image/svg+xml73XI/1/2020INTERDISCIPLINARIA ARCHAEOLOGICANATURAL SCIENCES IN ARCHAEOLOGYhomepage: http://www.iansa.eu3D Reconstruction as a Form of Interpretation: Example of Excavation of the Medieval Peťuša Castle (Central Slovakia)Matej Styka*, Noémi Beljak PažinováaaDepartment of Archaeology, Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Tr. A. Hlinku 1, Nitra, Slovakia.1. IntroductionIn Slovakia in recent years there has been a great number of excavations of castles from the Middle Ages or Modern Era. The main priority of these excavations has been the restoration and reconstruction of the preserved architecture; in other words, the conservation of the torsional parts of structures (for details, see Herceg and Mazúr, 2018). Only a very small number of castles are being solely excavated for scientifc and documentation purposes, for example, with its primary focus being the revealing of our forgotten history. The ruins of the Peťuša Castle (cadastre of Ostrá Lúka) near Zvolen in Central Slovakia can serve as an illustrative example (Figure 1). During eight excavational seasons (2011–2018) the castle has undergone an interdisciplinary research under the leadership of the Department of Archaeology, Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra. No written or iconographic sources are known for this site (Beljak Pažinová and Ragač, 2018). Therefore, the period name of the castle or who built the castle, in other words its owner, is unknown. The castle was discovered by terrain reconnaissance (the visible massive destruction mound of the stone curtain wall in forest vegetation) and by the initial feld survey (Figure 2) on the site (Hanuliak, 2006, p.265). The current name of the castle ruins originates from the name of the nearby location of Peťusa (a meadow situated northwest of the castle), which is marked on all basic topographic maps.The castle is situated on the top of a small hill over the left riverbank of the Gran (Hron) River and approximately 6 km away from the city of Zvolen. It is 2 km distant in visual contact with the well-known, medieval, royal Pustý (Deserted) Castle (Beljak, et al., 2014; Beljak, Beljak Pažinová and Šimkovič, 2018, pp.5–62), towering over the city of Zvolen. Peťuša Castle has an oval shape with maximum dimensions of 44×22 m and it is situated in a north-south direction with an altitude of its interior space of 368–372.7 m asl. From the north, east and west side, the castle is protected by steep clifs. The south to southeast side of the castle had been protected by a massive defensive ditch carved into the bedrock, which even today is still nearly 14 metres deep. Two terraces are situated over the ditch from the south side. The distance between these Volume XI ● Issue 1/2020 ● Pages 73–87*Corresponding author. E-mail: mstyk@ukf.skARTICLE INFOArticle history:Received: 2ndMarch 2020Accepted: 7thJuly 2020DOI: words:3D technologyvisualizationarchaeological excavationHigh Middle AgesPeťuša CastleCentral SlovakiaABSTRACTThe paper presents a case study from the research of the High Medieval Peťuša Castle (Zvolen District) in Central Slovakia. Its aim is to present documentation and analytical procedures based on the application of 3D techniques in archaeology. During the archaeological excavation of the Peťuša Castle, several methods were used to document the castle hill, archaeological contexts and artefacts. The aim of the paper is to reference the possibilities of 3D visualization, which serves not only as an interesting presentation of archaeological results to the general public, but also for the work of the archaeologists themselves. The primary goal is to use 3D technology in the analysis and subsequent interpretation in a way that is not common in archaeological procedures. These methods are applied in the interpretation of the architecture of the castle, walking ground level and the surrounding environment. The main contribution is the clarifcation of spatial relations, visualization of the examined structures, and the opening of polemics within the interpretation levels.
image/svg+xmlIANSA 2020 ● XI/1 ● 73–87Matej Styk, Noémi Beljak Pažinová: 3D Reconstruction as a Form of Interpretation: Example of Excavation of the Medieval Peťuša Castle (Central Slovakia)74terraces and the south side of the castle is ca. 40 metres (in shortest direct line).The location of the Peťuša Castle – on a ridge in a narrow valley above the fow of the Gran River with a good view over the southern part of the Pliešovská basin (and thus the northwest part of the historical Zvolen county) – leads us to the logical assumption that this castle served as a guard post with its main task to control the local roads and waterways. This assumption is supported by its location in the near vicinity of a medieval ford on the Gran River, called Szellősrév (Maliniak, 2009, pp.216–218), closely beyond the edge of the medieval Zvolen land area, whose citizens had been freed from paying tolls throughout the Kingdom of Hungary (Ragač, 1998, pp.13–14). The castle is also located near old pathways (and former stopping points) used as trade roads (represented by visible carriage marks) leading from the south (from Pliešovská basin) to the town of Zvolen (Pažinová, et al.2013, p.160, pic. 4 and 8; Slamová, et al., 2014; 2016). From the crossroads of trade roads located 450 m away from Peťuša Castle, a possible access path leads to the southern terrace above the castle ditch, the path being identifed with the use of datasets from a point cloud obtained from the scanning technology LiDAR (light detection and ranging; source: National Forest Centre Zvolen, average height 700 m).The main goal of the Peťuša Castle excavation is to uncover the process of its construction and the subsequent use of the area, including the functional division of interior space. Among the main research questions belong the fnding of its functionality, the duration and usage of the castle, and its involvement in an historical context. This article aims to point out the possibilities of using 3D technology for the analysis and subsequent interpretation of the Peťuša Castle disposition. The main focus of attention is the castle complex itself and the surrounding contemporary environment. The intention is one of greater understanding, clarifcation of spatial relations and a visualization of the studied structures by means of 3D documentation, and the reconstruction of