Researchers from Lund University in Sweden have used virtual reality and 3D eye-tracking technology to capture the attention of visitors as they enter the stunning environment of an ancient Roman home. The team recreated the House of Greek epigrams in 3D and tracked the eyes of study participants as they looked at the house.
Unlike today, Roman homes were not a place of refuge from work. Work and daily activities during the day were intertwined. were designed to communicate the personal power and status of the homeowner and his family. The visual effect was so important that architects moved architectural elements such as columns to frame scenes, added fountains as focal points, or simply embellished the space by imitating those elements when it was not possible to create them.
“By tracking how people see a home, we can get closer to unlocking what was in the minds of those who designed it. What messages are being delivered, even the most Even in the smallest details? We found many ways in which the owner was expressing a sense of power and wealth for the visitors,” says researcher Giacomo Landeschi of the Department of Archeology and Ancient History, Lund University.
The House of Greek Epigram was destroyed in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. It contained a room completely covered with wall paintings with Greek inscriptions which gave the house its name.
The house was elaborately designed and painted wall paintings that were partially visible from the outside, but with details that only close visitors could see, for example. There was also erotic art where natural light mainly illuminated the work at appropriate times. Some visual and architectural elements echoed the tension between Greek and Roman cultures at the time.
A follow-up study will analyze the results in more detail.
The researchers say the unique nature of the research could be further enhanced in the future by adding other sensory experiences, such as auditory involvement.
“This study shows that we can now not only reconstruct physical space, but also understand the real experience of the people of that time. This is an entirely new area of research for archaeology, offering new possibilities. opens,” concludes Danilo Marco Campanaro, PhD candidate at the Department of Archeology and Ancient History, Lund University.
The study marks a significant advance in the use of virtual reality in archaeology, where its heuristic capability is employed to perform more advanced spatial analysis. It set out to establish a methodology to accurately record and analyze information about participants’ gaze and attention. To do this, the researchers used a 3D eye-tracker, a game engine, and a geographic information system.
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