About me

Profile photo of Sebastian Hageneuer

My name is Sebastian and I am an archaeologist specialised in Digital and Computational Archaeology. I studied Archaeology of West Asia at the Freie Universität Berlin, where I also wrote my PhD. Since 2016, I work as a research associate at the Institute of Archaeology of the University of Cologne.
I have focused my work and research on archaeological reconstructions and 3D documentation. In my time as a student, I started a company specialised in scientific visualisation and archaeological reconstruction called Artefacts. In my PhD I researched reconstruction drawings of the 19th and early 20th centuries and how they formed our present image of ancient West Asia. I am also interested in Digital Teaching and Archaeogaming and write for a second blog about Archaeoinformatics as well.

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Academic Career

since 2022 Member of the Editorial Board
CAA International
since 2022 Co-coordinator of the Section Digital Literacy and Education
Objekte.Digitalität.Hochschulen, Germany
2022 Conferral of a Doctorate
Institute of Near Eastern Archaeology, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. Topic (translated): „From Layard to Lara Croft. Eurocentric mindset in the visual media of West Asian Archaeology“. DOI: 10.17169/refubium-36558.
2020-2021 Research Associate at the DFG project GlAssur
German Archaeological Institute & Museum of Ancient Near East, Berlin, Germany
2017 Fellowship for Innovations in in digital university-level teaching
Ministry of Culture and Science of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Project: Experience of the past with the help of Sensory Archaeology
since 2016 Research Associate at the Department of Archaeoinformatics
Institute of Archaeology, University of Cologne, Germany
2010-2011 Research Assistant at the Sohr Damb Project (Pakistan) and Herat Project (Afghanistan)
German Archaeological Institute, Berlin, Germany
2010 Degree: Magister Artium in the Archaeology of Westasia
Institute of Near Eastern Archaeology, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. ? Thesis: „Strukturelle und funktionale Untersuchung mittanizeitlicher Palastarchitektur“ (in German)
since 2008 Freelance work in several projects
Artefacts Berlin, Germany
2008-2010 Student Assistant at the Sohr Damb Project (Pakistan)
German Archaeological Institute, Berlin, Germany
2008-2010 Student Assistant
Excellence Cluster TOPOI, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
2004-2009 Student Assistant at the Tall Fakheriyah Project (Syria)
Institute of Near Eastern Archaeology, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
2002-2010 Studies of the Archaeology of Westasia, Assyriology and Prehistory
Institute of Near Eastern Archaeology, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
2000-2002 Studies of Mechanical Engineering
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Transport Systems, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany


