Peter Ferschin1 / Iman Kulitz2 / Andreas Jonas1

(1Digital Architecture and Planning Institute of Architectural Sciences Vienna University of Technology, Austria / 2Department Cairo German Archaeological Institute, Egypt)

In this project, several digital technologies and methods of visualization have been explored to show possible concepts and ideas for creating virtual archaeological models.
These visualizations show buildings and temporal developments of the northern city on Elephantine, Egypt. The Ancient Egyptian city existed for several thousand years with its origin in the Predynastic Period. The visualizations were done in different levels of abstract visual form, starting from photographic representations like interactive panoramic images, to 3D representations of buildings and also abstract visualization of urban structures. Examples of 3D reconstructions show working models, that can be used to discuss the various interpretations and that can help the verification of plausible reconstructions that extend the excavated parts of a building. Furthermore a presentation model shows the capabilities of contemporary real time visualization techniques, which can be also displayed in large panoramic projection systems. Additionally to the reconstruction of architectural structures, the real time presentation software has been expanded to allow the additional display of information about selected objects of interest inside the 3D-scene. These Meta-Data can be displayed by overlay-techniques and can contain text, image and sound data. The resulting systems is very suitable for rich media presentations for a larger audience as well as a new visual interface for the experts. Beside of generating 3D reconstructions, 3D maps have been designed, that provide an spatial and temporal overview of several excavations, as well as the temporal urban development on Elephantine through its existence over several dynasties of Egyptian cultural development.