“Incredible 360-degree virtual reality headset transports wearers back 2,000 years to ancient Jerusalem”, reported the Daily Mail on Friday, with similar coverage appearing in Live Science, the Times of Israel and other media sources. It’s a testament to the ability of archaeology to captivate us and the power of VR tech to immerse and connect us with the past.
You are standing at the base of the Western Wall in Jerusalem, and it towers above you with breathtaking scale. Around you are the modest dwellings of the Jewish quarter. You’re filled with awe, yet also humbled. It is likely the same feeling of ancient Israelites in AD 35.
Of course you are not living 2000 years ago at the time of Jesus Christ. You are not even in Israel, where, despite wars and the ravages of time, the miraculous Western wall from the Second Temple still remains. You’re at home or at school wearing a virtual reality headset. No, you are not experiencing a fictional world, you are in ancient Jerusalem. Lithodomos VR has used decades of painstaking archaeological research to present the Ancient Jerusalem App. Academics agree that this “is as real as you can get”.
“Have you ever stood in front of historic ruins, the Parthenon for example, and closed your eyes, imagining what the site before you would have looked like centuries ago? Thanks to virtual reality, seeing ruins as they looked in their heyday is both possible and easy” I recently told the Smithsonian Newsletter during an interview.
With on site and off site mobile VR, viewing ruins as they looked in their heyday is now possible. It is clearly a game changer for the way we visit ancient cities such as Jerusalem, Rome, Athens and many others.
Lithodomos VR’s content, such as the Ancient Jerusalem app, is used by tour groups who provide customers with headsets, or by individuals using portable viewers such as Google Cardboard.
The implications of this VR revolution and the potential commercialisation of Digital Humanities are profound, with students and enthusiasts around the world now able to explore the ancient world at their leisure, effortlessly transporting themselves from one location to another with a VR headset while also giving researchers a chance to communicate their life’s work to ordinary people.
The virtual reality reconstructions are only be as good as the archaeological work behind them, and that’s why our work is painstakingly researched and backed up by solid evidence. Download the Ancient Jerusalem App from the Apple, Google Play (Google Play, App Store) or Samsung Gear VR store and see for yourself.