Ancient Greece Comes to Life in Canada

Source: Simon Fraser University

The Museum of Vancouver is taking visitors to Greece and it’s wonders through virtual and augmented reality.

Thanks to Simon Fraser University researchers, visitors using 3D goggles can now get immersed in a virtual reconstruction of the historical Tholos at Delphi Temple of Athena Pronaia, and can even offer a votive offering to the Oracle.

A virtual model of the Greek underworld has also been created, where they can teleport through Hades as they complete simple tasks.

Beyond Worlds: Greek Civilization XR Experience uses the latest in virtual and augmented reality to transport museum-goers across time and space, to the age of Plato and Pericles.

An everyday tablet can be used to open a doorway painted on the gallery wall, where visitors can see into the courtyard of an ancient Greek villa; women and men in period costumes mill about in conversation, while a brazier burns on a bright sunny day.

Source: Simon Fraser University

At another station, a tablet—mounted in a round shield, straight out of Frank Miller’s graphic novel, 300 —brings to life a still scene of ships projected onto a wall. Soon, visitors are transported to the deck of a Greek trireme – an oared warship – in the aftermath of the 5th century BCE Battle of Salamis; the clouds glow bright orange from the fires of defeated ships.

The exhibit is currently in its pilot stage and only open to elementary students until January 2020, as the project team fine-tunes the technology. Once fully developed, the technology will be able to transport museum-goers to any number of historical times and locations.

The exhibit was curated by educators working in SFU’s Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies, a leading centre for the study of Greece in North America, in collaboration with the Museum of Vancouver and developed under the auspices of the Greek Ambassador to Canada, Dimitris Azemopoulos.