The digital munya project took its current shape following the first Wired! summer workshop at Duke University, and a series of conversations between Glaire Anderson (Art History, UNC-CH), and Anselmo Lastra (Computer Science, UNC-CH).

Aerial, original SketchUp model

The project has its basis in Anderson’s dissertation research as a PhD student in the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture (AKPIA) at MIT between 1999-2005.  Subsequent investigations at the al-Rummaniyya site, led by Felix Arnold of the German Archaeological Institute and Antonio Vallejo Triano of the Conjunto Arqueológico de Madinat al-Zahra’, provided important new material evidence about Rummaniyya’s architecture and landscape setting, including the discovery of a previously-unknown reception hall south of the monumental pool.

With funding from UNC’s Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Development, Anderson and fellow AKPIA alum, architect Philippe Saade, created a Google SketchUp model based on the new archaeology, in support of Anderson’s forthcoming book, The Islamic Villa in Early Medieval Iberia. This SketchUp model became the basis for the 3-D model, developed with further funding from UNC’s Center for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS), that is at the heart of our game.