The Virtual Lough Key Project uses a variety of cutting edge technologies to recreate and explore the medieval landscape of Lough Key, Co Roscommon, Ireland. Lough Key was an important landscape in medieval Gaelic Ireland, as it was the setting for a number of important monastic sites in addition to the Rock of Lough Cé, the caput of the MacDermot dynasty of Connacht. Recent research into a variety of sites and topics related to Lough Key were recently presented in Medieval Lough Cé: History, Archaeology, Landscape (Four Courts Press, 2010), edited by Dr. Thomas Finan.
VLKP will take a variety of freely available digital information and archaeological survey data and recompile it all in an interactive format using GoogleEarth as the primary mode of exploration. Similar projects have been undertaken at other heritage sites around the world, most notably with the Rome Reborn Project.
What will make this project so innovative is the ability to change and alter digital reconstructions based upon particular options selected by the viewer. The choices will then lead the viewer to a better understanding of likely archaeological and historical interpretations of complicated and sometimes contentious issues in medieval Irish studies.
The project is in Phase I right now, which is the collection and manipulation of data to be presented in the viewer. We will be posting material on this shortly!