Modeling the Past

It is amazing to track the progress that has been made within the entire field of digital humanities over the past few decades. The constant advances in technology have paved the way for the addition of exciting, new visualization tools to be used in digital humanities projects. For example, 3D modeling tools have become very popular and have given professionals as well as intrigued students the opportunity to create as well as experience complete 3D digital models. Diane Favro’s depiction of digital technologies in “Meaning in Motion. A Personal Walk Through Historical Simulation Modeling at UCLA”, gives a brief history of the evolution of 3D modeling at UCLA, specifically discussing its role in a roman architecture project. The ability to create a detailed virtual simulation using 3D modeling tools gives complete creative control to the creator of the model, and allows for an endless amount of final products. Having the ability to recreate intricate roman architecture virtually, and situate it in a specific time in history for others to explore is truly an amazing capability.


Diane Favro’s account of the Roman 3D modeling project specifically reminded me of another 3D model my ancient Egyptian history professor went over in our class. This ancient Egyptian model of Karnak (link), allows users to explore the famous Egyptian city virtually through the years to see its holistic progression as a city over time. 3D models similar to this one allow for students to learn about ancient times and places through visual understanding and exploration, rather than simply reading endless amounts of text. Being able to connect ideas and history with a visual location adds an extra element to one’s complete understanding of a specific topic. 3D modeling has revolutionized the capabilities of those in the digital humanities field and offers extremely unique perspectives that other forms of model are not able to provide. I am very interested to see where this technology goes in the future, as I believe there are still many facets within 3D modeling that have yet to be created and explored. The concept of 3D modeling had advanced and become a reality so quickly that it is exciting to think about how it will progress in the coming years. This technology will allow for historical sites to be preserved digitally and provide students as well as any other interested parties the chance to thoroughly explore any destination they desire. There possibilities are endless.



  1. Digital Karnak Project:
  2. Diane Favro. “Meaning in Motion. A Personal Walk Through Historical Simulation Modeling at UCLA”, in: Visualizing Statues in the Late Antique Forum