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A three-dimensional (3-D) observation cell with realistic AC-type structure and size was fabricated and measurements were done, for the first time, on the spatiotemporal behaviors of excited Xe atoms by using optical emission and laser absorption spectroscopic techniques. As a typical characteristic feature, it is seen that the discharge starts from the temporal anode edge, stretching toward the cathode, and a striated pattern of excited atoms appears on the anode side while a single broader peak distributes on the cathode side, traveling to its far end. In addition, the dependence on the applied voltage was clearly seen in the distribution of excited atoms, which shows the influence of the charge accumulation on the walls. With the two-dimensional projection images obtained from side and front views in both the emission and absorption measurements, an iterative method was tried preliminarily to derive the peak values of excited Xe atoms in the 3-D space.