Three-dimensional reconstructions of archaeological sites are becoming increasingly commonplace as a means of visualisation. There are many reasons for this, but primary amongst them include:

To an extent, all of these factors are inter-related in a complex series of feed-backs, pre-requisites and deterministic logics, and it is not the intention of this paper to investigate these. However, it is apparent that, as with most computer-related aspects of archaeology, there is an inexorable trajectory of development or 'progress' making it as well to periodically pause and take stock from an archaeological, rather than a purely technological, perspective.

This is hardly an original proposal - others have examined the use of reconstruction models in archaeology before, and questioned certain aspects of them (for example, , ), and some have examined the nature of virtual reality and immersive technologies in archaeology (for example, , , ). In spite of this, it seems clear that solutions to issues or 'problems' that have been raised by these and others have yet to find general application. This paper will focus on two of these and add a third:

  1. The focus of most models on classical or Romanesque architecture ( , 20).
  2. The lack of alternative visualisations ( , 20).
  3. The lack of an integral three-dimensional topographical context for the modelled structures.

These issues will be addressed through the vehicle of a case study which was set up to address these issues, and which, while incomplete in certain respects, demonstrates a number of approaches.


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