A project coordinated by the University of Navarra will 3D-digitalize inscriptions from some Roman sites for inclusion in a history-based video game

This initiative, in which seven other institutions from Italy, France and Portugal will also participate, is financed by the European Commission as part of the Creative Europe program

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The digitalization of the rural settlement of Castillscar (Zaragoza) necropolis inscription, which can be found today in the Museum of Castillscar, has made it legible and allowed for its recreation FOTO: Loaned
13/01/21 11:09 María M. Orbegozo

The panorama framed by inscriptions from various Roman cities in the West, from ancient Lusitania to Rome, through Gaul and Hispania, will be depicted in a history-based video game thanks to a project coordinated by the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Navarra. In conjunction with seven other institutions in Portugal, France and Italy, the university has launched “Valete vos viatores: a journey through the Roman Empire in inscriptions”, a project designed to digitize and convert to 3D-form images of a series of Latin inscriptions preserved in different places cited above. Inscriptions from sites on which students from School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Navarra work every year will also be included: Santa Criz de Eslava (Navarre) and Los Bañales (Aragon).  

The outcome of this project, due for completion in 2022, will be included in a videogame covering the Roman Empire from its provinces to the capital, paying special attention to epigraphic documentation. In this regard, Javier Andreu, Director of the Diploma in Archaeology in the University of Navarra and lead researcher and coordinator of the project, explains that in ancient times, “inscriptions were a very important means of communication, a way of spreading the Latin language and creating a common culture. The epigraphic heritage of Rome is the first sign of globalization in history and yet is not always appreciated as such in archaeological sites or museums”. Likewise, he points out that “the use of new technology, such as 3D scanning or digital photogrammetry, offers significant potential for sharing research results of research, thus facilitating a better understanding of heritage and making history more accessible to museum and site visitors." Pablo Serrano and Iker Ibero, members of the team that in recent years has worked on the Santa Criz and Los Bañales sites, will contribute to the digitalization project.

Valete vos viatores is one of only two Spanish projects selected in the EACEA call for the European Commission’s Creative Europe program – Media (Bridging culture and audiovisual content through digital). The objective of the program is to support initiatives that develop innovative approaches between culture, audiovisual and new technologies. “The results of this work will provide the cultural sector with new and attractive tools, which help to increase its number of visitors, as well as to better understand our heritage,” says Andreu. The project also envisions the production of a series of five video documentaries to be uploaded to the Digital Humanities Laboratory website at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing the secrets of the Latin inscriptions into public view. At the same time, students on the Diploma of Archaeology program will play a part in some management and documentation tasks.

The institutions working on the project in conjunction with the University of Navarra are CLAU Creative Services S.L. (Spain), Trahelium Studio S.L (Spain), the University of the Sapienza (Italy), the National Roman Museum (Italy), the University of Bordeaux Michel de Montaigne (France), the University of Coimbra (Portugal) and Idanha-a-Nova municipality (Portugal).

Pedestal ecuestre al emperador Tiberio aparecido en 2015 en el foro de la ciudad romana de Los Bañales. Su recreación en 3D es obra de Pablo Serrano y de Iker Ibero
 3D recreation by Pablo Serrano and Iker Ibero

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