Architectonic Design as Mediator for Archaeological Hypotheses

  • Abstract:

    Europe’s cultural heritage and identity is characterized by its diversity on a common basis. Bridge-building between centuries underlines Europe’s intercultural dialogue. The antic metropolis of Pergamon is one of Europe’s early urban agglomerations following the classic foundations from a fortified acropolis to wide spread populated areas. Archaeologists’ hypotheses at length concentrated on public buildings like palace, theatre, gymnasium, markets, altars and temples. Recent research unveils their urban context, axes, densities and sanctuaries. These hypotheses contain various degrees of certainty and even scientifically justified controversial hypotheses. Irritatingly most visualizations equal simulations of film sets, pure phantasy. We have developed a method for visualizing archaeological hypotheses that explicitly preserves the scientific content excluding any unintentional content that implicates anything except archaeological science. It consists of two complementary parts: virtual modeling and virtual photography. Other than usual we do not consider the spatial model as the decisive core in mediating archaeology but as an integral part of the visual mediation. We consider its counterpart, the virtual photography, as equally important. Contrasting the geometric abstraction of the model, strictly based on the verbal hypotheses, our way of depicting the scenery uses traditional methods of realistic architectural photography. Leaving out any staffage, the emphasis lies on the timeless qualities of European architecture as shared patrimony, yet contributing to architecture as European Heritage. The presentation aims to demonstrate and illustrate this method by several projects developed by the authors in cooperation with archaeological research institutions like Cologne Cathedral and its Predecessors (by order of and exhibited in Cologne Cathedral), The Metropolis of Pergamon (within the German Research Fund Excellence Cluster TOPOI, actually exhibited in Leipzig as part of Sharing Heritage, the European Cultural Heritage Year 2018), The Palatine Palaces (by order of the German Archaeological Institute, both latter exhibited in the Pergamon Museum Berlin).