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festival of archaeology 2020 

Digital archaeology is among the exciting themes covered in this year's festival.

How fortunate then that Ross Baker has chosen Oakham Castle for his digital archaeology Master's study.    Below are Ross's fantastic digital 3D models of how Oakham Castle may have looked in its hayday, based on archaeology undertaken in the past 70 years. 


Ross introduces the project aims at the bottom of this page,  


We hope you enjoy this intriguing insight.

Many thanks to Ross for sharing this with us. 

Great Hall with photograph of wall.jpg

My name is Ross Baker and I am a master’s student in digital archaeology at the University of York. The following screenshots are taken from my dissertation, in which I am creating a prototype for an interactive touchscreen that could support a new exhibit at Oakham Castle, dedicated to the archaeological activity that has taken place at the historic site. This will involve creating a 3D model of the medieval castle to help visitors visualise the site in its medieval context, based upon historical documents and archaeological data from the earliest excavations in the 1950s to the present. While the model is still in development, the hope is to provide a breakdown of the most significant buildings and features of the medieval castle on the interface. This will be supported by diagrams and text that will explain how the archaeology is shaping our current understanding of the development of medieval castle at Oakham.

While attention has been taken to ensure that the 3D model supports the archaeological findings, there will be some aspects of the visualisation that can be built with some certainty and other parts where there is limited archaeological evidence and thus are largely hypothetical. While most of the excavations have focused primarily on the grounds around the Great Hall, which remains the sole building to have survived from the medieval period, the discovery of a potential workshop/brewery to the north of the grounds by the University of Leicester Archaeological Service (ULAS), reveals some of the unique findings that are just being found and may yet to be unearthed at the castle.   

Another aspect of the touchscreen will be to provide images and information on some of the important archaeological finds that have been discovered during excavations within the castle ground. The hope is for this interactive display to support a range of objects or replicas, to be housed within the Great Hall. The aim of this is to provide greater accessibility to visitors in terms of exploring the collection of materials that have been unearthed during excavations, but also to build a narrative of the daily life at the castle and the people who lived and worked there.

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