New app takes a time travel trip to area’s Roman past

This re-enactor simulates a Syrian archer in the Roman Army.  Besides being able to hit troublesome Celtic tribesmen at a distance it's thought they may also have been very useful for hunting game.
This re-enactor simulates a Syrian archer in the Roman Army. Besides being able to hit troublesome Celtic tribesmen at a distance it's thought they may also have been very useful for hunting game.

They were the first known Syrian immigrants to what is now Scotland, and unlike most soldiers in the imperial Roman army their main weapon was the bow.

Now Historic Environment Scotland has launched a new app designed to inspire people to find out more about life at Bar Hill, the fort (near Twechar) first garrisoned by the First Cohort of Hamian Bowmen (cohors I Primae Hamiorum Saggitariorum).

The app includes an interactive Go Roman game, which has been developed by the Centre for Digital Documentation and Visualisation (CDDV) - a partnership between Historic Environment Scotland and The Glasgow School of Art.

It aims to help people discover what life was like at a Roman fort along the Antonine Wall in Scotland around 2,000 years ago using interactive virtual reconstructions.

The cutting-edge technology, incorporating detailed archaeological research, motion capture and highly accurate 3D scanning, allows users to “step back in time”.

Lyn Wilson, Digital Documentation Manager for HES and Project Manager with the CDDV, said: “We want to encourage parents and educators to incorporate this type of interactive activity and virtual access into children’s learning.

“At HES we are always looking for new ways to engage and stimulate young people in exploring Scotland’s rich history.

“So it’s exciting for us to apply virtual reconstruction to bring to life key World Heritage Sites enriching our young people’s historical knowledge.”

Artefacts featured in the game (found at Bar Hill) have been scanned from originals which are on display at the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow.

Accurate replica artefacts, based on the real ones, have also been commissioned.

The app is available to download on both Apple and Android Devices at https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/go-roman/id1251988769?mt=8 and https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dds.barhillgame