Anthropology, Department of


Date of this Version

Spring 4-25-2016


Pattee, Aaron. 2016 Integrative 3D Recording Methods of Historic Architecture: Burg Hohenecken from Southwest Germany. Masters Thesis, University of Nebraska Lincoln.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Anthropology. Under the Supervision of Professor Effie Athanassopoulos. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2016

Copyright © 2016 Aaron C. Pattee


This research explores the methodology and application of photogrammetric and laser-scanning recording methods to a castle ruin, with the primary purpose of digitally preserving the castle. Both methods generated interactive 3D models via the combination of still images (photogrammetry) and precise laser measurements (laser-scanning), which were then combined into a single model. The case study is the medieval castle ruin Burg Hohenecken located in the city of Kaiserslautern in southwest Germany. The castle was active from 1212-1689, as one of over fifty castles within the region of the Pfalz. The inhabitants included the noble von Hoheneck family and various Prince Electors. Burg Hohenecken’s duty was to protect the imperial palace in Kaiserslautern as well as the surrounding area. In addition to the 3D model, seventy letters from 1212-1560 CE concerning the correspondences of the castle were translated in order to contextualize the digital model and the castle’s historical significance. The information extracted from the letters includes names and inheritances of the von Hoheneck family, physical locations in the surrounding environment, and construction details of the castle. These data describe a network of communication within a past landscape and provide evidence for pre-existing structures of the castle. This research contributes affirms that Burg Hohenecken was site of regional significance given the many high-ranking inhabitants over the course of over 450 years—a major shift in our understanding of the history of the area.

Future work includes placing the 3D model in the Unity game engine allowing the castle to be virtually controlled and examined. The digital model provides an excellent opportunity to determine the function of the castle throughout the past and to potentially create virtual reconstructions of the castle from the different periods of its construction. These methods may even lead to the discovery of hidden structures. The combination of approaches from both the sciences (photogrammetry and laser-scanning) and the humanities (textual analysis) allows for a more holistic representation and preservation of this excellent example of medieval architectural cultural heritage.

Advisor: Effie Athanassopoulos