Sparta Basilica – 6th Century

Sparta Basilica Project

The Laconia Acropolis Virtual Archaeology project (LAVA) is a co-operative archaeological learning environment developed to address the need for students to be able to engage with realistic archaeological excavation scenarios.

The practice of fieldwork lies at the heart of archaeology yet poses particular problems for the learning of the subject. The opportunities for students to gain real-world fieldwork experience are limited. Even when available the roles that students can play, and responsibilities that they can take, are constrained.

The system helps students collaborate in exploring virtual archaeological excavations and facilitates them in constructing an improved understanding of the subject.

For this project we worked in conjunction with Dr Rebecca Sweetman, Senior Lecturer in Ancient History and Archaeology, School of Classics, University of St Andrews.

More on the LAVA Project at


Exploring the reconstructions

‌Via a web browser

First, please install the UNITY Web Player.

Then, you can explore the basilica by clicking here.  To move around, please use the arrow keys on your keyboard.

Using a desktop viewer

 Basilica is located here.   You will have to register a viewer and create an avatar on your first visit…………….

  1. Click on this link.
  2. Click on the ‘Login’ link at the top of the homepage.
  3. Create your avatar by entering these details in the ‘Register’ form:
    • A first name
    • A second name
    • A password
    • An email address
    • Then select an avatar from the drop-down list
  4. Click ‘Create.’
    You are taken to a page where you can download a viewer. 
  5. Click on the ‘Viewer Download’ button.
  6. Once the file (apollo.exe) has downloaded, run it.
    This will install the ‘Phoenix Firestorm’ viewer and put a shortcut on the desktop for future use. The viewer will launch automatically after installation.
  7. Login into to the World:
    1. As your username, enter: firstname second name (separated by a space).
      ‘Firstname’ and ‘secondname’ are the respective names you provided when you registered in step 3
    2. Enter the password you provided in step 3.
    3. Click the login button.
      This will take you to the virtual world. It may take some time to load.

Future visits

  1. Click on the desktop icon for the viewer.
  2. Login as in step 7 above.