Digital exhibition simulates medieval Angkor Wat

A dynamic simulation that shows how the metropolis of Angkor Wat in Cambodia might have operated in the 12th century is on display at the Hargrave-Andrew Library from 16 March.

The project from the Faculty of Information Technology’s (FIT) sensiLab draws upon a wide range of archaeological and historical data and uses an immersive, 3D visualisation to test how historical assumptions about Angkor can be made more precise.

The FIT team coordinated by Tom Chandler includes 3D animators Brent McKee and Chandara Ung, games designers and programmers Mike Yeates, Elliott Wilson and Kingsley Stephens and archaeological advisors Martin Polkinghorne and Roland Fletcher.

Constructed by King Suryavarman II (1113 – 1150), the temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia is a world famous heritage site and the largest religious monument on earth. In 2013, LiDAR archaeological surveys confirmed a grid pattern of roads and household ponds, suggesting a regular layout of dispersed and substantial wooden dwellings.

In the simulation, the paths of thousands of animated ‘agents’ are tracked as they enter, exit and circulate within the temple enclosure over 24 hours. The detailed virtual world depicted in the simulation follows the pace of daily life in a tropical, preindustrial urban centre from dawn through to nightfall.

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