How did Pompeians move through their city? A company called "Procedural," which seems to be based in Switzerland, has marshaled their expertise in urban modeling and computer programming to attempt an answer.
In their own words:
Pompeii was a Roman city, destroyed and completely buried during an eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius. We have revived its past by creating a 3D model of its previous appearance and populated it with crowds of Virtual Romans. In this paper, we detail the process, based on archaeological data, to simulate ancient Pompeii life in real time. In a first step, an annotated city model is generated using procedural modelling. These annotations contain semantic data, such as land usage, building age, and window/door labels. In a second phase, the semantics are automatically interpreted to populate the scene and trigger special behaviors in the crowd, depending on the location of the characters. Finally, we describe the system pipeline, which allows for the simulation of thousands of Virtual Romans in real time.
Check out their work on you tube:
You can read their paper as well:
An interesting idea, I think, but one that raises more questions than it answers. Some immediate ones: Where are the kids? Why is everyone walking alone? Why is everyone walking in the first place (as opposed to riding, leading animals, pushing something, etc.)? I'm curious about others' thoughts.