Bournemouth University researcher Liz Falconer, working alongside Daden Limited and Satsymph, is working on virtual reality software to bring Avebury Stone Circle to life.
Visitors to the site will be able to use virtual reality to walk virtually through the ancient Avebury Henge and stone circle, part of the Avebury and Stonehenge World Heritage Site, and experience the sights and sounds of the location as it would have been in the Neolithic period – and well before much of the site was destroyed by the building of Avebury village – thanks to a new experience being created by Bournemouth University and Daden Limited and Satsymph.
The main aim of this project is to develop and explore the potential of virtual historical places to increase engagement with, and understanding of, the development of human cultures through a sense of virtual place.
The project builds on work already done by Professor Liz Falconer on building a prototype 3D simulation of the Avebury complex.
Project Lead Liz Falconer said “We are delighted to be working with Daden, Satsymph and the National Trust on this exciting project. We will shortly be launching a blog and website where we will post regular updates on the work, and give people the opportunity to immerse themselves in Late Neolithic Wiltshire!”
Daden MD, David Burden said – “We’re really pleased and honoured to be a part of this project. We’ve always known that immersive environments can have a significant impact on how we view and understand the past, and this is an ideal opportunity to put our thoughts into practice.”
The virtual experience will be available at Avebury Visitors Centre for the public to evaluate during the summer of 2018, and there will also be an evaluation of remote use for those unable to visit the site. It is hoped that the project will lead to the development of a fuller experience made permanently available to both the public and to schools, and then to the use of the technology for other heritage sites across the globe.
The project has been made possible through the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Next Generation of Immersive Experiences programme. The work involves a collaboration between educators and archaeologists at Bournemouth University, sound specialists Satsymph, the National Trust and Birmingham based virtual reality and immersive learning specialists Daden Limited.