3D scanning and 3D models to support the reconstruction of a Roman tomb

Transparently visualized 3D reconstruction of the tomb with stone fragments placed on top (yellow) i3mainz, CC BY SA 4.0

The i3mainz supports the work of the RGZM on the fragments of a tomb in Frankfurt-Zeilsheim through 3D recording and modeling.


More than 500 stone fragments were recovered from an important Roman tomb in Frankfurt-Zeilsheim, which are being examined more closely as part of a project at the RGZM and, among other things, form the basis for the reconstruction of the monument.


The available 3D models of the more than 200 selected stone fragments allow investigation, visualization and geometrical analysis and offer the possibility to carry out geometrical comparisons and redrawings of different structures on the computer. They form a basis for the development of graphic reconstruction proposals, which were made by the responsible archaeologist in the past year.

Here, drawings of the three relevant views were made in different scales, from which a 3D reconstruction of the grave construction was then made in Google SketchUp. This required training from the responsible archaeologist, Dr. Marianne Tabaczek into the tools, especially because of the significant differences between 2D and 3D design.


In order to show the stone fragments used and their position in the reconstruction, the entire object was visualized and animated. It serves to better understand the reconstruction that has been made and can be used in exhibitions.

In the resulting video sequence, all digital stone fragments, whose position and orientation have been reliably assigned, were placed in the corresponding position in the 3D reconstruction. With this, a very good overall overview and easy traceability are achieved through forms of representation, such as semi-transparent surfaces.