Immo TRINKS1 / Andreas VLACHOPOULOS2 / et al.
(1Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological  Prospection and Virtual Archaeology, Vienna, Austria / 2University of Athens, Akrotiri Excavation)

Keywords: Laser scanning, Structure from motion, digital documentation

Archaeological excavations at the site of Akrotiri on the island of Thera/Santorini under the aegis of the Archaeological Society of Athens have revealed a unique Bronze Age town including houses standing up to four storeys high. While most of the prehistoric town is still covered by volcanic ash and pumice, a dozen buildings have been excavated and made accessible to visitors. Akrotiri is a Greek Bronze Age Pompeii threatened by destruction through earthquakes in this seismically very active region. Accidents and gradual decay cause damage to the exceptional ancient architecture. For safekeeping of this important cultural heritage site for future generations the entire site was digitally documented in February 2013 with support of the National Geographic Society and Riegl Laser Measurement Systems. Using two Riegl VZ400 scanners placed at some 850 scan positions a detailed digital model of the site was generated. Additionally, several thousand photos were systematically taken for the image based (structure from motion – SfM) generation of a digital 3D model of the site in general and Complex Beta and the House of the Ladies in particular. By combining both the active laser scanning and the passive SfM methods it was possible to cover the entire site. The project’s goal is the generation of a complete photorealistic, detailed digital copy of the excavated archaeological site for digital safekeeping, archaeological and architectural research, as well as the generation of scaled real and virtual site models. In regard to the huge number of data recorded and images involved the project is unprecedented and challenging. The project team consists of Immo Trinks, Geert Verhoeven, Matthias Kucera, Erich Nau, Christopher Sevara, Wolfgang Neubauer, Christos Doumas, Andreas Vlachopoulos, Kallirroi Palyvou and Mauricio Forte.