  • Hageneuer, S. 2022: Von Layard bis Lara Croft. Eurozentrische Denkweisen in den Bildmedien der Archäologie Westasiens. Dissertation, Freie Universität Berlin.
    Open Access! DOI: 10.17169/refubium-36558.
Edited volumes
  • Hageneuer, S. (Ed.) 2020: Communicating the Past in the Digital Age: Proceedings of the International Conference on Digital Methods in Teaching and Learning in Archaeology (12th-13th October 2018), Ubiquity: London.
    Open Access! DOI: 10.5334/bch.
  • Buccellati, F./Hageneuer, S./van der Heyden, S./Levenson, F. (Eds.) 2019: Size matters – Understanding Monumentality across Ancient Civilizations, Transcript: Bielefeld.
    Open Access! DOI: 10.14361/9783839445389.
  • di Maida, G./Hageneuer, S. 2022: The DISAPALE project: a new digital repository of lithic and bone artefacts, in: Lithic Technology. DOI: 10.1080/01977261.2022.2048511.
  • Hageneuer, S. 2021: Archaeogaming: How Heaven’s Vault changes the “game”, in: Abar et al. (Eds.), Pearls, Politics and Pistachios. Essays in Anthropology and Memories on the Occasion of Susan Pollock’s 65th Birthday, Berlin, 631-642.
    Open Access! DOI: 10.11588/propylaeum.837.c10771.
  • Deschler-Erb, E/Geiermann, S./Hageneuer, S./Wilk, D.C. 2021: Das Römergrab Weiden auf dem Weg in die virtuelle Welt, in: KUBA 9/10, 203-210. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.7236327
  • Hageneuer, S. 2021: Digitale Lehre in der Archäoinformatik, in: KUBA 9/10, 177-187. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.7164277
  • Hageneuer, S. 2020: The Challenges of Archaeological Reconstruction: Back Then, Now and Tomorrow, in: Hageneuer, S. (Ed.), Communicating the Past in the Digital Age: Proceedings of the International Conference on Digital Methods in Teaching and Learning in Archaeology (12th-13th October 2018), Ubiquity: London, 101-112.
    Open Access! DOI: 10.5334/bch.h.
  • Bator, S./van Ess, M./Hageneuer, S. 2019: The Visualization of Uruk’s Architecture, in: Crüsemann, N. et al. (Eds.), Uruk – First City of the Ancient World (Exhibition Catalogue), Getty Publications: Los Angeles, 345-351.
  • Hageneuer, S. 2019: »Without Drawing the Study of Antiquities is Lame!« – Architektur-Rekonstruktion als wissenschaftliches Tool?, in: P. Kuroczyński/M. Pfarr-Harfst/S. Münster (Eds.), Der Modelle Tugend 2.0 – Digitale 3D-Rekonstruktion als virtueller Raum der architekturhistorischen Forschung, Heidelberg: arthistoricum.net, 203-212.
    Open Access! DOI: 10.11588/arthistoricum.515.c7453.
  • Hulek, F./Hageneuer, S. 2019: Auf den Spuren etruskischer Mythen: Eine Amphora im Archäologischen Institut, in: Marx, P.W./Neuhausen, H. (Eds.), Schätze der Universität zu Köln, Greven: Köln, 114-117.
    Open Access! DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.7134602.
  • Hageneuer, S./Schmidt, S. 2019: Monumentality by numbers, in: F. Buccellati/S.Hageneuer/S. van der Heyden/F. Levenson (Eds.), Size matters – Understanding Monumentality across Ancient Civilizations, Transcript: Bielefeld, 292-308.
    Open Access! DOI: 10.14361/9783839445389.
  • Hageneuer, S. 2019: “Uruk. Megacity vor 5000 Jahren”, in: ANTIKE WELT Jubiläumsheft “Auferstehung der Antike. Archäologische Stätten digital rekonstruiert”, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft: Darmstadt, 10-11.
  • Franzmeier, H./Hageneuer, S. 2019: “Pi-Ramesse. Die ägyptische Hauptstadt des späten Neuen Reiches”, in: ANTIKE WELT Jubiläumsheft “Auferstehung der Antike. Archäologische Stätten digital rekonstruiert”, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft: Darmstadt, 30-31.
  • Hageneuer, S./Levenson, F. 2018: Das Steinstiftgebäude in Uruk – ein gescheitertes Experiment?, in: Rheidt, K./Lorenz, W. (Eds.), Groß Bauen – Großbaustellen als kulturgeschichtliches Phänomen, Kulturelle und technische Werte historischer Bauten 1, Basel, 109-121.
    Open Access! DOI: 10.1515/9783035609752-010.
  • Franzmeier, H./Hageneuer, S. 2017: From the Nile Delta to Karlsruhe: or how to present mud bricks in an exhibition, in: CIPEG Journal 1, 15-26.
    Open Access! DOI: 10.11588/cipeg.2017.1.40326.
  • Brunke, H. et al. 2016: Thinking big. Research in Monumental Constructions in Antiquity, in: G. Graßhoff, M. Meyer (Eds.): Space and Knowledge. Topoi Research Group Articles. Berlin: Excellence Cluster Topoi (eTopoi. Journal for Ancient Studies, Special Volume 6), 2016, 250-305.
    Open Access! DOI: 10.17169/FUDOCS_document_000000025992.
  • Hageneuer, S. 2016: Die virtuelle Rekonstruktion von Pi-Ramesse, in: Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe (Ed.), Ausstellungskatalog “Ramses – Göttlicher Herrscher am Nil”, 268-272.
  • Hageneuer, S. 2016: The influence of early architectural reconstruction drawings in Near Eastern Archaeology, in: Proceedings of the 9th International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (ICAANE), Wiesbaden, 359-370.
    Open Access! DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.7133065.
  • Hageneuer, S. 2016: Le Temple blanc d’Uruk sur sa haute terrasse, in: Quenet, P. (Ed.), Ana ziqquratim. Sur la piste de Babel (Ausstellungskatalog), Strasbourg, 112-113.
    Open Access! DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.7133063.
  • — 2015: Bilder vergangener Kulturen – Architektur-Rekonstruktionen in der Vorderasiatischen Archäologie des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts, Alter Orient Aktuell 13/2015, 4-9.
    Open Access! DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.7133052.
  • Hageneuer, S. 2014: The visualisation of Uruk – First impressions of the first metropolis in the world, in: Börner, W./Uhrlitz, S. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 18th Conference on Cultural Heritage and New Technologies, Wien.
    Open Access! DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.7130169.
  • Bator, S./van Ess, M./Hageneuer, S. 2013: Visualisierung der Architektur von Uruk, in: Crüsemann, N. et al. (Eds.), Uruk – 5000 Jahre Megacity (Ausstellungskatalog), Petersberg, 365-371.
    Download: DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.7104940.
  • Hageneuer, S. 2012: Königliche Gärten als konstitutive Elemente altorientalischer Städte, in: Rödel-Braune, C./Waschke, C. (Eds.), Orte des Geschehens. Interaktionsräume als konstitutive Elemente der antiken Stadt. Geschichte 110, Lit: Berlin, 155-172.
    Download: DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.7102187.
  • Hageneuer, S. 2008: Art. ‘Nusku’, in: J. Eggler/C. Uehlinger (Eds.), Iconography of Deities and Demons in the biblical world (IDD), Zürich.
    Pre-print: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7103713.
In Preparation/Print
  • Hageneuer, S. 2022: Visuelle Rekonstruktion antiker Architektur, in: Hoffmann, E./Klamm, S. (Eds.), Archäologie und Rekonstruktion, Transformationen der Antike, Vol. 55.
  • Hageneuer, S.: Reconstructing ancient West Asia. Appropriation, Politics and early Reconstruction Drawings, in: ISAW Papers, probably 2023.
  • Hageneuer, S.: Indiana Jones in videogames – A history of depicting archaeology as colonial practice, in: Richardson, L. (Ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Archaeology and the Media in the 21st century, Routledge: London, probably 2023.
  • Grabowski, S./Hageneuer, S.: The Reconstruction of the Eninnu in Girsu, chapter in a volume.
  • Hageneuer, S.: What is a Digital Archaeologist?, chapter in a volume, probably 2023.
Mesopotamian Ziqqurat, Reconstruction
History of architectural reconstruction

