Wessex Archaeology’s Studio team are now creating Virtual Reality (VR) experiences. Our first VR model went on tour with our Community & Education team during the second half of 2019, travelling to events in Wales, Yorkshire and Dorset. It has also been to several business expos with our Communications & Marketing Manager to give both our existing and potential clients the opportunity to immerse themselves in heritage.
Experience the Romano-British lifestyle
This VR experience invites people to explore a Romano-British villa, which has a range of fully furnished rooms including: bathrooms, kitchen, and living spaces, as well as a courtyard. Those who have tried the experience have said it provides a real insight into what it was like to be in a Roman house, it shows how these spaces worked, what they looked like and felt like. One viewer said “I have been to Pompeii, but that was hard to understand as it was all ruins… this provides a feel for what it was really like”.
Based on gaming engine technology, people can navigate around the building at their own pace in real time. The VR also has sound and autoexposure lighting to help create a highly realistic fully immersive experience. All models and textures have been created by our in-house Studio creatives and are based on real Roman-British archaeological examples. The mosaic in the dinning room alone has over 1000 tesserae all laid by hand!
Understanding the past
Wessex archaeology is uniquely placed to create this kind of experience, as a leading heritage company we excavate hundreds of archaeological sites every year, and handle thousands of real objects from the past. Wessex Archaeology employs an impressive array of specialists, who have a great in-depth knowledge about all aspects of the past. From prehistory to the second world war, our expertise covers all time periods.
The aim of our reconstruction work is to create a quality product that is as accurate as possible, recreating both events and scenes from the past. With our expert in-house knowledge of changing construction techniques, building fabrics, styles of pottery and other artefacts, along with our understanding of the tools and technology available over time, we can be certain that we are creating a heritage experience which matches the archaeological evidence and replicates as closely as possible the scene that existed all those years ago. With the help of our in-house specialists in environmental evidence we can reconstruct environment and landscapes based on real archaeological facts.
Bringing the past to life
We have had great feedback from the thousands of people who have tried our VR experience. From five years old to octogenarians, we have only found enthusiasm for this kind of experience and a thirst for more. Not wanting to disappoint we are now working on a second VR experience to be released in 2020, but this one will be interactive!