Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Ancient Rome has been brought back to life through a unique digital reconstruction project, said to be the world's biggest computer simulation.

An international team of architects, archaeologists and experts spent 10 years working on a real-time 3D model of the city called Rome Reborn. Some 7,000 buildings were scanned and reproduced using a model of the city kept at a Rome museum.

Users enter the city at the time of Constantine and see inside buildings. The simulation takes place in the year AD 320, which is said to be the city's peak, when it had grown to a million inhabitants.

"We can take people under the Colosseum and show them how the elevators worked to bring the animals up from underground chambers for the animal hunts they held," said Bernard Frischer, the project's leader who heads Virginia's Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities.

For an eyewitness view of an empire's decline and fall, the U.S. evening news is suggested.

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