This project explores the possibility of reproducing a destroyed historic site from its remaining artefacts using VR (virtual reality) technologies. We will build an experimental model for an online reconstruction that allows public users to explore and visualise the range of possible forms of the ancient architecture. The project will focus primarily on the Hawara Labyrinth site, a unique combination of buildings and artefacts from two different eras and cultures: an Egyptian pyramid complex, and Roman period cemeteries. However, the method that we will develop is generic in that it is applicable to other sites and artefacts that require reconstruction and dissemination using digital technologies.
The project represents a unique collaboration between the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis and the Petrie Museum for Egyptian Archaeology. The Petrie Museum has a wealth of artefacts mainly from the ancient Egyptian periods, and there are innumerable projects involving their interpretation through reconstruction as well as many possibilities for displaying and disseminating these artefacts in new settings. What we propose here is the pilot phase to a series of digital reconstructions, which would be developed and disseminated using state of the art digital technologies, and popularised in a web-based context so that various publics could view the exhibits as well as consider various reconstructions for themselves. The techniques we will develop are of wide use in archaeological reconstruction and we will continue to pursue this approach in the three-year project of the Digital Egypt, so as to realise the full potential of these new media in archaeology and museum planning as well as distance education.
- A working paper on the project (prepared for the Encounters with Ancient Egypt meeting)
Also available in PDF format (741KB)
- A map of the area and a recent picture of the Labyrinth site
- Examples of the artefacts retrieved (JPEG thumbnails of UC database images)
- Index to the Roman period mummy portraits (JPEG images)
- Clip images from the 3D VR models (JPEG images)
- 3D VR Models in VRML (please beware of the file size)
-- Pyramid and the 12th Dynasty Tombs (3MB)
-- Pyramid and the Labyrinth Complex (Petrie version) (0.3MB)
-- Pyramid and the Labyrinth Complex (second version) (33MB)
- Movies (AVI movies)
-- Pyramid and the 12th Dynasty Tombs (14MB)
-- Pyramid and the Labyrinth Complex (Petrie version) (9MB)
-- Pyramid and the Labyrinth Complex (second version) (4MB)
- Comments on the reconstruction
- Some notes on Hawara
- Hawara after the Middle Kingdom
- References on the Labyrinth by ancient writers
-- Herodotus - Manetho - Diodorus Siculus - Strabo - Pliny - Pomponius Mela
- The nineteenth and early twentieth century work at Hawara
- Current research
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