New digital model of Skara Brae helps investigate impacts of climate change

3D scans show how Historic Environment Scotland (HES) is investigating climate change impacts at the World Heritage site in Orkney.

image: HES

…showcases how we are using cutting-edge technology to monitor and maintain our historic environment…

Historic Environment Scotland(HES) writes:

It may be older than Stonehenge and even the Pyramids at Giza, but Historic Environment Scotland (HES) is bringing over 5,000 years of history at Skara Brae in Orkney into the 21st century with a new digital 3D model of the site.

The model, available to view on Sketchfab, allows virtual visitors an immersive digital experience of the Neolithic settlement, including the unique opportunity to gain virtual access to House 7, the best-preserved house at Skara Brae which is not normally accessible to the public….

Al Rawlinson, Head of Digital Innovation and Learning at HES, said:

“We’re really pleased to make this 3D model of Skara Brae available, which not only offers an innovative way to access this unique site, but one which also showcases how we are using cutting-edge technology to monitor and maintain our historic environment.

“As we reflect on COP26 and the challenges ahead, we want to demonstrate that in order to protect our past from the impacts of climate change, we must look to the future.

“Digital technology such as this will be a vital tool to help us better understand and manage the climate risks to our historic places, and to share their climate stories.”

Dr Alistair Rennie, Dynamic Coast Project Manager, said:

“Whilst the challenge posed by climate change is stark, new technologies like those deployed by HES, increase our ability to monitor, learn, collaborate and find new approaches to become sea-level wise and adapt to our future climate.”

The model was created using laser scan data captured as part of the Rae project, which aims to accurately digitally document over 300 heritage sites and their collections in the care of HES.

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