Keywords: Uruk, 3D, exhibition, visualisation, city
Since 2008 a collaboration between the Oriental Department of the German Archaeological Institute under the supervision of Dr. Margarete van Ess and the Berlin-based conceptual design agency Artefacts, led by the archaeologists Sandra Grabowski and Sebastian Hageneuer, has been carried out to visualise major parts of one of the oldest cities in the world. A mixture of archaeological data, philological sources, ethnographic parallels and structural considerations were used to reconstruct an ancient city, that is in some places preserved only to a height of a couple of centimetres. The scarce archaeological evidence forced a multidisciplinary approach in reconstructing the site. The results can currently be seen at the exhibition “Uruk – 5000 years of the megacity” at the Pergamonmuseum Berlin.
With the help of examples, I will present the archaeological evidence, the aforementioned problems as well as the ways of problem-solving we undertook to create the final models. The requirements to these models were two-fold: First, they should represent the most-recent state of scientific knowledge based on the actual state of research carried out by the Oriental Department. These simple models should be re-usable for further studies by archaeologists. Secondly, modified models should be presentable to a broader audience and therefore graphically appealing. An exhibition of the city of Uruk was – due to the scarce architectural remains – not possible until now. The newly created computer reconstructions helped to visualise the remains as well the dimensions of the city and are now an essential part in the exhibition.