Ancient Jerusalem Comes Alive in New Virtual-Reality App

By Tom Metcalfe, Live Science Contributor, April 6, 2017. Visitors to Jerusalem and virtual tourists alike can now see the city as it looked in ancient history, with a virtual-reality app based on archaeological reconstructions of the city at the height of its splendor under Roman rule in the first century.

The program, named “Lithodomos VR,” is a paid android app for smartphones and portable virtual-reality headsets that was launched on Google Play in December 2016. The app sells for $1.99 on Google Play, and $2.99 in the Apple App Store. Developed by Simon Young, an archaeology doctoral student at the University of Melbourne in Australia, the app includes a 3D virtual view of the area around Jerusalem’s Western Wall, where the ancient stone walls of the city’s Temple Mount can still be seen.

The VR scenes of Jerusalem in the Lithodomos VR app are based on the archaeology of the city years after Herod rebuilt the Temple Mount around 20 B.C., Young said, and before the destruction of the temple precinct by Roman troops in A.D 70, during the rebellion against Roman rule that became known as the Jewish Revolt (read more).