Digital documentation and visualization of archaeological excavations and finds using 3D scanning technology

Michael Moser, Simon Hye, Gert Goldenberg, Klaus Hanke, Kristóf Kovács


In 2007 the special research program HiMAT - History of Mining Activities in Tyrol and adjacent areas, focussing on environment and human societies, was established at the University of Innsbruck as an interdisciplinary and international research project, sponsored by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). During late medieval and early modern times, the mining area of Schwaz in Tyrol became famous in Europe, due to the large scale exploitation of copper and silver bearing fahlores, going along with the development of high technologies in the field of mining and metallurgy. In that period, Schwaz was even called “the mother of all mines”.

In the area of Schwaz/Brixlegg the main focus of our research project is on early traces of copper mining and metallurgy dating back to the late Bronze Age. Such traces are still preserved, especially in boundary areas of the main ore deposits. On the basis of previous surveys a little valley called “Maukental” was chosen for archaeological investigations, because within this small area the entire copper production process of the late Bronze Age can be studied in detail. During the past two years, the Institute of Archaeology and Surveying and the Geoinformation Unit of the University of Innsbruck worked together in this area. One object of interest was a late Bronze Age ore dressing site situated in a former peat-bog. In this place the advantageous environment preserved fragile wooden structures and artefacts which could be digitally documented in the condition of retrieval.


Archaeology; Cultural heritage; Visualization; Value-added documentation; Laser scanning

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