Department of Archaeology

Staff research - Caistor AR app has now been launched

Caistor app image

An image from the new Caistor app

Will Bowden of The University of Nottingham’s Department of Archaeology used the results of his 10-year research project at the Roman Town of Caistor, Norfolk to inform a new scheme and to create vivid, virtual reconstructions of ancient Venta Icenorum.

October saw the launch of this new on-site interpretation scheme which has been developed into the Caistor AR app. Sponsored by Natural England, the new scheme features both traditional interpretation panels and augmented reality (AR) that allows the audience to “see” the Roman town via their tablet or mobile. Working with the Norfolk Archaeological Trust (the site owners), JAM Creative (a Cardiff-based digital media company) and HDC (a heritage tourism and interpretation company), views of the reconstructions appear on the panels but using the Caistor AR app allows the viewer to activate additional content and manipulate the view of the Roman town as it would have appeared from the spot on which they are standing, projected onto the modern landscape.

The app also allows the viewer to find objects from the excavations hidden within the panel. These objects have been recorded in 3D, so that the viewer can “handle” them on their screen. This part of the interpretation is particular aimed at children who can collect the virtual objects as they go around the site. Children are guided by two animated moles, Archie and Oli, who tell the younger audience about all the exciting things that lie hidden beneath the ground. Archie was voiced by Dr Bowden, who little thought that his PhD would lead to a career as a cartoon mole.

Posted on Tuesday 10th November 2015

Department of Archaeology

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Contact details