Exploring WLM: Romans

The UK is rich with heritage and the Romans left behind their mark on the landscape. Below are some striking pictures from the UK’s first two editions of Wiki Loves Monuments. Will you be adding your photos to the mix this year?

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Termas_romanas_de_BATH.jpg
The Roman baths at Bath. “Termas romanas de BATH” by Francisco Conde Sánchez is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Bath is a very popular subject for photographers, and it’s easy to see why!

Hadrian's Wall by Tilman2007
08-Hadrians Wall-034” by Tilman2007 is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Marking the northern extent of the Roman Empire, Hadrian’s Wall stretches for miles.

Remains of the Roman baths in Leicester
The Jewry Wall in Leicester. “Remains of a Roman bath house” by Purusothaman is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
Masonry of the Jewry Wall by Purusothaman
Masonry of the Jewry Wall. “Roman bath house232” by Purusothaman is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
Banded masonry at the Jewry Wall by Purusothaman
Banded masonry at the Jewry Wall. “Roman bath house40-1” by Purusothaman is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Roman baths at Leicester have distinctive bands of red brick

North Leigh Roman Villa by Lolalatorre
North Leigh Roman Villa” by Lolalatorre is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
A Roman capital reused as a font at St Andrew's Church, Wroxeter
A Roman capital reused as a font at St Andrew’s Church, Wroxeter. “THE FONT A RECYCLED ROMAN CAPITAL” by HARTLEPOOLMARINA2014 is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Two Roman columns reused as gate piers at St Andrew's Church, Wroxeter by HARTLEPOOLMARINA2014
Two Roman columns reused as gate piers at St Andrew’s Church, Wroxeter. “WROXETER CHURCH OF ST ANDREW” by HARTLEPOOLMARINA2014 is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Roman buildings provided a handy source of building materials, and the buildings were often dismantled for the stone to be used elsewhere.

Chester Roman amphitheatre by Emdee314
Chester Roman amphitheatre. “Roman Amphitheatre” by Emdee314 is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Every good Roman town needed an amphitheatre. There were at least 230 across the Empire.

York city walls with Roman foundations by Mkooiman
York city walls with Roman foundations. “York UK Wall Roman Foundation” by Mkooiman is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Roman walls made a good foundation for later buildings, as seen here at York.

The Roman lighthouse at Dover by Brendaannc
Roman light house Dover” by Brendaannc is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
The Roman walls of the fort at Portchester, later adapted into a medieval castle. Photo by Johan Bakker.
The Roman walls of the fort at Portchester, later adapted into a medieval castle. “1229190-Portchester Castle” by Johan Bakker is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

The defences of an abandoned Roman fort made an easily reused site for later castles.

The Roman town walls at Colchester by Maria
Colchester’s Roman walls. “The Roman Town Wall” by Maria is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
The baths within the remains of Wroxeter Roman city by Stewart Watkiss
The baths within the remains of Wroxeter Roman city. “Wroxeter Roman City remains” by Stewart Watkiss is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Want to know more about Roman Britain? Wikipedia has a wealth of information about it, including a recreation of a Roman fort by Rotherham Museums and Archives. Get snapping ready for September!

One Million Images

Stockholm Palace. An entry from last year’s Wiki Loves Monuments. Photo by Arild Vågen CC-BY-SA 3.0.

One million images uploaded so far to the world’s largest photo contest – Wiki Loves Monuments.

In this year’s competition so far 150,000 images from 40 different countries have been uploaded. This means that since Wiki Loves Monuments started four years ago more than 1,000,000 photos of cultural heritage have been shared through Wikimedia Commons.

Wiki Loves Monuments is the world’s largest photography contest, and aims to collect images under a free licence for use on Wikimedia sites to document historic sites and monuments. Now in its fourth year, 5,000 people from around the world have taken part this month.

Volunteer Wikimedians organise the contest in each country, with the winning photos from national contests elevated to an international jury in November. The international jury will announce the top ten international photos and the overall best picture winner in December.

“With over one million free images of heritage sites across the world, Wiki Loves Monuments is one of the world’s most important projects dealing with history today”, says Deror Lin, the international coordinator of the competition. “Year after year, volunteers document hundreds of thousands of heritage sites across the world, upload the images to the Internet under a free licence, for the benefit of the current generation and the next generations. These people display the splendor of creativity and culture in their countries”.

The photos will be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons under a free licence, so they can be used by anybody, for any purpose, as long as the photographer is credited. Many of the photos will appear in Wikipedia, the world’s largest encyclopedia, and all will be available to download at no cost.

Common errors – camera handling

Please try to avoid these common errors, as they make your photographs much less useful.

Click on the right of the main image to step through the errors.

Common errors – auto settings

Please try to avoid these common errors, as they make your photographs much less useful.

Click on the right of the main image to step through the errors.

Common errors – subjects

Please try to avoid these common errors, as they make your photographs much less useful.

Click on the right of the main image to step through the errors.

Why are we doing this?

This article was originally posted to https://www.wikilovesmonuments.org on 29 December 2012 by , one of the international organizers.

In the past year, we’ve often had the question “why are you doing this?”. Many people outside the Wikimedia movement assume at first that this must be a professional job for me, as one of the organizers – and when you explain that we’re doing this almost fully by volunteers, and hundreds of them, people are often flabbergasted.

Volunteers who helped organize Wiki Loves Monuments. Photo: Pierre Selim, CC BY-SA

Wikipedia is written by volunteers, and Wiki Loves Monuments is primarily organized by volunteers. In that sense, both are very much the same. But Wiki Loves Monuments doesn’t stand on itself as a project, like Wikipedia does. So when people think about why volunteers are working on organizing this mega photo contest, they first assume that it must be about all the photos we’re collecting – because we all love photography.

And of course, that plays a role. But there’s more to it. For example, it is a great way to develop more skills and enthusiasm in our chapters. Wiki Loves Monuments is a well documented initiative, which makes it easier to organize. Some infrastructure is already in place, and it is a good excuse to get in touch with potential partners who are into cultural heritage in their country. The combination of promoting local cultural heritage, a competition element and Wikipedia has proven to be a golden one.

But more importantly, as a movement we have been working to get more people involved in contributing to Wikipedia and its sister projects. And that is just what Wiki Loves Monuments is: an easier and nicer way to contribute content to Wikipedia! You can upload photos which you know will be useful, and you can see the result of it rather quickly. The interface is simplified and if you get the hang of it you already know a topic you can move forward. We get in touch with people we’d normally hardly meet: people who love cultural heritage you can find on the streets: houses, churches, temples, castles or other tangible heritage. Some of these people, often a bit older than the average Wikipedian (27 year old man), might become more interested in editing on cultural heritage topics on Wikipedia.

But maybe the key reason why we’re doing this all is awareness. Making people aware that Wikipedia is run by volunteers. Making people aware that Wikipedia can be edited by anyone. Making people aware that they have much valuable material that can be shared under a free license. Making people aware that they can choose for their photos and writings to lie on the shelf, unused, or to be published under a free license, be re-used by others and built upon. Working, step by step, to that world where every person can share in the sum of all human knowledge.