Since its beginnings, archaeological publications used reconstruction drawings to convey the authors interpretation of the excavated past. If you take a closer look, you can see that they convey a lot more than is visible at first sight. But why is that so? In my research, that is also my PhD, I analyse reconstruction drawings, the people involved in creating them as well as their reception until today. This field opens up a wide range of interesting questions to answer, beginning from how a reconstruction is created to the influence of these drawings to modern-day 3D visualisations as well as international architecture.

3D documentation of material culture

Archaeological documentation has come a long way since its beginnings and during my time as a student, I was in the middle of traditional pen & paper documentation and the first attempts in three-dimensional data acquisition. Today, the latter is used more and more and beside the well-known laserscan, there are a lot more methods of documenting finds or whole excavations in 3D. As a teacher, I present the newest technologies to my students and keep up-to-date on the latest developments. The future will see a lot more 3D documentation in Archaeology and the technologies we already use will get better and new ones will come into light.

Shows a 3D reconstructed antique vase
Screenshot of the game Heaven's Vault (inkle studios)

This relatively new term combines the world of Archaeology and the world of Gaming into one. What falls under the term of Archaeogaming is manifold. For some it is using archaeological methods within videogames or physically researching videogames and their history. For some it means researching human interaction in these games. For me, Archaeogaming is the research of the presentation of history, archaeology and archaeologists within videogames. These games have a huge influence to a younger generation and often use colonial tropes or non-gender-equal imagery. Some games are bad, but others are very good in showing what we actually do.

Digital Teaching and Learning

While concepts of Blended Learning or Flipped Classrooms are around for a while, new approaches for a non-linear asynchronous teaching and learning are needed in our day and age. This holds true especially for classes that teach practical applications in Archaeology. I therefore was chosen to become a Fellow of Innovations in Digital Teaching at the University, to conduct research on new ways and technologies that improve teaching. In a two-day symposium, financed by the Fellowship, international scholars presented new approaches to digital teaching and learning. The outcome was published in an open-access volume at Ubiquity Press.

