Last week, the partners of the #H2020 iMARECulture research project, i.e. the 3D Research srl, the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT), the Masaryk University of Brno (MU) of the Czech Republic, the Univerzitet u Sarajevu (UoS) of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the #ISCR Institute for Conservation and Restoration of the MIBACT, tested the technologies developed in the project within the Underwater Archeological Park of Baia.
Thanks to the precious collaboration with the Archaeological Park of the Phlegraean Fields, it was possible to test the systems and technologies developed by 3D Research and MU for the underwater visit in augmented reality, inside the Villa with the Protiro entrance. In particular, the 3D Research tested, for the first time in the submerged site of Baia, an innovative underwater location system that allows divers to view, through a tablet housed in a waterproof case, their position on the map of the archaeological site, to receive information contextualized in relation to its position and, above all, to enjoy a spectacular 3D reconstruction that shows the visitor how the villa could appear in its heyday. The results are extremely encouraging and, during the tests, important data were collected regarding the navigation system functioning, which will be further refined and optimized during the next months. Augmented reality applied to the submerged environment represents an absolute novelty in the field of underwater technologies. This technology, in fact, will allow visitors of the Submerged Archaeological Park to fully enjoy the dive and appreciate the richness and extent of the ancient Roman villas of Baia, now submerged due to the bradyseism phenomenon. Furthermore, immersive virtual reality systems were tested too within the wonderful setting of the Aragonese Castle, where the Archaeological Museum of the Phlegrean Fields is located. Through a viewer, these systems allow those who do not dive to virtually visit the Villa with the Protiro entrance, reliving scenes of daily life, rebuilt by the UoS, according to the storytelling approach. The 3D reconstruction of the Villa, usable both in Virtual Reality and in Augmented Underwater Reality, was realized according to the recommendations of the ISCR archaeologists and in particular of Barbara Davidde who also coordinated the activities carried out in the sea. All the tests carried out in these days, as part of the iMARECulture project, have been documented by a troupe of the Euronews station, who also interviewed the partners during the activities at sea and at the Aragonese Castle of Baia.