(Subject group Information and Communication Technology in Architecture , Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany)

Outline: Digital reconstructions are an important part of digital Cultural Heritage of the World. There are no methods or systems to save the knowledge and the research behind such computer-based reconstructions. To develop a special method or system to conserve the digital reconstructions as a part of the Cultural Heritage was the main idea of the project.

Abstract: In 2003, the UNESCO has published the Charter on Preservation of Digital Heritage, commented on the importance and the preservation of digital heritage.

The digital reconstruction of important buildings and structures, which are frequently used in the scientific practice to study historical contexts and constructions, are part of the digital cultural heritage. The translation into digital models is based on the evaluation and collection of all sources in years of processing. This is characterized by a permanent consolidation of the knowledge and the implementation of the data into 3d-models.

At the subject group „Information and Communication Technology in Architecture“ at Technische Universität Darmstadt an international and interdisciplinary project was digitally reconstructed: The Tombs of the Emperor of Xian, Shaanxi Province, China. Some partially unpublished research by German and Chinese scientists were taken as a basis. This project and the Charter of UNESCO gave the inducement to look for a suitable documentation structure for digital reconstructions.

The sub-project of the Xian-project “The digital reconstruction of the grave Zhaoling” served as a reference project.

Based on a basic theoretical study of science of documentation and the digital reconstruction and investigation of previous reconstruction projects an adequate documentation model was developed. It includes all necessary levels of a digital reconstruction project and leads to a complete, transparent and editable documentation.

The result is the first detailed documentation of a digital reconstruction. In addition to general information (such as project background and project context) the sources and the reconstruction process are comprehensible for all individual buildings in the so called detectable level.

This newly developed methodology of documentation makes the knowledge of a digital reconstruction available for subsequent generations of researchers and is because of its high editing possibility transferable to other digital reconstruction projects.

The results of a digital reconstruction can thus be reviewed at any time and the current state of knowledge can be adapted.

The documentation system for digital reconstruction accomplishes an active contribution to safeguarding and preservation of digital cultural heritage.

Keywords: Digital reconstructions; Digital Cultural Heritage; Documentation