(1Free University Berlin | 2EXC Topoi, Berlin, Germany)

Keywords: 3D GIS, 4D GIS, voxel, spatio-temporal analysis

The micro-scale analysis in this study shows new possibilities for analysing archaeological excavations by using 3D GIS.
The study shows the range of possibilities available for using standardised vector, raster and voxel data formats (OGC) in the open source environments GRASS GIS and ParaView. It allows the creation of a digital model of all documented archaeological information – including legacy data come from laser scan, SfM, AutoCAD drawings and photographs – in a real 3D co-ordinate system.
The addition of 3D geochemical and geophysical research data to the archaeological record allows a comparison of all gathered information, leading to a better understanding of archaeological remains. The course of stratigraphy can be detected throughout 3D space and common tools like filtering and querying can create new thematic 3D models, thereby allowing insight into entire structure and detecting 3D patterns.
The newly created 3D maps not only offer new possibilities for looking at archaeological facts from any perspective, but also allow the re-excavation in a spatio-temporal environment by adding the 4th dimension.
Furthermore, the reconstruction and analysis process has a retroactive effect on documentation. The model holds information everywhere within the 3D scope, and can therefore produce profiles and sections anywhere. Is there a need for their documentation any more?
The spatio-temporal cultural-scapes model not only gives new perspectives in documentation and analysis of archaeological data at the micro-scale; it also provides insight into the most interesting parts of the West Porticus at the Ostia forum, crossing time-scales from the 2nd to the 6th century BC underneath the antique marble stone pavement (which had never been lifted before).

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With the detailed 3D reconstruction of excavation trenches in the heart of Ostia Antica it is now possible to draw detailed conclusion about development and destruction processes of the 4 centuries.

The new method of solid 3d modelling allows new statistical perspectives for archaeological, geophysical and geochemical records.

, U. / NETELER, M. / METZ, M. / KÜHNLE, K. (2015): Applying low budget equipment and open source software for high resolution documentation of archaeological stratigraphy and features. In Across Space and Time, Papers from the 41st Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology, Perth, 25-28 March 2013, 104–119. Amsterdam University Press, 2015.