CGI research at Portus

The AHRC Portus Project is partly focussed on the application and evaluation of digital technologies, and in particular the production of computer graphic models. Specifically we implement Computer Graphic Imagery following geophysical assessment, during the excavation, in the analysis of excavated and surveyed archaeology, and in the representation and debate of interpretations. Such three-dimensional visual technologies play a significant role in the interpretation of the site, and in its articulation and dissemination to a wider audience.

We have developed some initial simulations of the site as a whole,¬†implemented in a number of graphical formats – Google SketchUp and Google Earth, 3ds Max and Second Life. (Follow SLURL link to¬†Portus II; if the SLURL does not take you straight there use the Portus Project teleporter in the¬†University of Southampton¬†welcome area). In addition to interactive models we have prepared a series of animations. These are used as a tool to stimulate discussion relating to factors such as the use of the site, visual structuring of the port landscape, navigation and port logistics, and so on. The first stage was based on a detailed laser scan of Gismondi’a Portus¬†plastico. Subsequent models have added details and demonstrated the variety of possible interpretations.

A series of digital views of Portus have been produced by the Archaeological Computing Research Group at Southampton.

A number of publications also relate to this work:

  • Earl, G.P., Keay, S.J. and Beale, G. In press. Archaeological computing for recording and presentation of Roman Portus. In Keay, S.J. and Paroli, L. (eds) Proceedings of the First Portus Workshop, held at the British School at Rome, March 2008. British School at Rome Monographs.
  • Earl, G.P., Keay, S.J. and Beale, G.C. In press. Evaluating Gismondi’s Representation of Portus, the Port of Imperial Rome. In Proceedings of Arqueologica 2.0 Seville 2009.
  • Earl, G.P., Keay, S.J. and Beale, G. 2008. Computer Graphic Modelling at Portus: Analysis, Reconstruction and Representation of the Claudian and Trajanic Harbours. In Proceedings of EARSEL SIG Remote Sensing for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage. Rome 2008.