The Antonine Wall Through an AI Lens


Last year we saw the launch of the world's first UNESCO trail. This trail exhibits Scotland's most diverse, iconic and historically significant sites. National tourism organisation VisitScotland hosts this digital trail and have recently reimagined each of the UNESCO designations through AI-art generating technology, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site running through Falkirk: The Antonine Wall


AI-generated art has taken the online world by storm in recent years, most recently becoming a trend on the social media platform TikTok. The AI-generators work by learning the aesthetics of specific locations from images and information input and then combining them to form abstract graphics of each Scottish destination. 


The UNESCO trail aims to support the creation of responsible and sustainable locations for tourists from around the globe by drawing attention to the wonders Scotland has to offer. In our previous blog on this trail, we explored the physicality of the wall, but today, we will delve into the rich heritage of this UNESCO designation and identify the similarities between the AI and the history behind the image!


Antonine Wall AI

 The Antonine Wall - AI-generated image


A brief history of the Antonine Wall


Built under the orders of Roman Emperor Antonius Pius in 142 AD, lined by 17 forts and patrolled by 7,000 soldiers, this wall aimed to protect the northern Frontier of Rome. These measures evoked great fear amongst the Scottish people and were a source of ongoing disconcertion during periods of conflict. The AI-generated imagery depicts the extent of dense military occupation along the wall.


The Frontier forms a partition between the Firth of Forth and the Banks of the Firth of Clyde (spanning 39 miles). These imposing walls' scale is noticeable in the image above when contrasted with the scale of the armed soldiers. The imagery also successfully captures the grandeur of the Armour worn by the soldiers and the rich culture and functionality behind it.


Today, the best-preserved segments of the wall still pay homage to the original scale of the marvel and can be visited from several locations across the site. A route along the wall will take you on a historical journey where you can allow your imagination to run wild, thinking about the rich past the AI-generated image shows. The wall has a range of terrain, with everything from picturesque countryside, ancient paths, and hearty farmland.


1 Kinneil Fortlet

 Kinneil Roman Fortlet


This ambitious engineering project heavily exploited the defensive features of the local landscape, utilising the steep hills and sudden drops to create an effective yet architecturally genius structure perfectly captured by the AI-generated image. Unlike Hadrien's Walls' stone composition, the Antonine Wall is made from ramparts and turf, which works synonymously to produce such an ultramodern military installation.


Beyond the wall itself, Falkirk is home to a range of green tourist destinations which are definitely worth a visit! The Blackness Castle is an artillery fortress originally built for the Crichton family in the 15th century. This magnificent stone structure has been used as a filming location for Hamlet and the BBC production Ivanhoe. Other sites of great historical and industrial significance include the Falkirk Wheel and Callander House! There are locations and opportunities to appeal to everyone's interests!

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Falkirk Trinity Church - Sir John de Graham Tomb


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