Archaeologists have recreated the Villa Pompeia that was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 using virtual reality technology to better understand how visitors see the ancient house, according to The paper was recently published in the Journal of Archeology Antiquity.
Researchers have carefully created a digital model of the ancient house known as the House of the Epigrams, a villa excavated in the 1870s and so named because it contained mythological paintings accompanied by Greek paintings.
While it is impossible to know for sure the owner of the house, researchers have suggested that it may have belonged to Lucius Valerius Flaccus due to the presence of a ring bearing his signature that was discovered there. Regardless, the house’s lavish decorations and its many splendid frescoes indicate that he belonged to an important aristocratic family.
The paper titled “Representing the local Pompeian space by combining VR-based eye tracking and 3D GIS” was written by Ph.D. Candidate Danilo M. Campanaro and Professor Giacomo Landeschi, both affiliated with the Department of Archeology and Ancient History, Lund University, Sweden.
Here’s the VR experience in action, courtesy of Ha’aretz:
Using eye-tracking movements, the researchers were able to ascertain what type of motifs naturally attract the eyes of those who explore the villa. The volunteers walked nearly across the 3D house that has two different lighting options, at dawn on the winter solstice or at noon on the summer solstice.
The eye-tracking technology tracked three different data points: “Gaze (accurate tracking of a user’s head position); stabilization (a detailed understanding of what users focus on when their eyes are relatively stable, with a fixed point called ‘fixation’); and event (duration, start and end of a single session). ), Campanaro and Landeschi wrote.
Using this data, the researchers were able to create a map of visual impressions, with smaller red dots indicating short interaction and larger red dots showing deep interaction. This data, according to the researchers, may help reveal the different ways in which the villa and its lavish decorations were viewed by ordinary people, its residents, and more important guests.
Although the conclusions about the data collected are reserved for an upcoming paper, the researchers revealed in an interview with Ha’aretzSome initial thoughts. First, only the front of the house was visible to the public, and the deeper it was penetrated, the closer one should be to the family. The best decorations, paintings, and other visual stimuli seem to have been dedicated to the owner’s inner circle, displaying sophisticated Greek wares that catch the eye.