Thursday, April 22, 2010

Introducing ROMA Vinovium and ROMA Vicus!

Two new sims have been added to the ROMA estate! They represent an exciting, new partnership between ROMA and RL educational institutions and academics.

The Binchester Roman Excavations is an archaeological project that, starting this summer, will be excavating the ancient Roman fort of Binchester (ancient Vinovium) and its civilian settlement (vicus). Located in the UK, this important military garrison and town guarded the supply route (Deere Street) that ran north to Hadrian’s Wall during the Roman occupation of Britain. The fort was founded around 79 CE as part of the legions’ march north into native Brigantes territory, and was occupied for around four centuries, attracting a sizable settlement outside the fort walls. The archaeological project represents an important collaboration between Stanford University in the US and Durham University in the UK, and works with the archaeological unit of Durham County Council as well as the local community. Some of their archaeologists have an interest in virtual reconstructions of the ancient world and are already in SL. ROMA will be working with them in the near future to bring an exciting new feature to ROMA.

The two new sims, ROMA Vinovium and ROMA Vicus, have joined the estate north of the ROMA Transtiberim sim. They will house a full scale reconstruction of the Roman fort at Binchester and its adjacent civilian settlement. In addition, both sims will contain interactive installations explaining the history of the site, the Roman invasion of Britain, native culture, and many other aspects, including daily updates on the progress of the excavations during the summer season. It will therefore be possible to visit these stimulating excavations virtually from anywhere in the world. There will also be areas for social and educational events, and ROMA Citizens will be encouraged to become involved in all aspects of the virtual representation of this bit of Roman archaeological heritage. The ROMA estate and its Citizenry will be a key link in forging connections between online worlds and an ongoing archaeological project.

The sims are being sponsored and paid for by, the Stanford University component of the excavations. ROMA will receive no financial support from this partnership, and continue to rely solely upon its Citizenry, land rentals, and donations to keep the rest of the estate open and flourishing.

Torin Golding will be building the Binchester reconstructions for the archaeological team, although there will be an opportunity for ROMA content creators to contribute and engage with this project as well. More details will follow soon. ROMA management and several ROMA groups will be able to partner with the archaeologists of the Binchester project. For now, the sims will be closed to the public to allow Torin to build. However, you can keep informed about the developments on this blog (, our official Twitter feed (, or from the following vantage points in the ROMA Transtiberim sim: the Collegium compound, the Legion XIII fort, the ROMA Hot Springs, and the Sibyl’s cave atop Mount Parnassus.

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