3-D Scanning and Roman Heritage: A Test Case in Public Engagement
£4,925 awarded to Dr Alison Cooley, Classics & Ancient History
This project launched a new, innovative, interdisciplinary collaboration in public engagement between the Dept of Classics & Ancient History and Warwick Manufacturing Group. We investigated the potential of 3D digitization in producing interactive physical objects for use by educational groups and visitors at Fishbourne Roman Palace (Sussex) and by the Dept of Classics & Ancient History in teaching and outreach.
We chose one of the most famous inscriptions of Roman Britain as a case-study to scope the possibilities of using 3-D scanning in heritage engagement. We chose the ‘Cogidubnus inscription’ because it was found in fragments during the eighteenth century, has been inaccessible to the public, and is of debated interpretation. We produced two different versions of the inscription for use at Fishbourne Roman Palace, giving schoolchildren and visitors insights into the experience of how archaeologists and historians deal with an inscription in fragments, via a 3-D printed jigsaw puzzle.
Two variant copies of the inscription have been printed for use by the Warwick Classics Network for outreach and in teaching our new undergraduate module in Understanding Ancient Material Culture. We have yet to evaluate the success of this interactive activity, since the pandemic resulted in the closure of the site and curtailed hands-on outreach activities. We have nevertheless explored the use of 3-D imaging for heritage projects and education, producing 3-D models of different materials, densities, and dimensions, to allow us to evaluate what type of model is best suited for public engagement.
Cooley and Wilson are currently co-writing an article for submission to the Journal of Cultural Heritage.