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Nemrud Dagi, Turkey

Hellenistic Mountain-Top Sanctuary - the first virtual world

page updated November 30, 2016

 Nemrud Dagi - the first virtual world

In 1995, Learning Sites developed several prototype virtual worlds, including two of Nemrud Dagi, in order to demonstrate the feasibility of linking interactive virtual worlds to text, image, and narration databases. Those pioneering efforts provided visitors (wearing early head- and boom-mounted VR displays) with options for a self-guided educational exploration of this unique site.

East Terrace podiumScreen grab from our first version of the Nemrud Dagi virtual world. View from the East Terrace toward the double podium upon which has been reconstructed the colossal enthroned statue of King Antiochus (ca. 8m high); the whole framed by his tumulus. This first model explored the viability of building virtual worlds for export to various types of VR displays.

East Terrace podiumScreen grab from our second version of the Nemrud Dagi virtual world. View from the East Terrace up to the upper podium where the line of colossal enthroned statues sat. The mouse buttons on the screen indicated that text, 2D images, or segments of explanatory narration were accessible from this location. These advanced features demonstrated that virtual reality could become a viable educational resource, a new type of scholarly publication venue, and an integral means of testing archaeology hypotheses.

 Original Platform & Credits

The system requirements for viewing the (first) virtual world of Nemrud Dagi were: Microsoft Windows NTTM, 64Mb RAM (128Mb recommended), minimum of 150Mb hard disk space, OpenGL graphics accelerator, and Sense8 Corporation's WorldToolKitTM software. A head-mounted display added personal immersion to the experience.

We thank Intergraph Corp. and Sense8 Corp. for their assistance and participation during the development of the demonstration version of this virtual world. Archaeological reconstruction by Donald H. Sanders; model by Gerard Fanning, Edward Hill, and Eben Gay; virtual reality programming by Eben Gay and Oren Levine.