Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site is one of Britain's most important and evocative archaeological monuments. It stretches right across the north of England and when it was built it marked the northern extent of the Roman empire. The purpose of this epic feat of engineering was to separate the Roman world from the barbarian world beyond the wall. A series of forts and milecastles were placed along the wall and over time these became as domestic as military, with civilian settlements growing up beside forts and numerous temples being constructed.
An amazing array of altars, statues and other carvings have been found along the wall by archaeologists and many of these have been preserved within the collection of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle, now housed within the Great North Museum. We have scanned over 50 of these as part of our recent collaboration with University of Newcastle through the NU Digital Heritage project (nu-digitalheritage.com). The scans were undertaken by John McCarthy, Project Manager in our Scottish office using an Artec Eva, a high-resolution handheld laser scanner ideally suited to the low light and restricted space around the monument display areas.
One of the planned uses of these digital models will be as a teaching resource for initiatives such as Newcastle University’s free online Massive Online Open Course Hadrian’s Wall: Life on the Roman Frontier.