To create the simulation, digital images were taken of the vast
Plastico di Roma Antica model kept at the Museum of Roman Civilisation as
well as laser scans of modern Rome.
A panel of archaeologists also advised on how statues and monuments
would look if they had not been darkened by pollution.
In addition, ancient maps and building catalogues detailing "apartment
buildings, private houses, inns, storage facilities, bakeries and even
brothels" were used, Mr Frischer said.
The project will be used to carry out further research into Ancient
Rome's way of life and will be updated according to new archaeological
"This is the first step in the creation of a virtual time machine,
which our children and grandchildren will use to study the history of Rome
and many other great cities around the world," he said.
"For example, in scholarly literature the Colosseum has a great
reputation for being a great people mover where people could find their
seats very quickly. But estimates of the carrying capacity vary wildly
from 35,000 to 78,000," he said.
Talks are said to have begun with Linden Labs to make the entire
simulation available on the internet through the company's virtual world
The 3D animations based on the simulation will eventually be made
available to tourists to prepare them for their visit to the Colosseum,
the Forum, or the imperial palaces on the Palatine.