A year or so ago, I found these awesome 3D animations of roman house reconstructions. Ancient Vine and the Museum of Victoria created the first reconstruction discussed in the article which is of a ‘generic’ roman domus. Gilles Saubestre published the second reconstruction which is the Domus of Domitia Longina. What great educational resources!
Below I’ve included some ideas on how to use these animations in the classroom. These types of activities develop historical analysis and research skills as well as build knowledge of the ancient Roman world. In terms of the NSW curriculum, these ideas are relevant to Stage 4 History, Stage 5 Elective History, and Stage 6 Ancient History.
Activity Ideas Using the Roman Domus Animations
Use the animations as a springboard for object or topic research. For example; did dining rooms actually look like this? Are there any known dining rooms that were totally different? What is a lararium? Did all houses follow the same plan? What is an alae for?
Students pick an object or painting depicted in the animations and find a similar example in a museum. I think this activity is great for practising research skills!
Watch the first animation, Virtual Roman House, and ask students to discover what sources may have been used to create the animation.
Compare the historical evidence for a Roman domus with the animations. How closely does the Virtual Roman House match the historical evidence?
Compare and contrast the 3D reconstruction of Villa Domitia2.mov with the excavation evidence.
Hold a class discussion considering the pros and cons of reconstructing the past visually. I think this activity would be great for senior history classes studying historical interpretation.
So what do you think? Post below if you have more ideas on how to use these animations in the classroom and if you showed your class these animations let me know!
While you’re here, check out some more history teaching tips: