Integration and workflow framework for virtual visualisation of cultural heritage. Revisiting the tell of Çukuriçi Höyük, Turkey




interdisciplinarity, workflow, virtual cultural heritage, 3D visualisation, framework


This article sets a framework for computer-based visualisations of cultural heritage sites. The project focuses on a workflow for a visualisation illustrated on a specific solution for the site of Çukuriçi Höyük, a tell settlement in Turkey. With the virtual presentation, an interdisciplinary research group tries to offer complex scientific results to the general public as well as to experts. The team utilised data acquisition and communication techniques, interpretative approaches, and dissemination methods. The three-dimensional (3D) outcome is based on a large amount of scientific data, usually available only via analogue or digital publications for a specialised audience. The work focused on constructed and personal authenticity to reach the viewer’s feelings. As an interpretative narrative, the daily lives of the inhabitants were selected. A communication plan was constructed, and a video animation with narration and a musical background was selected as the most appropriate communication tool. The movie was divided into four chapters (Introduction, Neolithic Period, Chalcolithic Period and Early Bronze Age Period). A separate webpage was designed to provide additional information when the video is viewed online. The webpage was divided into tabs that describe each chapter and three additional topics (Visualisation Process, Further Reading, and Credits). The video was shared in different settings, e.g. at public talks and on social media. The process resulted in a complex workflow that consists of several stages: data acquisition, first interpretation, 3D model creation, communication plan, second interpretation, 3D model adjustment, and dissemination output. Each stage of the workflow serves as an example to show the types of nodes these parts can include. The result is a flexible framework with predefined process stages, which can be re-used for similar projects.


  • Computer-aided visualisations bring hidden cultural heritage to life –an individual outcome for Çukuriçi Höyük, a tell settlement in Turkey.

  • The interdisciplinary team combined data acquisition and communication techniques, interpretative approaches, and dissemination methods for achieving the best result.

  • Integrative framework optimises the information and communication potential of virtual visualisations with the help of pre-defined workflow stages.


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Author Biographies

Nika Lužnik-Jancsary, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology

Studied Archaeology (2005-2011) and Art History (2007-2016) at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Since 2012 a PhD student of Heritology at University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.2013–2014 researcher at the Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Arts,University of Ljubljana (Slovenia).2013–2015 researcher and 3D artist at 7reasons Medien GmbH, Vienna (Austria). Since 2015 researcher at theDepartment ofArchaeological Interpretation, Spatial Analysis and Virtual Archaeology atLudwig Boltzmann Institute for Archeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology, Vienna (Austria).

Barbara Horejs, Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology, Austrian Academy of Sciences

Studies of Prehistory and Protohistory as well as Classical Archeology at the Universities of Vienna, Athens and Berlin. Graduation with “Summa cum laude” at the Freie Universität Berlin in 2005, subsequently holder of the travel grant of the German Archaeological Institute (2005/06). Awarded with the FWF START prize in 2010 as well as an ERC Starting Grant in 2011. 2011–2012 Director of the Young Curia of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW). Since June 2013 Director of the Institute for Oriental and European Archeology (OREA) at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna. 2015 awarding of an honorary professorship at the University of Tübingen in the field of Prehistory and Protohistory. Since 2015 Corresponding Member of the Division of Humanities and the Social Sciences of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and since 2016 Corresponding Member of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI). (Co-)Editor of the journal Archaeologia Austriaca as well as of the series Mitteilungen der Prähistorischen Kommission (MPK), Mykenische Studien and Oriental and European Archaeology (OREA). Head of excavations, surveys and material culture studies in Turkey, Greece and the Balkans.

Michael Klein, 7reasons

Originally studied Design at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, in the early1990ties he shifted his focus to 3d Modelling and Animation.

He is a founder and CTO of 7reasons GmbH, Vienna. Beside classical media production, the company is specialised in visualising and explaining research results in exhibitions, documentaries, print and interactive media, as well as the development of robust hardware for use in public areas like museums, exhibitions, and the point of sale.Some of his projects involve Naturhistorisches Museum (NHM) Vienna, archaeological park Carnuntum, the Virgil chapel in Vienna, all in Austria, and Haus der Geschichte Bonn, Germany.

Involved in the following EU Projects: Four-dimensional Cultural Heritage World (4D CH World, FP 7)), the Marie Curie International Training Network (ITN) Digital Cultural Heritage (DCH) (FP 7), and ViMM Virtual Multimodal Museum (Horizon 2020).

Christoph Schwall, Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology, Austrian Academy of Sciences

StudiedPre-andEarlyHistory at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (2006–2011) and the Ruprecht-Karls University Heidelberg (2011–2016). 2012–2016 research assistant in the ERC project "Prehistoric Anatolia" at the Austrian Archaeological Institute, Vienna and respectively at the Institute for Oriental and European Archeology (OREA) at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna. 2016–2019 research assistant at OREA. April to October 2019 PostDoc at Curt-Engelhorn-Zentrum Archäometrie gGmbh (CEZA), Mannheim. Since October 2019 PostDoc and active leader of the research group 'Prehistoric Phenomena' at OREA.


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How to Cite

Lužnik-Jancsary, N., Horejs, B., Klein, M., & Schwall, C. (2020). Integration and workflow framework for virtual visualisation of cultural heritage. Revisiting the tell of Çukuriçi Höyük, Turkey. Virtual Archaeology Review, 11(23), 63–74.