About 3DVisA
People & Partners

Knowledge Base
Funding Information
Index of 3D Projects
Time-enabled Map

News & Events
Conferences & Events
3DVisA News
3DVisA Award

3DVisA Bulletin
3DVisA Reports
3D Bibliography
The London Charter

3DVisA Resources

3DVisA Index of 3D Projects: Archaeology

Temple of Sulis Minerva, Bath, UK

A computer model of the Temple of Sulis Minerva in Bath, created in the mid 1980's, formed part of the larger reconstruction of this Roman site and was one of the earliest attempts of this kind in the UK. A large proportion of one pediment, pieces of the horizontal and raking cornices, one damaged capital, parts of a column base and a fluted column shaft are the only fragments of the Temple to have survived. Although only these three fragments remain, the original appearance of the Temple is, surprisingly, better known than that of any other building in Roman Britain.

The computer reconstruction relied on hand drawings based on information coming from earlier fieldwork and from Vitruvius's treatise De architectura, written in the mid 20s BC. The height of the architectural elements and overall design of the whole structure, its proportions and decoration, had to be guessed. The temple and a number of other buildings of the bath complex, have been rendered using a ray-tracing set-theoretic programme devised by John Woodwark at the School of Mechanical Engineering, Bath.

Although crude by today's modelling standards, the model of the temple precinct was built of approximately 2,300 planar half-spaces; this was considered hight at the time. No other primitive solids were used. This was improved in the second reconstruction of the precinct. The second model made with a new, improved version of the same software used different types of primitive solids and an improved algorithm, and has contributed to better renderings and a smoother look to the model.

[More information will be provided in due course.]

Project dates: 1980s

Resource status: ?

Contributors: John Woodwark, School of Mechanical Engineering, Bath.

Sources and further details:

Woodwark, J.R. (1991): 'Reconstructing history with computer graphics', IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, January, pp. 18-20.

Blagg, T.F.C. (1990), 'Reconstructions of Roman decorated architecture: proportions, prescriptions and practices', Structural Reconstruction. Approaches to the interpretation of the excavated remains of buildings, Drury, P. J. (ed.), BAR British Series 110, 1982, p. 131.

Lavender, D., Wallis, A., Bowyer, A. and Davenport, P. (1990), 'Solid modelling of Roman Bath', Science and Archaeology, xxxii, p. 15-19.

Record compiled by Anna Bentkowska-Kafel. Last updated: 11 September 2006.

3DVisA gratefully acknowledges the help of ...... with preparation of this record.

Temple of Sulis Minerva, Bath, and 3DVisA, 2006.

  • Back to the list of 3D projects