Agnes KIRCHHOFF / Philip PAAR / Jochen MÜLDER

(Lenné3D GmbH, Berlin, Germany)

Outline: The virtual reconstruction of the historical buildings and their ambient landscape demonstrate the role of vegetation in its historical context using 3D visualisation.

Our aim was to virtually reconstruct Herod’s winter palace and gardens near Jericho in their ancient cultural landscape setting and to visualise this 3D model in an interactive real-time environment. The third Palace, a complex of buildings and gardens, was built from 15 to 10 BC. Historic authors describe the area as fertile land supplied with water via irrigation systems. The plantations surrounding the palace buildings were of great economic importance, while the gardens inside the palace complex conveyed wealth and prestige.
From 1973 to 1987, Prof. Dr. Ehud Netzer led the excavations of the palaces. We used resources like his archaeological data and attendant garden-archaeological excavations as well as information deduced from historic references.
Firstly a digital elevation model was constructed. ArcGlobe ESRI GIS data and archaeological maps were spatially joined with global ground data from NASA, satellite images and land use data.
In a next step the buildings of the palace were reconstructed in SketchUp. Each building reconstruction is based on the most detailed available maps and drawings. Measures and relations of isometric sketches were taken into consideration.
In a third step the Palace gardens, the surrounding plantations, and the natural vegetation at historic times were reconstructed. A species list was compiled and a plant distribution map was generated.
Finally the elevation model, the buildings and the vegetation are loaded into Biosphere3D, an open-source landscape scenery visualisation system, to simulate the ancient landscape.
The reconstruction of the landscape compose a vivid model and the 3D plant models in the scenery exemplify the interaction of buildings and land use demonstrating the important role of the vegetation.

A research project of Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) and Lenné3D GmbH, Berlin, supported by the German Israeli Foundation in cooperation with University of Bayreuth.

Keywords: 3D visualisation, archaeology, vegetation, virtual reconstruction, Herod