Undine Lieberwirth

(Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte, Berlin, Germany)

In the first place there is the data acquisition and documentation of archaeological layers and their content in the field. What follows is the analysis. It is the crucial task of an archaeologist to be an interpreter between these workitems.
Modern computer based technology allows us to store old excavation data, but do this also contain enough information for further advanced analysis? What we need to look for is an adequate GIS representation of 3D stratigraphic information that allows us to apply advanced data exploration and analysis techniques.
This paper illustrates the long and stony road from legacy paper documentation to a volumetric, three-dimensional voxel model of archaeological stratigraphy using the open source geographic information system GRASS GIS. It also addresses the issue of cost and profit involved in getting a digital 3D model out of 2D data. How much information does one actually need to create a reliable, solid, voxel-based model of archaeological stratigraphy? What is the real potential of having such data in a 3D GIS application?

Keywords: Voxel, GIS