These 3-D Models Offer a Digital Glimpse Into 3,000 Years of Athens’ History

by Katherine J. Wu/Smithsonianmag.com

The Golden Age of Athens is long over. But thanks to photographer-animator Dimitris Tsalkanis, you can still stroll through the ancient city during its most prosperous time—at least in digital form.

A native of Greece’s (modern) capital, Tsalkanis has spent the past 13 years recreating the long-gone chapters of Athens’ history with 3-D modeling software, reports Sarah Rose Sharp for Hyperallergic. The product, an aptly-named website called Ancient Athens 3D, is an immersive experience unto itself, featuring the city’s monuments and landmarks through seven periods that date as far back as 1200 B.C., during the Mycenaean era, up through the early modern period, during the 19th century A.D.

In crafting the site, which first launched in 2008, Tsalkanis let waves of architecture guide the delineations of his seven featured eras, whose start and end dates overlap with—but don’t perfectly match—those in textbooks, according to the Greek City Times. Selecting one of the periods from the site’s menu takes the user to a page with a brief history lesson and links to individual monuments, rendered with each era’s architectural additions.

The website takes a bit of an open-source approach, adding tweaks or updates every time new data on Athens’ ancient archaeology

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