Virtual Roman Leicester (VRL): An interactive Computer Model of a Romano-British City




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Computer Applications in Archaeology, 2010 - Fusion of Cultures



Peer reviewed



This paper describes the background, development and use of a new Virtual Reality (VR) model of the built fabric of Roman Leicester (Ratae Corieltauvo-rum) which has been based upon direct archaeologi-cal evidence, literary evidence and comparisons with the remains of similar Romano-British cities. It forms the conclusion of the first stage of a larger ongoing collaborative research project to create an inhabited virtual Romano-British world populated by interact-ing avatars programmed using a novel form of artifi-cial intelligence (AI) to have a range of Romano-British morals and values for the purposes of examin-ing resultant emergent behaviors and societal devel-opment. Virtual Roman Leicester (VRL) has been created in a popular games engine to allow real-time exploration by real world users and has a multiplat-form capability to also examine issues surrounding the use of Virtual Reality for public outreach and the wider understanding of cultural heritage. Here we focus firstly upon issues surrounding the interpreta-tion of the archaeological evidence and its extrapola-tion into full buildings (using a technique we call architectural forensics), secondly upon technical is-sues concerning importation of ancient land surface terrain and thirdly upon aspects of initial user expe-rience following an extensive public exhibition of the model.



architecture, Roman, digital, heritage, Virtual Reality


Cawthorne, D., Watson, G. and Hugill, A. (2010) Virtual Roman Leicester (VRL): An interactive Computer Model of a Romano-British City. The XXXVIII Annual Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology, CAA’ 2010 - Fusion of Cultures, Granada, Spain, Fco. Javier Melero & Pedro Cano (Editors). 6-9 April 2010


Research Institute

Music, Technology and Innovation - Institute for Sonic Creativity (MTI2)