3D scanning of the famous ancient site has commenced

3D scanners for Antonine Wall survey

Archaeologists have started surveying the Roman-built Antonine Wall in Scotland using innovative laser scanners to gather data for 3D visualisation of the ancient site.

A joint initiative of Historic Scotland, Glasgow School of Art's Digital Design Studio and international non-profit organisation CyArk, the project will gather information that could be later used to improve management, conservation and interpretation of the site while also providing an educational tool for future generations to learn about history.

"The Scottish Ten project offers the exciting possibility of virtual reconstruction, based on accurate survey information, to help in-site interpretation,” said the project manager Dr Lyn Wilson.

"We are also using these surveys as a training exercise for Historic Scotland's architectural technicians to build capacity within our organisation to better enable us to fulfil our commitment to digitally document in 3D all 345 properties in the care of Scottish ministers."

Currently working in the area of the wall near Bonnybridge, Falkirk, the team will require two weeks to scan the Rough Castle and Bar Hill Roman sites.  

Complemented with previously taken airborne images, the data collected along the entire length of the wall will enable the researchers to produce visual models of the wall with unprecedented detail and accuracy.

Antonine Wall is the fifth national heritage site in Scotland the team has been working on.

The protective Antonine Wall was built by the Romans across what is now the Central Belt of Scotland, between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde. Representing the northernmost frontier barrier of the Roman Empire, the 3m high and 5m wide wall spanned approximately 63 km. Construction began in 142 AD at the order of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, and took about 12 years to complete.

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