E. Wenger 1 / I. Iliev 1 / H. Thür 2 / I. Adenstedt 2
(1Kommission für Wissenschaftliche Visualisierung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna, Austria / 2Institut für Kulturgeschichte der Antike, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna, Austria)

Computer-aided reconstructions of archaeological places are nowadays routinely used for giving the public an impression about how “old” localities looked like. A frequent intention is to arouse a broader interest in archaeology with the reconstructions. Such reconstructions hardly supply additional information and are therefore of limited interest for scientists.
On the basis of an detail-exact reconstruction of the housing unit 4 of the Hanghaus 2 in Ephesos, we tried to use the means of computer graphics as a research tool for the archaeologist. Essentially, this can be achieved only by a close co-operation between archaeologists, computer scientists, artists and architects.
The computer permits the examination of different hypotheses. Answers to certain questions, as for instance the assembly places of objects, can be supplied by the visualization of different variants.
An as accurate as possible reconstruction of all architectural details (floor structures, sewage system, door furnishings, etc..) raises frequently questions, which are examined not at all or only insufficiently as yet.
The simulation of the lighting conditions under different scenarios makes it possible to win a clear impression over different areas, their use and lighting.
The 3D-modeling of plastic details as capitals, relief or figures as accomplished by artist’s hand is very complex, and only very limited support by 3D-scanners is available. It is of great importance however, since only a genuine 3D-model permits a faithful reconstruction, makes an arbitrary approach to the objects possible, and gives an idea of its development throughout history.
Goal of this project is not to provide a comprehensive reconstruction for the purpose of demonstrations but to give the archaeologist by high detail accuracy and extensive 3D-modeling a research tool in the hand that can be used for the documentation of results, for the examination and clarification of variants and thus leads to new questions, and in further consequence to new realizations.
keywords: virtual reality, reconstructions, 3D-modelling