Dominik Westermann / Tim-John Müller


During an excavation project in Hamburg, Germany, the current proceedures in digitized excavation documentation, combining the complimentary disciplines, archaeology, architecture an excavation, were considered and in a further step fundamentally altered.
For this, experience in using the CAD supported working methods played a fundamental role. In the course of the continuing documentation process it became clear that many basic questions to the working methods in CAD, processing and organisation of projects, the fixing of standards and the exchange of digitized information and the need for effectivity, flexibility and pragmatism in the architectural sphere, had been asked and statisfactorily answered over ten years ago in the main.
Therefore, these established, reliable working methods could be used or adapted. The idea was to blend working methods from architecture with those of archaeology and excavation. The goal, to develop a structure for the organisation and processing of digitized information. This must be a structure with clearly defined boundaries and detailed enough to support the existing approach, and open and extendable enough to cope with the results of future excavations and sites, and allow a transfer of information to other projects. This lead to a standardisation of working methods.
As a result came the inevitable question as to the possible uses of this extensive, digitized information after the completion of the excavation, and for the usefullness of such information at all. The view that in paper documents only a fraction of available information is visible, sent us in search of an “Intelligent Paper”, an universal digitized format and a practicable software which would transfer information into a format useful to each individual user, and one which could be used after the analysis phase. This “Intelligent Paper” can, in our opinion, only work in a digitised format, which fully answers the question “Why, who, how – The documentation of archaeological projects with modern technologies”.
One possible way to complete documentation is the file data base PDF, from the software company Adobe, whom with their newly marketed Acrobat version offer a very promising product. This lecture describes a functional, realistic and practicable working model for digitized documentation methods on an archaeological excavation and hopes to stimulate the discussion towards the development of a standard for such projects.