3D Artifact & Architectural Modeling


Visualization in archaeology has evolved considerably over time. 2D illustrations of ceramics, objects or building dominate excavation reports. Early on, 3D reconstructions were sometimes used as a way to bring the archaeological remains “to life” and making simple two-dimensional plans understandable to all.


Current technologies and software now allow us to develop new ways to explore data, and present it in new and frequently dramatic ways.Visualization techniques can also be used for 3D renderings of artifacts as well as architecture. For instance, the 3D model of the Zincirli citadel allows people to visualize the city of Sam’al in ways that cannot be done with simple 2D published plans and explore it interactively. A variety of objects can be seen and examined from all angles, irrespective of their size and their present location.


The 3D model of King Shupiluliuma, found in the excavation at Tell Tayinat, exhibited in the Antakya Museum in Turkey, or models of Early Bronze Pottery in the in the University of Chicago can now be visualized in the round, from anywhere in the world.


While the idea of creating 3D visualizations of archaeological remains is attractive, the cost of the software, technology and training are often prohibitive. As a result, large-scale 3D reconstruction of archaeological remains have remained out of reach for most projects. CRANE seeks to change this by developing workflows and tools using free and open source software that will allow researchers and students with moderate computer skills to undertake the complex visualizations.


These engaging and interactive visualizations can be used as educational, public outreach and cultural heritage management tools. They can also be used as research tools to examine spatial arrangements, or how spaces may have been experienced by the individuals who built and used them.


Get Adobe Flash player

3D Model of King Şupiluliuma of Walastin (Tell Tayinat), c. 860 BC. Use your mouse to zoom and rotate. This application requires Flash Player 11.2 (for Stage3D support)