Nimrud Rising: An Immersive Virtual Reality Recreation of a Lost Site

Posted in: Ancient Near East Today, ASOR
294000 By: Peter Herdrich In March, 2015, reports from the Iraqi Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities confirmed that agents of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) had attacked the ancient Assyrian capital city of Nimrud in northeastern Iraq, just eighteen miles southeast of Mosul. Then, on April 12, 2015, the terrorists of ISIS released a video documenting the willful demolition of the Northwest Palace, the home of King Ashurnasirpal II and an excavation site since Sir Austen Henry Layard’s expedition of the 1840s. After 2,800 years of history, the terrorists had wiped the most famous and culturally significant building at Nimrud from the face of the earth. To offset these losses, Donald H. Sanders of Learning Sites, Inc. and Peter Herdrich of the Cultural Capital Group have created Nimrud Rising. Offering an alternative to the dynamiting of the Northwest Palace, we are using innovative digital technology solutions to create an immersive virtual reality recreation of Nimrud. Our goal is to provide a digital replica of the palace of Ashurnasirpal II and the surrounding citadel area where anyone can visit the site, learn about that ancient culture, and understand how the palace was lost and why. Exterior, Northwest Palace, from Nimrud Rising. All images courtesy of Peter Herdich. Dr. Donald H. Sanders (center) with viewer wearing VR headset Donning

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