Application of modern phase scanners in the documentation of ancient cultural assets

Model of the construction phases in Ephesus i3mainz, CC BY SA 4.0

The project on the Byzantine water-powered workshops in Ephesos/Turkey, which has been running at the RGZM since 2009, is supported by i3mainz in the geometric documentation as well as the analysis and presentation of the data.


As early as 2009/2010, two measurement campaigns took place to record the eight workshops with the associated water wheel channels and the canals connecting the water wheels. After evaluating the data in the following year, the focus in 2012 was on the interpretation and visualization of the data as well as reconstructions.


The data recorded from the previous measurement campaigns with a terrestrial laser scanner were available as colored 3D point clouds, from which 2D plans of the building findings available at the time of recording were developed. By georeferencing and adapting documentation plans from the 1970s and 1980s, workshop areas could be reconstructed that no longer exist in this form. Due to important maintenance measures and safety work on the masonry, there have been major changes in the building findings over time, which means that the current structures no longer correspond to those at the time of the mill activity. Important insights into the mills can be gained by adding this information to the 2D plans.

From the information available, 2D reconstructions were developed in cooperation with the RGZM in order to represent the workshops and canal courses according to the different dates. Based on this, a simplified 3D reconstruction of the Müller workshops could be created, with the help of which the spatial impression of the building complex located on a slope can be presented in an understandable way. In addition, the individual construction phases can be visualized in color.


The reconstructions of the mill workshops based on the as-built plans could be completed and construction phase plans visualized at the same time. All data obtained should be presented on a website in a virtual tour of the mill cascade.