Reconstructing Vindonissa as a living document – A case-study of digital reconstruction for output to pre-rendered and real-time applications

Main Article Content

Jonas Christen

Abstract

The legion camp “Vindonissa” in Switzerland is considered one of the most important roman sites north of the alps. Research there has been going on for over a century and reconstructive drawings have always been a way to showcase scientific findings of the site, the earliest of them dating back as far as 1909.

In 2015, it was decided to produce a new series of illustrations. The whole camp and its surrounding settlements had to be constructed as hand-generated 3D models, allowing for quick changes during the reconstructive process and flexibility in future adaptations. Topographical data, archaeological plans as well as building profiles provided by experts were the basis for the model.

The main focus was on a general impression of the camp and not on individual buildings but some landmarks as the newly postulated circus were crafted with a higher level of detail as they are the topic of scientific discourse and it helps the discussion if they have a certain fidelity. The circus also serves as a good example for the value of the imaging process in research: Only after trying to fit it into the topography it was noted that it would overlap with a street that was previously thought to run through this area. In the discussion between archaeologists and illustrators a new path for the street was chosen that fits into the landscape and is scientifically acceptable.

The new series of illustrations was originally published in the annual report of the archaeological society Vindonissa. The resulting model represents the current state of research but mainly serves as a starting point for future discussion: All buildings are constructed so that they can easily be adapted for real-time use and a Virtual Reality application is the logical next step for its use. 

Article Details

How to Cite
Christen, J. (2017). Reconstructing Vindonissa as a living document – A case-study of digital reconstruction for output to pre-rendered and real-time applications. Studies in Digital Heritage, 1(2), 396-408. https://doi.org/10.14434/sdh.v1i2.23280
Section
Special Issue "Cultural Heritage and New Technologies 2016"
Author Biography

Jonas Christen, Zurich University of the Arts

Department of Design, Study Area Knowledge Visualization, Research Fellow