3D Visualisation of Iron Age forts to go on display in Dundee

DUNDEE will play host to a new exhibition that will transport visitors back in time to see what life looked like in an Iron Age hillfort on Dundee Law.

3D image of Iron Age forts. Picture: Contributed
3D image of Iron Age forts. Picture: Contributed

The upcoming ‘Reflection on Celts’ exhibition at the McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum will include the first 3D reconstruction and visualisation of the ancient fort. 

Work on the 3D visualisation has been carried out by researchers, Dr Alice Watterson and Kieran Baxter, from the University of Dundee’s 3DVisLab. 

The dramatic images will animate the development of the site from a barren hill to timber–laced hillfort and finally its destruction by fire. 

Iron Age forts being brough to life in 3D. Picture: Contributed

The work has included taking aerial photographs as well as scanning 3D artefacts found during previous archaeological excavation on the Law. 

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It is hoped that this new approach will bridge the physical and virtual world, leading to new understanding and raising further questions about Dundee’s iconic geographical feature.

Hillforts are closely linked with Iron Age studies, though many are much older and were constructed over 3,000 years ago. Numerous examples can be found in Tayside, but they are also found all over Britain and Europe.

Iron Age forts being brough to life in 3D. Picture: Contributed

Kieran Baxter Research Assistant at University of Dundee said

“The interpretative display allows the opportunity to bring artifacts from behind the glass of the traditional museum environment and show how they relate to the landscape.”

Dr Alice Watterson, Post-Doctoral Research Assistant and Reconstruction Artist said: “I like to think about reconstruction as a starting point for a bigger conversation about the current interpretation of the site.

“How we convey this interpretation through our visualisation will hopefully encourage people to think about the wider significance of the site in the Iron Age.

“For example, the location of the Law is incredibly striking with a vast view of the surrounding landscape and other nearby hillforts, such as East Lomond and Norman’s Law.”

 ‘Reflections on Celts’ is a spotlight tour organised in partnership with National Museums Scotland and the British Museum. 

The exhibition is free and opens at The McManus on September 1 and will run until December 5, 2016.