Visualizing Late Antiquity: Everyday Life AD 300-650

The goal of this project and website is “to bring academic work on late antiquity to wider attention, to compete with ‘Roman’ and ‘Medieval’ images of the European past.” The directors are Dr Luke Lavan and Dr. Ellen Swift of the University of Kent, who are joined by several doctoral students and collaborators. Its focus is on the reconstruction of everyday life in the late antique city through the visualization and reproduction of material culture, eschewing Constantinople (which already has a well-known site) for less famous but better excavated urban environments. The posts highlight various ongoing research featuring the re-presentation of material culture, giving informative summaries about the reproduction of garments; the design and function of spoons; analysis of spices; and the process of monastic basket weaving through plaited palm leaves. The site also notes that “by reconstructing the cities in a careful scholarly manner (rather than as a market-oriented film or a computer game) the work will hopefully form the basis for an inspiring and accurate evocation of the urban form and metropolitan atmosphere of the period.”  This will be important as popular films on Late Antiquity slowly begin to proliferate: most famously Agora with its evocative depiction of Alexandria, but see now Katherine of Alexandria. Beyond the potential connections between visualization and popular or documentary films, this site is of great interest for those interested in the reconstruction of Late Antique materiality.

http://visualisinglateantiquity.wordpress.com/

 

 

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Digital Roman Forum in Late Antiquity

This ground-breaking project, undertaken between 1997 and 2005 at the UCLA Cultural Virtual Reality Laboratory, under the direction of Bernard Frischer and Diane Favro, still remains the most important visual reference for the Roman Forum, a useful archive of literary and iconographic sources, and a standard for online visualization projects of ancient sites.  The Digital Roman Forum project aims to reconstruct the appearance of the Forum in Late Antiquity (400 CE), on a building-by-building basis.  The reconstruction of each monument is presented as a series of still images from various perspectives, as well as Panorma and Object movies; bibliographic information is included as well. Continue reading

Virtual Reconstruction of Late Antique and Medieval Constantinople (Byzantium 1200)

This site offers a set of 3-d reconstructions with a CAD program of the major monuments of Constantantinople, as they appeared around 1200 (a few years before the city was sacked during the Fourth Crusade).  According to its introduction, Byzantium 1200 is the creation of an independent researcher (for whom no name is given), in collaboration with Albrecht Berger, then of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut Istanbul, now Professor of Byzantine Studies at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich.

Each building was reconstructed using a combination of earlier sketches, ancient and medieval reports, and, in some cases, original on-site surveying in Constantinople. Continue reading