Team explores the historic Bryn Celli Ddu tomb in North Wales
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is to explore new ways to engage with ancient prehistory at the internationally important monument of Bryn Celli Ddu tomb in Northern Wales.
The University has won an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) grant in collaboration with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), Aberystwyth University, and the Welsh Government Historic Environment service Cadw to explore these new methods. Dr Seren Griffiths, who is Lecturer in Archaeology, is the UCLan Co-I on the project.
An ancient chambered tomb, Bryn Celli Ddu is significant for being one of the most important prehistoric monuments in the whole of Northwest Europe. The site is around 5000 years old, though there is evidence of hunter-gatherers dating back 10,000 years in the surrounding landscape. Due to its importance, Bryn Celli Ddu is famous for attracting around 10,000 visitors every year.
The augmented and virtual reality systems will aim to provide novel and engaging ways of experiencing this complex site.
This research grant builds on Dr Griffiths’ fieldwork on the site, but this exciting project builds in an innovative a digital component. The project aims to develop an augmented reality visual reconstruction using sound-art to allow visitors to experience the full history of the tomb. The project, worth more than £70,000 funded by the EPSRC and AHRC is part of a new scheme that explores the future of immersive experiences.
The aim is to produce a multimedia augmented reality app with soundscapes and visuals which immerses the viewer in different perceptions of the past at this internationally important site.
Dr Griffiths said: “The augmented and virtual reality systems will aim to provide novel and engaging ways of experiencing this complex site. It also represents a truly collaborative engagement working with Dr Ben Edwards of MMU, Dr Ffion Reynolds of Cadw and Dr Bernie Tiddeman of Aberystwyth, as well as industry partners and creative visual and sound artists.”