One Year R-A-M – Reconstruction-Argumentation-Method – A Report of First Experiences

(Technische Universität Darmstadt,  Fachgebiet Digitales Gestalten, Darmstadt, Germany)

Keywords: virtual reconstruction, documentation, standards

A year ago the documentation method for virtual reconstructions, “R-A-M”, (Reconstruction-Argumentation-Method), developed in Darmstadt, was introduced to the international community. This project was presented at the Euromed in Nicosia and at the CHNT in Vienna and in the meantime has been developed into an online tool in the status of a prototype and has been used by various projects ( Based on the fact that it was common that no documentation was made for virtual reconstructions, due in part because the client did not request this, lack of established standards and, as a rule, insufficient human and financial resources, in 2016 the Digital Design Unit of the Technical University of Darmstadt developed a proposal for a minimal standard. This concept stemmed from the consideration that one needed to reduce the hindrances for documentation and instead choose a practical approach that was extremely user friendly and very easy to understand.
The paper reports about the actual status of the development, about the use as a communication tool  (Cloister Altenberg, Archaeological Zone Cologne) as well as the experience gathered with the belated documentation of projects (Tell Halaf, scientific advise Vorderasiatisches Museum Berlin). Already now the use of the tool shows that the work procedure for a reconstruction was able to be systemized and in perspective also be standardized without bypassing individual work methods. The question is whether systematization can be so effectively developed that in the end through the use of such a tool as a communication platform a documentation of fundamental principles, processes and results of the reconstruction can be achieved that satisfy the requirements of a scientific publication. The goal is to come to an agreement with as many national and international parties as to how virtual reconstructions are to be documented in the future.

Relevance conference / Relevance session:
Documentation is an important and basic question in the field of scientific research

Proposal for a new standard of documentation in the field of reconstruction and first experiences.


  1. Pfarr-Harfst, M. / Grellert, M.: The Reconstruction – Argumentation Method: Proposal for a Minimum Standards of Documentation in the Context of Virtual Reconstructions, in: Ioanides, M. / u.a. (Hg.), Digital Heritage. Progress in Cultural Heritage, Heidelberg, Berlin 2016, S. 39-49
  2. Pfarr, M.: Dokumentationssystem für digitale Rekonstruktionen am Beispiel der Grabanlage Zhaoling, Provinz Shaanxi, China. TUprints, Darmstadt (2010).