Starting on the 13th of March of this year, the University of Reading will be offering a 5 week (3 hours per week) online course open and free to all those who sign up. The professor, Matthew Nicholls, has been working on this 3D reconstruction of Rome as it would have looked in 315 AD, for more than 10 years. The 3D map is an ongoing project, the more excavations that are undergone and the more technological advancements that are made, the more improvements Nicholls makes to keep the reconstruction as accurate as possible. The ancient city is approximately 10 meters under the street level of modern-day Rome. 90% of ancient Rome has yet to be excavated and only a fraction of this has the possibility of being revealed safely. Nicholls recreated ancient Rome with all of it’s glorious architectural spectacles as well as its rather less attractive features such as sewers and dirty alleyways.
The Virtual Tour of the Ancient City course provides a mainly bird’s eye perspective of the city. However, the most intriguing aspect of the course is that not only will you be able to explore the elite and politically powerful buildings but you will even explore the poorer dwellings and see the way the majority of Roman citizens lived in squalid conditions. The course will also teach you the process of how historians and archaeologists decipher ancient relics such as coins and tablets in order to “interpret the ancient past”. The course will also give some context into the way 3D imaging of archeological sites has shaped our understanding of how cities were planned and constructed in ancient times.
For more information on the course, visit the University of Reading’s course page and sign up next week!
If you would like to learn more about the way 3D imaging has been reconstructing the ancient past, watch the BBC's documentary: Rome's Invisible City
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