Up until today many of so called „Reihengräberfelder“ have been discovered and excavated. Neither the personal nor the financial resources of the official departments allow for the restoration of these complexes. For the future it is necessary to examine new, more efficient methods of analysis, of digital documentation and conservation and the production of archaeological reports.
A project is financed by DFG and located at the department of archaeology in Baden-Württemberg in cooperation with the University of Freiburg. Based on a comparison of methods the aim is to discover whether the usual and standard restoration can be accelerated or even replaced by modern digital documentation like x-ray or computer tomography, especially by objects that were excavated as a whole in a plaster cast. The study aims to show the possibilities and limits of 3 D computer tomography as opposed to conventional x-ray documentation in.
Documentation by computer tomography has the favourable effect of visualizing organic objects like bones, mussels and such, in some cases even leather or textile structures. Besides, this kind of digital documentation offers detailed information about microstratigraphy, state of preservation and technical details (elements of manufacture, decoration or construction/strata) and allows weighting the working progress of restoration (the pros and cons of usual conservation) and archaeological analysis.
This type of digital documentation makes it possible to rebuild objects in fragmentary form as a kind of “virtual restoration”, thus to preserving things digitally, that would otherwise be completely lost.

Key words: Lauchheim, x-ray, computer tomography, microstratigraphy, restoration, plaster cast