A room full of students listening to a teacher
29 Oct 2022 The Role of VR in Archaeology
at the Workshop “Beyond the Time Machine” organised by the University of Regensburg, held in Weiden, Germany
Slides: 10.5281/zenodo.7264920
24 Nov 2021 The Kölner Dome: Building and development of a DIY RTI dome
at the Colloquium in Digital Cultural Heritage at the University of Cologne, Germany
06 Nov 2021 Archäoinformatik. Schwerpunkte und Fallbeispiele
at the IFaTa (Internationale Fachschaftentagung) of the DASV e.V. (Dachverbandes Archäologischer Studierendenvertretungen)
03 May 2021 Reconstructing ancient Westasia – Appropriation, politics and early reconstruction drawings
at the virtual workshop “Reconstructing the Past: Conversations on the Interpretation of Ancient Western Asian Spaces and Structures” hosted at the University of Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
06 Apr 2021 Digitally (Re)Born: The 3D model of the White Temple in Uruk and the principles of virtual reconstructions
at the virtual conference “12th International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (ICAANE)” hosted at the University of Bologna, Italy
17 Jun 2020 3D modelling and VR for archaeologists. Experience in the use of new technologies in university teaching
at the virtual conference “Teaching Classics in the Digital Age” hosted at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Germany
19 Dec 2019 Pi-Ramesse. Von der Ausgrabung zur virtuellen Rekonstruktion
together with Henning Franzmeier at the lecture series “Alte Welt Neu Formatiert” at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
28 Nov 2019 Archäoinformatik – Schwerpunkte und Fallbeispiele
at the Insitute of Assyriology and Archaeolgy, University of Münster, Germany
22 Nov 2019 Fellowship für Innovationen in der Digitalen Hochschullehre. Ein Erfahrungsbericht
during the “Werkstattgespräche” at the Insitute of Archaeolgy, University of Cologne, Germany
26 May 2018 The burial chamber of Köln-Weiden
together with Eckhard Deschler-Erb at the 19th International Congress of Classical Archaeology in Cologne and Bonn, Germany
21 Mar 2018 Architectural energetics with help of virtual Reconstruction
at the Computer Application & Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA) in Tübingen, Germany
24 Jan 2018 Pi-Ramesse digital – Visualisierung alter und moderner Forschungen
invited by the Uschebti Society at the University of Cologne, Germany
10 Oct 2017 How can we measure monumentality?
at the TOPOI workshop “Size matters” at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
21 May 2017 Pi-Ramesse: Von der Ausgrabung zur virtuellen Rekonstruktion
together with Henning Franzmeier during the International Museum Day at the Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe, Germany
19 Oct 2016 Virtuelle Rekonstruktionen. Digitale Architektur-Modelle in der Archäologie
at the Colloquium in Digital Cultural Heritage at the University of Cologne, Germany
29 Jun 2016 Uruk-Visualisierungsprojekt
at the TOPOI workshop “Rekonstruktion II – Darstellung von Nichtwissen” at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
29 Apr 2016 “Without Drawing the Study of Antiquities is Lame!” – Architectural Reconstructions as a scientific tool?
at the 10th International Conference on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (ICAANE) at the University of Vienna, Austria
30 Oct 2015 Das Steinstiftgebäude – ein gescheitertes Experiment?
together with Felix Levenson workshop “Groß Bauen. Großbaustellen von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart” at the Dieselkraftwerk in Cottbus, Germany
10 May 2015 Digitale Archäologie – Visualisierung und Präsentation wissenschaftlicher Theorien und Ergebnisse
at Archaeoworks 3 in the Senatssaal of the Humboldt- Universität zu Berlin, Germany
11 Dec 2014 (Re-)Konstruktion antiker Architektur. Didaktische Animation als Medium der Wissensvermittlung
at the workshop “Rekonstruktion und Archäologie” at the Brugsch-Pascha-Saal of the Archäologisches Zentrum der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin, Germany
20 Oct 2014 The Reconstruction of Uruk: Theory, Method and the example of the White Temple
at the Salle des conférences, MISHA, University of Strasbourg, France
12 Jun 2014 The influence of early archaeological reconstructions to Near Eastern Archaeology
at the 9th International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (ICAANE) at the University of Basel, Switzerland
25 Apr 2014 Einkaufszettel Monumentalbau – Relative Quantifizierung von Baumaterialien anhand der Rekonstruktionen von Uruk
at the TOPOI workshop “Organisation großer Bauvorhaben in altorientalischen Gesellschaften” at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
13 Nov 2013 The visualisation of Uruk – First impressions of the first metropolis in the world
at the conference “Cultural Heritage and New Technologies 18” at the cityhall in Vienna, Austria
11 Jul 2013 Monumentalarchitektur des 4. und 3. Jahrtausends v. Chr. von Uruk
together with Ricardo Eichmann at Gobelin-Saal, Bode-Museum, Berlin, Germany
26 Feb 2009 Königliche Gärten als konstitutives Element altorientalischer Residenzstädte
at the Zentrum für Altertumswissenschaften, University of Heidelberg, Germany


Regular classes

3D Modelling and Reconstruction in Archaeology (University of Cologne)
Regular course, every second semester
In this course I teach the application of 3D software to give the students all the tools necessary for creating own reconstructions. The second half of the semester is therefore for a self-organised teamwork reconstruction project of their own choosing. If all goes well, we’ll enter the students reconstructions with VR technology to evaluate the results of the semester.

