From the Museum back to the tomb: the virtual rejoining of a sarcophagus and its burial in 26th Dynasty Saqqara – Rita Lucarelli
The Late Period inner sarcophagus of “chief physician” and “overseer of the Temehu (Libyan mercenaries)” Psamtek, found in 1900 in Psamtek’s tomb south of the Unas pyramid at Saqqara, is now on public display in the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology in Berkeley, California (PAHMA 5-522). Like many museum objects, its modern display cannot adequately replicate aspects of its original archaeological context — in a deep rock-cut shaft, nestled among hundreds of impressive elite tombs at the necropolis. In order to virtually re-place the sarcophagus in its original context, a joint team from the University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz, is developing a dynamic VR-headset experience that combines a 3D reconstruction model of Saqqara with a photogrammetric model of the sarcophagus. In this presentation, I will provide a demo of the VR headset application (under development), present the “Book of the Dead in 3D project”, aiming at building a database of annotated 3D coffins as the one of Psamtek, and describe the technological and intellectual challenges of combining multiple types of data in the application.
Rita Lucarelli is currently an Associate Professor of Egyptology at UC Berkeley and Associate Faculty Curator of Egyptology at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology of the University of California, Berkeley and Fellow of the Digital Humanities in Berkeley. She is presently working at a project aiming at realizing 3D models of ancient Egyptian coffins (http://3dcoffins.berkeley.edu/) and is completing a monograph on demonology in ancient Egypt. She is also one the coordinators of the Ancient Egyptian Demonology Project: http://www.demonthings.com and a Faculty Member of the Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology graduate program of UC Berkeley.
The event will be held in English and will be introduced by Christian Greco, Director of the Museo Egizio.
It will be broadcast via streaming on the Museum's Facebook page and Youtube channel.