Graduate student Kevin Garstki, along with Bettina Arnold and her colleague Matthew Murray, published “Reconstituting community: 3D visualization and early Iron Age social organization in the Heuneburg mortuary landscape” in the Journal of Archaeological Science, 54:23-30.
Abstract: 3-dimensional visualizations are becoming a very useful tool in various archaeological contexts, from representations of individual artifacts to complex sites and architectural reconstructions. Useful as these applications are, what is often missing is the ability to illuminate detailed intra-site patterning. Here, we provide background on a pilot project that uses data derived from excavation records to create a 3D visualization focused on identifying new burial patterns within a single site. This project digitized burial data (location and artifact) from Tumulus 18 in the Speckhau mound group associated with the early Iron Age (700–400 BC) Heuneburg hillfort in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Based on the spatial data obtained from digitized excavation maps, topographic and locational data were entered into Esri’s ArcScene to construct a 3D model of the mound prior to excavation as well as schematic representations of individual burials within the tumulus. Spatial and attribute data for both graves and artifacts were used to identify preliminary patterns of deposition and social relationships. We address the potential of this method of visualization for highlighting spatiotemporal patterns within burial mounds, and for generating research questions that have not been previously recognized using conventional mortuary analysis methods.