3D recording and documentation of material culture (University of Cologne)
Regular course, every second semester
In this seminar I teach the theory and usage of different 3D documentation techiques like Structure from Motion, Reflectance Transformation Imaging, 3D Laserscanning, Remote Sensing Techniques and 3D Printing. The students can learn the practical application of the technologies during the course as well as the theoretical implications of digital documentation.

Kernkompetenzen Archäoinformatik II (University of Cologne)
Regular course, every second semester
In this shared course I teach the first half of the semester students the application of AutoCAD software to enable them to digitize excavation plans and section in a professional way. Beyond that, we also take a first look at 3D applications of AutoCAD software for quick construction and visualisation.

Individual classes

“That belongs in a museum!” – Creating Archaeogames from idea to release (University of Cologne)
Summer semester 2022
This course is a collaboration between students of Digital Humanities and Archaeology as well as Digital and Computational Archaeology in order to form teams that develop, produce and release an Archaeogame within a semester. It is up to the group to decide in which way they want to debate the problematic depiction of archaeology within video games and how to produce a playable game that problematizes counterfactual history, ethics in archaeology and/or other concepts within these subjects.

Colloquium in Digital Cultural Heritage (University of Cologne)
Winter semester 2020/21
The colloquium is a joint class with the Digital Humanities of the University of Cologne. During the semester we listened to invited talks about Archaeoinformatics, Digital Humanities and corresponding fields. I organised one half of the invited lecturers and the supervision of the students of Archaeoinformatics.

Modellierung von virtuellen Rekonstruktionen in der Archäologie (University of Münster)
Winter semester 2020/21
In this course I taught students the application of 3D software to create own reconstructions as well as methodological tools to evaluate them in Virtual Reality. The course also dove into theoretical and ethical aspects of digital reconstruction in Archaeology. As this course was held as a block seminar, students had to self-organise their reconstruction project.

Die Grabkammer in Weiden. Von der Erfassung / Erforschung bis zum virtuellen Modell (University of Cologne)
Summer semester 2018
This joint course gave students the opportunity to experience the creation of a virtual model of Cultural Heritage from the archaeological recognition to creating detailed laserscans, transferring the data to create a virtual model until the presentation in Virtual Reality for a wider audience.

Classes as a guest lecturer

Visualisierungen aus der Archäologie Westasiens (Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz)
Summer School 2022
The Summer School “Archäologische Visualisierung und Rekonstruktion im digitalen Zeitalter” of the Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz asked me to give a class on reconstructions of West Asia. I talked about what reconstructions are and what we need to be aware of. I also compared reconstructions made in the past with reconstructions made today.

3D Modelling of archaeological Reconstructions (HTW Dresden)
Summer School 2021
The Summer School “Computer- and Geosciences in Archaeology” of the HTW Dresden invited me to teach the class for a week in 3D modelling and reconstruction. The teaching was remote and utilized the flipped classroom method. The participants were from all around the world.

Rekonstruktionen in der Archäologie. Geschichte, Methoden, Beispiele und Entwicklungen (Freie Universität Berlin)
Winter semester 2019/20
I was invited to lecture one session of the seminar „Wissenschaftskommunikation“ at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. In this course the communication through images were of importance and the participants were interested in learning how to communicate knowledge with virtual reconstructions.

Rekonstruktionen in der Archäologie. Geschichte, Methoden, Beispiele und Entwicklungen (Humboldt-Universität Berlin)
Winter semester 2019/20
For a seminar about Virtual and Augmented Reality, I was invited to talk about reconstructions in Archaeolgy at the Humboldt-Universität Berlin, Germany. Here, I presented several projects I made as well as the theoretical background to Virtual Reconstructions.

Archaeoinformatics. Definition and Application (University of Cologne)
Summer School 2018
I was invited as a guest lecturer to present the field of Archaeoinformatics to the participants of a summer school in Cologne, Germany. I presented the field of Archaeoinformatics and as most of the students were Egyptian, also presented a reconstruction project based in Ancient Egypt.