Anthropology, Department of


Date of this Version



Procedural modeling for ancient Maya cityscapes initial methodological challenges and solutions. Heather Richards-Rissetto; Rachel Plessing. 2015 Digital Heritage. IEEE Conference Publications, Year: 2015, Volume: 2 Pages: 85 - 88, DOI: 10.1109/DigitalHeritage.2015.7419458


©2015 IEEE


Digital reconstruction of 3D cityscapes is expensive, time-consuming, and requires significant expertise. We need a 3D modeling approach that streamlines the integration of multiple data types in a time-efficient and low-cost manner. Procedural modeling—rapid proto-typing of 3D models from a set of rules— offers a potential solution to this problem because it allows scholars to create digital reconstructions that can be quickly updated and used to test and formulate alternative hypotheses that are derived from and linked to underlying archaeological data. While procedural modeling is being used to visualize ancient Roman, Etruscan, and Greek cities, in the Maya region the approach has only been applied to reconstructions of individual buildings and not an entire city. In this paper, we present initial methodological challenges and solutions to procedural modeling of ancient Maya cityscapes using the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Copan, Honduras as a case study.