The project “Virtual Reality Digital Collection ‘Ancient Agora of Athens’”, which was designed and implemented by FHW and was funded in the framework of the Operational Programme of Information Society, aimed at the development and documentation of an original digital collection about the Ancient Agora of Athens, which will be used for the development of creative educational scenarios in virtual reality environments.
The documentation and development of the collection was based on strict methodological models of documentation and design, and was carried out in collaboration with specialized researchers of this site, which has great importance for the world.
More specifically archaeologists, architects and researchers collaborated with 3D graphics designers, Virtual Reality programmers, scriptwriters, musicians, Internet graphic designers and programmers and scientists of many other specialties in order to complete this extremely important work of digitization of the immaterial cultural documents of the past.
At the same time, as specialists participated in the work top archaeologists and researchers of the area of the ancient Agora of Athens, and more specifically Professor John Camp, Director of the excavations of the American Archaeological School in the Ancient Agora, Dr. Richard Anderson, Architect during the same excavation, Dr. Alcestis Choremi, Head of the 1st Ephorate of Classical Antiquities and Professor Mr. Petros Themelis.
This work, which is addressed both to the wide public and the educational and research community, has created an original digital collection of the structured environment and of the topography of the Ancient Agora of Athens, which constitute documentation of the political and cultural life of the Athenian Democracy. In this framework the period from the 5th century BC to the 3rd century AD is covered.
This virtual collection, unique all over the world both regarding its extent and the method for its implementation and the depth of its content, also includes objects and other elements of the living environment of that period and original music.
The virtual representation urges the visitor on a journey of discovery. Those that participate can explore the accurate virtual representation selecting their course during their visit to the virtual world. They can examine the architectural details of the buildings and the landscape from many different perspectives, to exercise their skill in orientation and to understand the feeling of scale, proportion and the area used by the ancient Greeks. By taking part in virtual interactive activities they can live experiences and to explore the arts and the everyday life of each era.
At the same time, a special site was developed on the Internet based on a dynamic database. This site includes all the documentation that was developed for the Ancient Agora of Athens, as well as the documentation from the process of visualization of material, which is related to the scientific choices that were made during this process. Also included are drawings, photographs and images from the three dimensional models that were developed, from all the buildings and time periods.
This project has the ambition to become the starting point for a wider discussion of the scientific community regarding the method and process of visualization, the possibilities for the use of virtual reality in archaeological research, as well as improving the public’s access to original documentation and the organized information that they provide for their understanding.