The burial chamber of Cologne-Weiden


Although this is an older project, I never wrote anything about the burial chamber on this blog. The project happened between 2017 and 2019. It was a cooperation between the Friend’s Association of the tomb, the University of Cologne and the Technical University of Cologne.

What we have done

So the burial chamber is in Cologne and dates into Roman times (between the 2nd and 4th century CE). The chamber was discovered in 1843 and transformed into a historical monument, open to the public. The preservation of the chamber is one of the best north of the alps. It consists of two rooms on top of each other, two stone chairs, three daybeds of marble, a sarcophagus (now empty) and three marble busts.

3D scan of one of the busts in Cologne-Weiden.

The Technical University of Cologne did an extensive 3D laser scan of the whole complex. They scanned also individual objects within the chamber. The more than 97 million points scanned by the laser where afterwards connected into a real 3D mesh. My job was the cleaning and texturing of the 3D model, as the 3D scan did not produce good enough results for the texture and way to good results for the mesh. I also placed the individually scanned objects in place and created some visuals and animations for presentation and the museum. The video above (in German) describes the whole process. On the side, you can see a 3D scan of one of the busts.

Why it was done

The chamber is very narrow and hard to visit if you can’t walk anymore. The Friend’s Association decided to re-open the chamber in 2017 and searched for solutions for accessing the monument. Beside the chamber, there is a small museum that shows the 3D model.

In addition, the project helped to test an interdisciplinary approach, where different institutions and departments put their expertise together. In the end, even the media department of our university joined and created the film above.

Phase 3 of the burial chamber. The sarcophagus is highlighted.

Additional information

So there are a couple of websites that offer additional information about the project. They are in German tough:



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Sebastian Hageneuer

Hi! My name is Sebastian. I am an archaeologist, a university lecturer, freelancer, guitarist, and father. You could say I am quiet busy, so I learned to manage my time and energy to build good habits and still have space for myself and my family. Sounds difficult? Read here how I do it. Every Friday.

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