New Virtual Reality Experience Transports Viewer Inside Spanish Paleolithic Caves Seen By Only 50 People In 16,000 Years
In the caves of La Garma mountain in Northern Spain, there were only 50 other people, a novel archeological site with one of the most important international collections of rock art and archeological stays in the Paleolithic age.
La Garma is a UNESCO World Heritage site as part of the Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art in northern Spain. La Garma houses five levels of caves and is considered the most important Paleolithic archaeological discovery since the mid-twentieth century.
The cave’s lower gallery, which was discovered in 1995 features the world’s biggest example of paleolithic flooring. The flooring and ancient stays inside the cave have been neatly preserved through a landslide 16,000 years ago that sealed off the cave to the elements.
Two decades after the rediscovery and preliminary learning about the lower gallery at La Garma, scientists saw the need for additional study of the cave’s underground system—its microclimate and microbiology—and assessment of the state of conservation of the rock art.
With the support of American shoe dressmaker Stuart Weitzman, who has been producing footwear in Spain for the reason that the 1970s, the World Monuments Fund has been working on a project to conserve and promote La Garma with Morena Films and Overlat studio.
A multidisciplinary team of experts have been studying the cave’s ecosystem and archaeological remains. Two short documentaries and a virtual reality experience have been produced to allow people to enjoy and learn about this extraordinary site.
Now anyone can “travel” to Northern Spain on a virtual consult with those hardly ever visited Spanish caves Memoria: Stories of La Garma, through award-winning VR director Rafael Pavón, is a new virtual reality revel in simply introduced through Viveport, the arena’s first limitless VR subscription service.
This VR experience is really the only way to learn about these fascinating caves due to the danger of the site.
Only 50 people have physically been able to enter them in the past 16,000 years and the caves are off-limits to the public but by mapping them for VR, they can now be viewed virtually by anyone.
Memoria premiered in 2019 on the Museum of Prehistory and Archaeology of Cantabria in Santander and it used to be this museum’s staff who worked with Rafael Pavon on the VR experience.
Narrated by Geraldine Chaplin (The Crown, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), this VR film is an incredible story from the Paleolithic era about a community who on returning from hunting discovered that the La Garma caves they called home had been blocked off by a landslide, creating a time capsule.
Thousands of relics, from cave-wall paintings of animals and signs to animal bones, seashells, and artifacts carved in bone, remained undisturbed and intact for 16,000 years.
So what is the VR experience like, what equipment is required and how much does it cost? The Memoria: Stories of La Garma VR experience is impressive and is compatible with most VR headsets.
The user can “walk” around three spaces of the cave, captured with millimetric precision using laser scanners and photogrammetry.
The viewer will see paleolithic hunters, a mother, and her child and a cave lion who made his way deep into the cave to live his final days.
You can watch videos about the caves but the nature of VR means people can physically explore the caves, virtually pick things up, and become immersed, as if they were in the caves.
A UK viewer of the content makes an onetime purchase for £4.56 from Viveport and then can view the experience repeatedly.
Alternatively, Viveport has an unlimited VR subscription service called Infinity that can be purchased as a monthly (£12.99) or annual subscription (works out as £8.99/month), allowing unlimited access to their entire range of content.