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3DVisA Index of 3D Projects: Archaeology

The Villa of Domitian in Castel Gandolfo, Italy

Keywords: Visualisation, Roman architecture, Emperor Domitian, Castel Gandolfo, theatre, cryptoporticus, 3D model, 3D StudioMax 9, VRML.

This project has been concerned with the visualisation of an ancient theatre and enclosed gallery (cryptoporticus) of the magnificent villa of the Roman Emperor Domitian which was situated outside Rome, off the Apian Way, on the volcanic terraces overlooking the Lake Albano. The modern Castel Gandolfo with a summer papal residence is situated on these grounds. The Villa of Domitian became neglected after the Emperor's death in 96 AD. Its buildings were dismantled and parts reused elsewhere. Only remains of these ancient buildings have survived: the theatre is overgrown with oaks, but the scale of partly preserved, 300 metre-long gallery still impresses. Computer visualisations of the ancient theatre and the gallery have been created by a team of Computer Scientists and Classicists of the University of Cologne. 3D StudioMax 9 software was used and the models converted to the VRML format for visualisation on a power wall within the Collaborative Visualization and Simulation Environment (COVISE).


Fig. 1. Three screen shots of the model of the Domitian theatre at Castel Gandolfo showing work in progress. Universität zu Köln, 2008. Reproduced with kind permission.

Project dates: 2004-2009

Resource status: The computer models are stored at the University of Cologne's Computing Centre and are available to scholars and students for examination on the COVISE power wall.


The project has been a collaboration between the Archaeological Institute of the University of Cologne and the Rome Department of the German Archaeological Institute both of which provided the funding. The Project Team: Prof. Dr. Ulrich Lang (Principal Co-investigator), Thomas van Reimersdahl (Project Co-ordinator), Lisa Rau and Peter Melms (3D visualisation), University of Cologne and Regional Computing Centre; Prof. Dr. Henner von Hesberg (Principal Co-investigator), Archaeological Institute, University of Cologne and the Rome Department of the German Archaeological Institute.

See the project webpages for further details: http://vis.uni-koeln.de/research/projects/villadomitian/

Information kindly provided by Lisa Rau. Last updated: 22 July 2009. The 3DVisA Index gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Prof. Dr. Ulrich Lang, Prof. Dr. Henner von Hesberg and Lisa Rau with preparation of this record.

Universität zu Köln, 2004-2009

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