By Despoina Tsiafaki and Natasa Michailidou
The application of 3D digital technologies in the archaeological research expands more and more during the
last decades. 3D recording, visualisation, representation and reconstruction of archaeological sites, monuments
and artefacts become almost a common trend in the archaeological work. Moreover, CAD reconstructions,
3D simulation, computer animation and other uses of computer systems change the traditional workflow.
The archaeological experience, though, recognizes these tools more for the general public in order to
offer a visualisation of the target object than as a mechanism that can offer new possibilities for the research
The focus of this article is to explore the opportunities given to the research field of archaeology by 3D technologies.
Specifically the article will look into technologies regarding the 3D recording, processing, visualisation
and representation of archaeological data. Through the use of specific case studies we will investigate
how applications can contribute to the understanding first and the interpretation later on of a certain archaeological
object. Issues such as the types of questions and problems that can be faced and answered with
these 3D technologies will be raised and discussed. The possibility to get an expansion of the archaeological
research in new aspects, as it happens with other technological tools (e.g. databases), will be also examined.
In addition to these, the disadvantages and limitations of the application of these 3D technologies in the archaeological
field will be also looked at, in order to accomplish a more complete view of its usage.