Forget that “X” marks the spot.
An amazing online map has been created that locates all archeological treasures across Europe – and beyond – and retrieves information about them at the touch of a button.
Called ViciThe interactive digital map is referred to as the “archaeological atlas of classical antiquity”.
It’s inspired by Wikipedia, and since its launch in 2011, more than 400 contributors have added images and information about locations and artifacts to the map. To date, more than 85,000 places are marked on the map and almost 40,000 pictures are available.
To make it easier to find, the exact coordinates of each location are given.
An amazing online map has been created that locates all archeological treasures across Europe – and beyond – and retrieves information about them at the touch of a button
The interactive digital map, called Vici, is described as an “archaeological atlas of classical antiquity”.
With a particular focus on Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, sites featured on Vici.org include the Roman villa at Lullingstone, Kent, which is dated about AD 75 and has “rich mosaic tiled floors” and a burial chamber.
There are also remains of Trajan’s Bridge in Romania – which was the longest arched bridge in the world for more than 1,000 years – and Malta, which is around 5,000 years old Mnajdra temple complex.
Rene Voorburg, who created the map, tells MailOnline Travel: “New places are added almost every day by the contributors.” “Some are very active and have added thousands of markers.”
The launch of Vici was preceded by that of a sister site. Omnesviaewhich acts as a “Roman route planner” and roughly traces the route of the Peutinger map, a medieval copy of a Roman road map from 300 AD.
Rene, 54, who lives in the small Dutch town of Houten, says: “Vici.org was created because I wanted a map showing the locations of hidden and visible Roman remains for my area.” Basically, I wanted ” see” what was where in Roman times; Where was the vicus (village), the port, the castle, where were the roads and so on?
Suggested historical sites appear in a sidebar when you hover over a section of the map
Above is the information on the Roman Villa at Lullingstone, Kent. To make it easier to find, the exact coordinates of each location are given
The launch of Vici was preceded by the launch of a sister website, Omnesviae (above), which functions as a ‘Roman route planner’.
Above is Rene Voorburg, who created the Vici and Omnesviae maps
The landscape archeology expert, who works as a data specialist for the Dutch National Library, says that while the map initially focused on Roman history, it quickly evolved into an all-encompassing map of antiquity through the end of the Middle Ages. Some of the markers also identify museums around the world that house objects from antiquity.
A prominent feature on the map, according to Rene, is a dice tower — a small tower used for rolling dice — that was discovered in a Roman villa in Germany.
The words engraved on the tower commemorate the military defeat of the Picts, a group of people who lived in Britain in the early Middle Ages. Rene says of the artifact, “I find it fascinating to think about how it got there.” Perhaps the villa’s owner fought the Picts and was given this as a souvenir before settling in present-day Germany?
How does Rene recommend users to interact with the map? He says, “Personally, I like to ‘walk’ around this map by dragging it around and zooming in and out and looking at the images that come up.” “When I’m vacationing somewhere, I use vici.org too to find interesting remains for me to visit.”
Omnesviae, meanwhile, gives a “hint” to where the Roman roads might have been in Europe, rather than giving exact coordinates and routes, Rene reveals. Its purpose is “to tell the story of how far the Romans had progressed and what a vast empire they had”.
He adds: “I also like that it connects and connects us Europeans with a common – and rather cool – history.”
To experiment with Vici – or contribute to the map – go to Vici.org.