Many visitors (and would-be visitors) to the Antonine Wall World Heritage Site find the task of interpreting and understanding the visible archaeological remains somewhat challenging. Over a number of years in the role of Head of Multimedia in the Hunterian Museum, and as an Associate Lecturer with the School of Computing Science at the University of Glasgow, the author has been exploring ways of addressing this issue. Multimedia technologies have the potential to aid in the presentation and interpretation of archaeological sites, and their associated artefacts held in local museums collections, for a wide range of public audiences.
The coming of age of interactive digital information and communication technologies has provided cultural heritage organisations with a range of opportunities to utilise these ever more flexible digital technologies to provide access to their cultural resources in increasingly innovative ways. The advent of the World Wide Web, over 20 years ago now, presented heritage organisations with a unique opportunity to provide access to their resources to a truly global audience. Resources which hitherto were only available to those fortunate enough to live within travelling distance of archaeological sites or museum collections were suddenly accessible via the then new medium of web technology. Moreover, many museums around the world saw the potential to turn this new medium into additional virtual display space in which to reveal many artefacts that had been languishing in storage or in reserve collections.