Three-dimensional documentation methods in archeology and their application in the mountains of Crimea / Ukraine

caves in Crimea i3mainz, CC BY SA 4.0

The project deals with the efficient use of three-dimensional geometric documentation methods in archeology using the example of ancient hilltop settlements in the Crimean mountains.


With the large number of options and methods available for capturing object geometries, it is important to consider the following aspects in advance:

  • Scope and accuracy of geometric documentation
  • Use of the data
  • Restrictions on location and project duration


The project is part of the collaboration with the Roman-Germanic Central Museum in Mainz. The focus of the project are the two hilltop settlements Eski-Kermen and Mangup-Kale, on which more than 600 artificial caves can be found. Of particular interest to archaeologists is the history of settlement, which began around the 6th century AD.

The aims of the project are the realization of a reference point field and the geometric documentation of individual features in the rocks of the various excavation areas, the remains of ancient buildings from the various settlement epochs and the topography of the project area. GPS and total station measurements, close-up photogrammetry and terrestrial 3D laser scanners are used.


The data obtained from this is used in a uniform reference system as the basis for a geographic information system. The geographic information system is used to store, manage and analyze all existing project data. The collection of factual data, which is combined with the geometric data, is carried out in cooperation with German and Ukrainian archaeologists. The collected data is also used for the reconstruction and visualization of hilltop settlements.