Reconstruction Protocol

Here you will find a template of my own reconstruction protocol. This protocol is a very simplified version of what you actually have to do in order to document a scientific reconstruction. It will serve as a good start in our course however. Please fill this out during your reconstruction process. You can either work on this together or assign a person to be responsible for keeping this up-to-date. In this article here, I will simply explain the different blocks of that protocol and how to use it. You can download the protocol down here:

Document Version Link
Reconstruction Protocol v1.1 Download


In the Metadata block, you need to fill in some general information about your project:

Protocol Description
Title Choose a short project title for your reconstruction project
Keywords For organisation it is always advised to enter some keywords that describe your project
Location This is the location of the object you reconstruct. So for example, if you choose to reconstruct the Tower of Babylon, you enter something like Babylon (modern day Iraq)
Dating to This is the dating of your object as closely as possible. Buildings can have several building phases and this date should reflect the specific phase your reconstruction falls into
Participants Every person involved in creating this project
Software Which software (probably Cinema 4D) and which version of it did you use to create the project
Begin State the date when you started working on the project
End State the date when you finished you project and delivered it to me

Used Literature

So this table is supposed to get bigger over time. In the first column (Lfd.-Nr.) you simply enter increasing numbers starting with 1. Note, that you can add rows to this table by hovering your mouse on the left side of the position you want to add a row to. This number can later be used to reference something. So as you probably have seen, the title of that block indicates a shortcode L which can be used to reference to a certain publication in this block. Let's say you want to reference the publication with the number 12, you simply refer to it as L12. In the Citation column, you enter the full citation of the monograph, article, website or whatever source you used. This list should represent a full database of all publications used in the reconstruction process.

Used Sources

Here you start again with the number 1 which you will increase over time. The shortcode used here is called Q. This list represents all digital files you used during the process. In the column Filename, you enter the used filename with extension, so for example Totally_awesome_plan.jpg. The column Type describes the type of file, so for example Plan, Photo, Elevation Model and so on. The Q-Level is again a code, that you can decode at the bottom of the page. You simply enter if your source is a Primary Source PQ, a Secondary Source SQ or pure Speculation SP. By now, you should know how to differentiate these source building blocks. Otherwise read up here: Chapter 3: The theory of archaeological reconstruction. Remarks are for anything else you want to note down. For example, if you scanned a plan from a publication, you can note down Scanned from L5.

Reconstruction Steps

Here, you document the steps taken during your reconstruction process. You do not have to note down every single mouse click, but you need to note down all the important steps during your progress. So possible entries could be Scaling of ground floor plan and attaching it to Cinema4D or Adding crenellations to the roof or Cutting rectangular windows at a height of 1.2 meters. These descriptions are for the column Description of course. In the Basis column, you can document on which basis you did your decision. This can be a reference to a publication like L45, page 12 or to a file like as seen in Q23. You also could enter something like we decided together that this was a good decision or it has to be done, because…. In the column E-Level, you can enter another shortcode, which is decoded at the bottom of the page. Here you have to decide how sure you are with that specific decision. So for example if you just speculated without any sources, you would enter a 6. If you based your decision on pure fact, like in situ excavation remains, you can enter a 0. If it is something in between, you have to decide how much you trust you own decision. As you probably have figured out, we want to try to keep the numbers down…


This page was last edited on 2024-05-28 11:37

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This page was last edited on 2024-05-28 11:37

Sebastian Hageneuer
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