Quantifying Scientific Credibility: Innovative Semantic and Software Strategies for 3D Virtual Reconstructions in Archaeology


Demerescu Emanuel Demerescu

Emanuel Demerescu

ISPC, National Research Council, Italy

Berto Simone Berto

Simone Berto

ISPC, National Research Council, Italy

Scopinaro Eleonora Scopinaro

Eleonora Scopinaro

ISPC, National Research Council, Italy


In recent years, Cultural Heritage has seen significant benefits from the development of Digital Technologies for both analysis and enhancement. Particularly in the field of archaeological research, this evolution has led to new instruments, digital tools, and approaches within the theoretical and operational frameworks of 3D survey and virtual reconstruction.

Within this landscape, virtual reconstructions are often categorized as "artistic" or "aesthetic" endeavors rather than scientific outputs. This perception largely arises from a lack of disclosure regarding the reconstructive sources and their application within the scientific process.

Accuracy, transparency, and reliability stand as cornerstone concepts in virtual reconstruction, especially those conducted for scientific purposes. This necessitates a blend of quantitative and qualitative methodologies.

Focusing on the scientific annotation of sources (both direct and indirect) and analytical processes for the virtual reconstruction of archaeological sites, this session aims to explore a "metrological approach". It emphasizes the semantic enrichment of 3D models to represent scientific hypotheses and their evolution over time. This serves as a reference for establishing a unified framework for the community.

This approach entails a quantitative analysis of sources used in the reconstructive process, evaluation of data reliability, comparison of documents with varying degrees of metrical precision, and the application of measurable criteria throughout the processes of analysis, data interpretation, and dissemination of virtual reconstructions along with associated information.

The incorporation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) specifically for reconstruction and semantic annotation introduces a transformative layer to archaeological practices. AI technologies offer novel methods for analyzing archaeological data, enhancing the precision of virtual reconstructions, and facilitating the semantic annotation of cultural objects. This innovative intersection not only enriches our understanding of archaeological contexts but also paves the way for new research methodologies and data presentation techniques in cultural heritage.


Main topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Solutions for creating, exploring, measuring, and sharing scientific 3D reconstructions in archaeology;
  • Interdisciplinary approaches for the documentation of archaeological contexts;
  • Representation of reliability in virtual reconstruction projects;
  • Semantic methods for mapping, representing, and sharing 3D reconstructions and linked information (e.g., Extended Matrix language or similar);
  • Implementation and enhancement of reconstructive pipelines;
  • Data FAIRification and Open Source solutions applied to virtual reconstruction processes;
  • The role of AI in the reconstruction and semantic annotation of archaeological sites: challenges, solutions, and case studies.


Emanuel Demetrescu, PhD in Archaeology, is a researcher at the Institute of Heritage Science - National Research Council of Italy. Specialist in Digital Archaeology, Building Archaeology, UAV pilot, Python developer, digital artist, expert of 3D survey and 3D source-based modelling, his main research regards the creation of theoretical and methodological links between the scientific record in Cultural Heritage and creative industries (3D digital libraries, virtual museums, Open World games and VR experiences). He is a member of the Editorial Board of the international journal Digital Applications to Archaeology and Cultural Heritage (Elsevier). He is a member of the scientific committee of the international conference ArcheoFOSS (Data, formats, software and free/libre hardware for Archaeology) and a founding member of the association of the same name. Since 2003 he has participated in excavations and 3D survey in Italy, Greece, Romania, Montenegro, Cyprus. Since 2012 he participates in several European projects (3D-ICONS, V-MUST, SSHOC) for the integration of 3D models and archaeological documentation. He has developed an open-source tool for the creation of reconstructive hypotheses through digital technologies (extendedmatrix.org).

Simone Berto, is a Research fellow at the Institute of Heritage Science – National Research Council (ISPC-CNR) in Italy. He holds a PhD in History, Criticism and Conservation of Cultural Heritage. His research interests concern: topographic and three-dimensional survey, 3D reconstruction, and content dissemination.

Eleonora Scopinaro, Architect and European PhD in History, Representation and Restoration of Architecture, is a research fellow at the Institute of Heritage Science - National Research Council (ISPC-CNR) in Italy. Her research focuses on conservation and restoration of architectural and landscape heritage through experimentation in the fields of documentation and diagnostics for the historical-critical study of artefacts, and design of interventions aimed at safeguarding cultural heritage. She currently teaches at Sapienza University of Rome.


Univ Malta