Wednesday, 28 March 2012



I figured was time to provide a more accurate update of the job I’ve been doing on the Roman Leicester.

Originally I thought the town just needed some minor tweaking and at the time when I started the reconstruction of one missing building , the macellum, my compromise is to deliver a town that integrates seamless between Unity games engine and a 3D software in this case Maya, but also a virtual reconstruction of a town that fits accordingly to what experts in the area believe it was, in this case Archaeologists from Leicester University, and with all this in mind I began cleaning the model and separating the buildings one from another, reduce polygon face counts rebuilding faces with multiple meshes, etc. But the project had issues beyond physical topology, beyond messy poly faces and head count reduction textures needed to be fix and new ones had to be created.

The first buildings I addressed where the Jewry Baths, Vine Street Villa and the Macellum, mainly because these are the buildings from which experts from Leicester University, Richard Buckley and Matthew Morris, had more evidence and where more certain of what their original construction was from different points of view, materials wise, rooms layout, etc…

The most obvious building of the lot is the Jewry wall as we still have part of it standing in Leicester, but also past excavations have given enough evidence to know how big the building was, how many rooms it had and what was made of. The second building, The Vine Street Villa hasn’t given the experts much evidence apart from few remains, it’s layout and approximate size based on excavations done in the area,  but other remains found from a very similar building just a little outside Leicester with similar plaster work on roof and walls suggests that  it might have been part of a job done by the same artist and therefore by cross referencing we can build up the final version of the Vine Street Villa that laid inside the walls of the RATAE CORIELTAUVORUM. Most of this evidence can be found on exhibition at the Jewry Wall museum in Leicester.

The third finished building was the Mithrauem although this is also a building whose hard evidence doesn’t go beyond of what was found during the highcross excavations which are again size and layout it’s a building not very difficult to recreate as the British Romano society was, up to some extent, very consistent when it came to building very specific structures, and specially when worshiping god Mithras, they all looked pretty much the same everywhere across Britain, so it was just a matter of adapting the layout found on the local excavations and cross reference with similar buildings around England…

For all this buildings I created new additions based on the findings from the excavations done by the archaeologists team from Leicester University in the Highcross, more information on these excavations can be found on the book they’ve published in the matter, and earlier findings that are now part of the permanent Jewry wall museum exhibition, particularly plaster textures inside the main hall of the Jewry Wall and of the changing rooms, the checkered floor on the Vine Street Villa and the walls on some rooms.

Example of new textures in the Jewry Baths
Finally the latest addition to the reconstruction is the Macellum, a building from which the archaeologists have only hard evidence of their size and layout, and a piece of plastered roof, the hardest task when recreating this building was to agree of how the shops where laid out, given the suggested evidence the result is what you see on the image and the main naive contains now an accurate digital reconstruction of the plastered roof based on the piece exhibited at the Jewry Wall museum.

Interior of the Macellum main naive with new roof
From this point onwards I aim to deliver a final version of the forum and basilica, the biggest building in roman Leicester and another one from which hard evidence is limited in most areas but vast on others, with the input given by the archaeologists team at Leicester University I am hoping to get there by the end of April, so stayed tuned for the final version of RATAE CORIELTAUVORUM….

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