Sites
1. Northwest Palace of Ashur-nasir-pal II and
2. Ancient Greece: Town and Country#

Learning Sites designs and develops interactive three-dimensional digital models that are based on archaeological evidence and reflect modern scholarship. Archaeological data is integrated with advanced computer graphics techniques to create virtual worlds that can be used for teaching, research, archaeological fieldwork, museum exhibitions and even tourism.

1. Northwest Palace of Ashur-nasir-pal II, Nimrud, Assyria#

This model was produced and designed by Eben Gay, Geoffrey Kornfeld, Richard Morse, and Donald H. Sanders of Learning Sites, using archaeological data, interpretations and background text courtesy of Samuel M. Paley (State University of New York at Buffalo), Richard P. Sobolewski (Warsaw, Poland) and Alison B. Snyder (University of Oregon).

View the Northwest Palace of Ashur-nasir-pal II(info). Please note that this is an interim model.

Description

The Northwest Palace of Ashur-nasir-pal II, at Nimrud lies in modern day Iraq. The palace was discovered around 1847 and was excavated on behalf of the British Museum in the 19th century and again in the 1950s. In the 1970s and 1980s there were further excavations by the Iraqis and the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology. Today the Palace is poorly preserved and is under threat from its natural environment, pollution, robbery and the political situation in the area.

The primary goal of this project is to bring together for the first time all the globally dispersed reliefs, sculpture, and related artefacts that have been removed from the Palace over the past 150 years and which has thus prevented scholars and the general public from fully appreciating this huge complex. It aims to document and publish a comprehensive, up-to-date report on the Palace, creating a multimedia and fully interactive scholarly research resource and teaching tool to be available both on DVD and the Internet with applications for colleges, universities, high schools, museums, and individual scholars. The project aims to address issues relating to the Palace, including, construction techniques, Assyrian politics and warfare, and artistic programs, as manifest in this first great monument of the Assyrian Empire and paradigm for all palaces to follow in the region. The presentation will take place within linked virtual worlds showing the Palace as it has been reconstructed and what elements of the building currently survive.

Learning Sites is in the process of creating an interactive 3-D computer model of the Northwest Palace, beginning with the Great Northern Courtyard and Throne Room suite. The project is using images scanned from photographs and drawings which are then applied to the digitally reconstructed walls to simulate the original positions of the carved bas-reliefs. The project aims to produce a very high-resolution virtual world which can be used for detailed archaeological analysis, incorporating newly produced photographs of the existing site and museum holdings and new research on the Palace architecture and sculptural program. Future developments may include innovations, such as the use of intelligent agents acting as virtual tour guides, programmed to respond to user queries on several different levels of scholarship.

Hardware and Software Used: Created and built to run on Pentium-based PCs, at least 166MHz or faster, with 48Mb RAM or more, Microsoft Windows 95 or higher, and Netscape Navigator 4.05 or higher, with the Cosmo VRML viewer plug-in. 3-D computer model created using DataCAD, textures and additional modelling with 3D Studio Max 2.5 and Photoshop, with associated plug-ins. VRML, Java, Javascript, and HTML programming in-house with standard tools.

2: Ancient Greece: Town and country#

This model was produced and designed by Eben Gay, Geoffrey Kornfeld, Richard Morse, Holly Raab, Donald H. Sanders and E.B. Sanders of Learning Sites, with archaeological data, interpretation and background information courtesy of the British School of Archaeology at Athens, Nicholas Cahill (University of Wisconsin) and John Ellis Jones (University of Wales).

View Ancient Greece: Town and country. (This link is no longer available)

Description and Objectives:

Ancient Greece: Town and country is a complete educational package for grades 6–12 and early college-level classes, using VR as the navigation and teaching tool to compare the House of Many Colours from Olynthus with the farmhouse at Vari, Attica. The package contains:

  • virtual reconstructions of the houses
  • VR models of the excavations
  • interactive 3-D virtual models of artefacts from the two houses
  • links to problem-solving tasks
  • questions geared specifically to curriculum guidelines outlined in the United States
  • a complete set of lesson plans and teacher workbooks linked to the worlds has also been included.

Further developments will include the addition of digital site models, more artefacts and furniture, interactive virtual characters performing daily life routines, and special VRML coding to allow users to see the virtual reconstruction of the houses 'materialise' from the ruins of the virtual excavation, and to do this space by space in order to compare the excavated evidence with our reconstructions.

Hardware and Software Used: Created and built to run on Pentium-based PCs, at least 166MHz or faster, with 48Mb RAM or more, Microsoft Windows 95 or higher, and Netscape Navigator 4.05 or higher, with the Cosmo VRML viewer plug-in. 3-D computer models created using AutoCAD, DataCAD, and Caligiari’s TrueSpace; textures and additional modelling with 3D Studio Max 2.5 and Photoshop, with associated plug-ins. VRML, Java, Javascript, and HTML programming in-house with standard tools.