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New museum interactive launched at abbey

New museum interactive launched at abbey

A video showing how Glastonbury Abbey looked centuries ago has been released to coincide with a new museum interactive that showcases digital reconstructions of the Anglo-Saxon and medieval abbey.

The stunning video reconstruction illustrates the abbey in Saxon times, overlain with recent aerial footage to show where the Saxon churches were located in relation to the surviving medieval ruins. The reconstructions are based on archaeological evidence from investigations over the 20th century.

Glastonbury Abbey in Somerset is reputedly built on the site of the earliest Christian church in Britain, believed to have been founded by Joseph of Arimathea.

The new images have been created as part of work to enhance the experience for visitors to the internationally-renowned site and help bring the history, heritage and legends to life.

An interactive map and the opportunity to explore the history through the reconstructions have been installed at the abbey’s museum and new learning resources have been created to provide links to the National Curriculum for teachers.

The reconstructions are based on the archaeological evidence studied by a team led by award-winning archaeologist Professor Roberta Gilchrist.

Roberta, Professor of Archaeology at the University of Reading and an abbey Trustee, led the year-long project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

It follows her study of the archaeological excavations that took place at the medieval abbey during the last century, revealing that the site was occupied during the time of the legendary King Arthur who is said to be buried at the abbey.

Working with the University of York Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture, digital models have been created showing the scale of the churches and how the medieval abbey relates to these earlier foundations.

Professor Roberta Gilchrist said: “The digital reconstructions show the development of the abbey through different phases and allow us to visually demonstrate to visitors how spaces today relate to the abbey as it was in the past. The reconstructions also connect the archaeology to the legends, such as the site of Arthur’s tomb.”

Janet Bell, abbey director, said: “The reconstructions really bring the abbey’s past to life for visitors at the touch of a button. They are able to see how it is today compared to how it was; research of the highest quality has gone into developing these images.”

To view the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpNy4qIypt8.

Attached is a still from the film showing the Lady Chapel from the reconstruction and how it is today.

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Added: 4th October 2016