Archaeological excavations increasingly use an array of cutting-edge technologies geared at high-precision data collection in the field. The Church of the Glorious Martyr excavations went one step further by creating a scientifically accurate, life-like reconstruction of the site.

The reconstruction process began with 3D modeling of the excavated remains using drone aerial photography as a baseline for the reconstruction and then using state-of-the-art Building Information Modeling (BIM) software. This stage involved both virtually rebuilding the walls of the church complex and critical analysis of the excavated architectural remains. This process allowed us to detect and reconstruct elements of the building that were not preserved and therefore undetected during the excavations.

Next, an array of artifacts and features from the site, including oil lamps, columns, pillars, chancel screens, roof tiles, ceramic vessels, and other architectural fragments, were digitally scanned and installed into the model. In some cases, elements missing from the site’s assemblage were substituted by artifacts known from contemporaneous sites. Details that could not be accurately reconstructed based on available evidence—for example, the church’s wall paintings—were excluded. Lastly, realistic colors and textures were applied to the various elements for the final rendering.

The completed 3D model is the first of its kind and allows us to share our understanding of how the Church of the Glorious Martyr actually looked and, more importantly, to see it not as a ruin but as the experience it was designed to be.

Take a virtual tour of the church at