Virtual Models of Qumran and Rome

If you like virtual reconstruction models, there is information about a couple of new ones now online.
Virtual Qumran is being constructed by UCLA for the upcoming Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the San Diego Natural History Museum (June 28 – December 31, 2007).  The Quicktime movies are not yet available, but there are several dozen medium-resolution screenshots.  It is ironic how much attention Qumran gets in academia today.  Qumran is the ancient equivalent of Somis, California.  If you don’t know where that is, that’s the point.  It’s the Dead Sea Scrolls that give Qumran significance above the thousands of other ancient sites in the Middle East, but some scholars don’t believe the scrolls have anything to do with the site.

Rome Reborn is the title of a project from the University of Virginia.  They built a physical model of Rome in 320 A.D. from which a virtual model was then constructed.  “The goal of ‘Rome Reborn’ is to create a digital model illustrating the development of ancient Rome from the earliest settlement in the late Bronze Age (ca. 1000 B.C.) to the beginning of the medieval period.”  The website seems pretty spartan at this point.

One that’s been around for some years but is still a great resource is the site of the Jerusalem Archaeological Park.  This includes some nice panoramas.  They have several animations that show how the water system worked and how  large the city was in various periods.  You can also learn more about how they built the model.  I can’t seem to find the great screenshots that used to be available.

UPDATE (6/17): Those Jerusalem screenshots are here.


2 thoughts on “Virtual Models of Qumran and Rome

  1. Todd,

    Thanx for the post.

    I’ll be presenting a detailed analysis of the research in the Computer Assisted Research section of the SBL this Nov. (All are welcome to attend.)

    On an artistic note, the photos used in the LiveScience article are old. For a better look at the model, please see http://www.virtualqumran.com. There you can find (better) images of the model (which are ok to download and use in powerpoints). Also, there is a solid bibliography of Qumran and soon, a downloadable version of the realtime model that you can fly on your desktop. You can also find movies created from the model on exhibit at the San Diego Natural History Museum both in the DSS exhibit and in their theater. The theater presentation gives an overview of the history of Qumran archaeology and interpretation. I put some trailers up on YouTube (search: Virtual Qumran).

    Thanx again for the post. – bobcargill

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