Alexandru MORINTZ

(“V. Parvan” Institute of Archaeology, Bucharest, Romania)

Outline: illustration of how can 3D models be used further in the research process; 3D models as means and not as purpose.

Over the past years, 3D reconstructions of artifacts, architectural structures and other archaeological features have gained more and more ground. Unfortunately, the approach to 3D reconstructions was mostly approached from its technical side: how to do it better, faster, etc. The 3D reconstructions were mainly approached as “purpose” and not as “means” towards something else. This paper intends to focus on the 3D reconstruction of the landscape where an archaeological site is located. The purpose is not to show how such a 3D reconstruction can be done, but how it can be made useful further in the archaeological investigation. The examples are sites from Romania, where the 3D reconstruction of the landscape helped the archaeologists “see” archaeological features (fortification ditches for example) that could not be seen with the naked eye. The method used (topographic measurements with a total station) is relatively inexpensive and available on most archaeological excavations. The obtained result was practical (and sometimes unexpected). It should also be stressed that this approach can overcome the absence of aerial photography or of other non invasive means of investigation, that can be more costly, and for this unavailable. In the end, the aim is to show that there is much more to a 3D reconstruction than just “a pretty face” and to open up a debate regarding how 3D reconstructions can be employed in order to obtain further results.

Keywords: 3D reconstructions, landscape, Romania