Speculum Dianae. Nemi at Nottingham
Ever wondered how it felt for a Roman to be in a sanctuary at a time when it was still fully operational? To attend a religious ritual? Or to place an object there, to dedicate it, and to ask the gods for something good to happen to you, or say your thanks for something good you had received?
These were all questions we wanted to provide answers for when we embarked on our project “Speculum Dianae [Latin for: Mirror of Diana]. Nemi at Nottingham”; a project in the shape of a website which uses modern tools, pod casts and digital greeting cards, to generate a virtual temple and bring ancient experiences closer to our own modern perceptions. We, that are: Ann Inscker from the Nottingham Castle Museums and Galleries; and from the University of Nottingham Damian Schofield, Jez Noond, Jack March (School of Computer Science), and myself (Department of Classics)...
...For the Nemi website, we focused our different approaches on the objective to show our audience how people see ‑ in our case the Romans, Lord Savile, and we ourselves as modern interpreters – and how they experience the world which surrounds them. At its core is the attempt to single out segments of this experience of seeing and understanding ancient material, and in this specific case an ancient sanctuary. By working through these segments, you can construct an experience of the sanctuary which re-enacts to a certain degree the one an ancient visitor to the site would have had. At the same time however, you can also experience all the variables, necessities for assumptions and deductions from current practices that form the basis of modern archaeological research.
In doing this, we wanted to move away from an absolute reconstruction, allowing you to experiment with multiple interpretations of the evidence. This is meant to maintain the critical distance to the reconstruction of the site – a distance missing from many modern 3D reconstructions which frequently replace historical uncertainty with impressive computer-generated reconstructions, and critical analysis with a ‘seeing is believing’ attitude which negates what this very process of seeing actually incorporates... [Source of the description of the site]