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COMING SOON: 3D and 4D Cartography of Archaeological Stratigraphy

A case study at the Western Forum in Ostia Antica

Undine Lieberwirth
Publication Year:
90 pages
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This monograph studies one of the most interesting sections of the Forum of Ostia Antica, the ancient commercial port of Rome, during the 2nd-6th centuries AD. With a detailed 3D reconstruction of all collected information, it is possible to gain concrete insights into the development and destruction process of the city center during the transition from antiquity to the Early Middle Ages. The ’3D volume map’ brings 2D and 2.5D cartography to life. It fills the last gaps in 3D space in cartography with content. Since our world exists in a 3D space there is no doubt that we should create models in the same dimensions. With this work, Undine Lieberwirth gives archaeologists and others a useful and ready-to-use tool. The resulting space-time model of archaeological stratigraphy, geophysics and pedology opens up new perspectives on the documentation and analysis of archaeological and archaeology-related data.

Undine Lieberwirth studied Prehistoric and Classical Archaeology and specialised in Geographic Information Systems and geospatial databases. Her scientific interests lie in researching efficient and sustainable applications of the Digital Humanities in ancient studies. A particular focus is on three-dimensional data acquisition, modelling and analysis.

‘The 3D documentation of every layer in a single context excavation is highly unusual, having only been attempted a few times. Although the workflow is very complicated, this has the potential to be a visualisation/analytical game changer.’ Dr James Taylor, University of York

‘We are still at the beginning of true 3D-documentation of archaeological excavations. Recent advancement in technology is opening new possibilities for 3D-documentation of archaeological sites, and this work comes at a very good time. It will be of great interest for other researchers.’ Espen Uleberg, Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo