Iman Kulitz1 / Peter Ferschin2 / Peter Matejowsky2

(1German Archaeological Institute, Germany / 2Institute of Architectural Sciences, Vienna University of Technology, Austria)

Urban structures, architectural and iconographic styles show local and national differences and developments over history.
To discover and to display the differences and changes through time and space is one of the essential tasks in archaeology. They allow to date and to interpret the archaeological data.
Various 2D visualization methods are known showing the developments over time and space as plans, photo documentations or as diagrams like the “Harris Matrix” for example.
At 3D visualizations mainly architecture models are generated in a very static way. Even if they are visualized dynamically by computer animations, the temporal aspect is mostly used to simulate a walkthrough through the virtual environment.
To visualize developments over larger time spans inside archaeology the three spatial dimensions of the virtual space can be extended with the time as fourth dimension, which we will then call 4D visualization techniques.
This paper describes various approaches for 4D visualizations that were implemented in the curriculum of the students of architecture inside the program “Digital Architecture”. The aim was to generate new ideas in displaying spatial and temporal developments with contemporary digital visualization techniques, with different source material from actual excavations in Egypt.
Several examples with different spatial scale ranging from a single building (like the Temple of the Godess Satet on the Island of Elephantine/Egypt) to city structures (Northern Town on Elephantine) will be shown as well as developments across the entire region of Egypt.
On the technological side, various approaches like interactive 3D scenes, interactive 3D PDF documents as well as Google Earth based visualizations have been used to represent developments in time and space.

Keywords: 4D-visualization, spatial and chronological development, 3D PDF, Google Earth, interaktive 3D-scenes