Rome Reborn VR
Bernard Frischer is a leading virtual archaeologist and the author of seven printed books, three e-books, and dozens of articles on virtual heritage, Classics, and the survival of the Classical world. He is the founding editor of two scientific journals: Digital Applications to Archaeology and Cultural Heritage, the world’s first peer-reviewed, online journal where scientists can publish interactive 3D models; and Studies in Digital Heritage, an Open Access journal publishing research illustrating how digital technology can facilitate work in the traditional fields of cultural heritage.
Frischer received his B.A. in Classics, summa cum laude, from Wesleyan University (CT) in 1971 and his Ph.D. in Classics, summa cum laude, from the University of Heidelberg in 1975. He taught Classics at UCLA from 1976 to 2004. From 2004 to 2013 he was Professor of Art History and Classics at the University of Virginia. Since August 2013, he has been Professor of Virtual Heritage in the School of Informatics at Indiana University, where he is also Director of the Virtual World Heritage Laboratory. The lab’s mission is to apply 3D digital tools to document and digitally restore cultural heritage artifacts and sites. The lab’s projects currently include creation of a restoration model of Hadrian’s Villa, the World Heritage Site near Tivoli, Italy; creation of a state models of the archaeological sites of Cosa and Roselle in Tuscany as well as Atzompa near Oaxaca, Mexico; and using digital technology to scan and restore ancient sculpture. In May of 2016 the lab began a five-year project to create 3D models of all 1,250 works of sculpture in the Uffizi in Florence.
From 1996 to 2003 Frischer directed the excavations of Horace’s Villa sponsored by the American Academy in Rome, and in the same period he was founding director of the UCLA Cultural Virtual Reality Laboratory. The lab was one of the first in the world to use 3D computer modeling to reconstruct cultural heritage sites. Frischer has overseen several significant modeling projects, including “Rome Reborn,” the virtual recreation of the entire city of ancient Rome within the Aurelian Walls. The project has received extensive media coverage. A video about the project made by the Khan Academy is now the most popular arts and humanities program on Khan’s site, with over 1.5 million views since it was posted three years ago.
In 2005 Bernard Frischer was given the Pioneer Award of the International Society on Virtual Systems and Multimedia. In 2009, he was the recipient of the Tartessus Lifetime Achievement Prize from the Spanish Society of Virtual Archaeology. In 2010-11 he held the Senior Prize Fellowship at the Zukunftskolleg at the University of Konstanz. In 2015, he was a fellow of The Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies.
Rome Reborn is an international initiative whose goal is the creation of an interactive 3D digital model reconstructing ancient Rome at the peak of its urban development in the year AD 320. Much of what survives of the ancient city dates to this period, making reconstruction less speculative than it must be for earlier phases. […]