Daniel PLETINCKX / Dries NOLLET / Carlotta CAPURRO
(Visual Dimension bvba, Belgium)
Ename has been founded as a trade settlement at the river Scheldt around 965 AD. Around 985 AD, it became also the local capital of the region. It had a major harbour, one of the earliest stone keeps in West-Europe, a palace building and local production of several products, such as linen, pottery and jewellery. The Saint-Laurentius church is a still standing monument of that time, containing the oldest murals of the Low Countries, including a very high quality fresco of a Maiestas Domini. When it is destroyed (1033 AD) and annexated (1047 AD) by the count of Flanders, the trade settlement is replaced in 1063 AD by a Benedictine abbey that dominates the village until 1795 AD.
The site has been excavated for more than 30 years, in the period 1942-1947, 1978 and 1982-2004. In the 1990s, the evolution of the Ename landscape was studied in detail and published. A geophysical survey (resistivity and magnetometer) has been executed in 2003. The extensive archaeological and geophysical research and the in-depth historical study of the trade settlement, abbey and surrounding landscape give a solid base for the virtual reconstruction of the site and its surrounding landscape. In the period 1997-2004, a virtual reconstruction of the site has been made for 13 phases in the period 1020-1780. In the period 2012-2014, 9 phases have been revised extensively and completed with landscape simulation, based upon the available landscape studies.
Currently, Ename has a museum, an archaeological park, a registered monument, a historical nature reserve and a heritage centre. Visual Dimension has its offices in Ename. The video shows the virtual reconstructions, made by Visual Dimension since 1997 and its different presentation forms for the public, on the archaeological site, in the museum and in the heritage centre.
Keywords: Ename, virtual reconstruction, historical landscapes, archaeological visualisation, interactive 3D visualisation