Tuesday, May 28

Interactive Tool Unveils Ancient Rome’s Splendor with Aerial Tour

Step back in time and explore the grandeur of ancient Rome with a groundbreaking interactive tool that offers a virtual tour of the city during its pinnacle in the fourth century AD. Crafted by researchers in Indiana, this online aerial experience provides a captivating journey over the entire metropolis, showcasing 61 historical stops that bring the ancient capital to life.

While only about a tenth of ancient Rome remains today, this digital recreation, developed by Indiana-based company Flyover Zone under the leadership of digital archaeologist Professor Bernard Frischer, unveils the city as it stood during its historical heyday. The one-hour-and-52-minute flyover captures iconic landmarks, including the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Baths of Caracalla, and the Mausoleum of Augustus, the world’s largest circular tomb.

Professor Frischer expressed the aim of this virtual tour, stating, “With the virtual tour, we hope to make it easy and fun for the public to learn about ancient Rome and its cultural heritage.” He highlighted the educational potential for teachers and history enthusiasts, allowing them to explore major historical sites and deepen their understanding of ancient cultures from the comfort of their homes.

The focus of the flyover is on reconstructing ancient Rome as it might have looked in AD 320, encompassing 7,000 buildings spread across 5.2 square miles, reflecting a time when the city boasted approximately one million inhabitants. The Colosseum, a centerpiece of the tour, was built under the Roman emperor Vespasian between AD 70 and 72 and famously hosted gladiator battles, animal hunts, and other public spectacles.

“This was the moment when the city reached its height in terms of population and the number of buildings and monuments,” stated Flyover Zone in a statement.

The virtual tour also highlights other architectural marvels, such as the Temple of Claudius on the Caelian Hill and the Pantheon, the only ancient Roman building that has remained intact through the centuries. Additionally, the Mausoleum of Augustus, built by Roman Augustus in 28 BC, showcases its imposing circular structure with a diameter of 285 feet.

Professor Frischer has been at the forefront of bringing together experts in Roman archaeology, computer graphics, and virtual reality design since 1996 to create what is hailed as “the most accurate and scientifically reliable reproduction” of ancient Rome.

The flyover tour, featuring commentary from Professor Frischer, is available for free on Yorescape, a streaming and audio platform for desktop and mobile. Yorescape offers a range of virtual tours of historical sites globally, allowing users to explore Athens in Greece, Giza in Egypt, and now, ancient Rome.

You can watch some of the tour here.

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