(1 University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, USA | 2 Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany)

Keywords: Photogrammetry, GIS, Maps

UNL Campus Archaeology is a team project led by faculty, students, and alumni focused upon the analysis and reassessment of historic collections from excavations carried out on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus. The project is using 3D modeling techniques, non-rigid registrations of historical maps in GIS (Geographical Information Systems), and interactive online platforms to explore Lincoln’s early urban development. The goal is to develop an interactive online portal for public outreach and education incorporating state of the art methods of recording cultural heritage.
The case study for this presentation is a former domestic cistern that had been excavated in 1997 prior to the construction of the university Student Union. This diverse archaeological collection is in excellent condition, including glass bottles, faunal remains, and ceramics. The artifacts are representative of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century Lincoln homes before the area was redeveloped by the university. This archaeological collection offers insight into the social structure, domestic life, and trade patterns at the turn of the century.
The project resources consists of 3D photogrammetric models and photographs of artifacts, historical maps, and archival databases. The dissemination of this information requires an intuitive and interactive online portal emphasizing public accessibility. A central website will be made with WordPress incorporating Leaflet for the visualization of the historical map registrations as well as links to the previously constructed online exhibit hosted by Scalar, and the Omeka-based online repository.  Scalar is designed for a broader audience, consisting of a non-lineal narrative, incorporating the 3D models of the artifacts. Omeka provides an organized solution for the variety of file types, allowing visitors to explore the data more in-depth. The project serves as an online portal for public outreach and education, making archaeology an integral part of Lincoln’s early history and the broader Great Plains region.

Relevance conference / Relevance session:
This project is concerned with public outreach and education regarding the historical urban landscape of Lincoln, Nebraska.

It is combining database management, 3D modeling, and interactive website to assist in education.


  1. Christopher M. Schoen and Peter Bleed. 1993. The Archaeology of the Lincoln Pottery Works. Central Plains Archaeology, vol. 3 (1): 1-240.
  2. http://archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/propylaeumdok/volltexte/2016/3217