The Book of the Dead in 3D – A new VR experience of the Egyptian tombs
The Book of the Dead in 3D

The Book of the Dead in 3D – A new VR experience of the Egyptian tombs

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An Egyptian tomb called “the Doctor,” which was buried under a pyramid and engraved with mystical spells has come to life in a new immersive VR experience.

Anyone interested in exploring the history can wear a VR headset and become an Egyptologist to enter the tomb to explore its bottoms. 

“The Book of the Dead in 3D” is developed by Egyptology experts at the University of California Berkeley, where an interested individual can use virtual reality to get a first-person glimpse of the Egyptian burial place. Its 3D environments and reconstructions present an up-close view of the site.

“You can have the experience of entering a tomb, walking around a coffin and interacting with these beautiful funerary texts and images. In Egyptology, printed books are still more valued than digital projects,” Lucarelli said. “But I think this trend is slowly changing, as we use new tools to document these ancient treasures.” – Rita Lucarelli, faculty curator of Egyptology at the Hearst Museum at UC Berkeley and an Associate Professor, Near Eastern Studies and  

When a user puts on the virtual reality headset, they are taken to Saqqara, which is a place of necropolis and pyramid field in Memphis. There, the user enters court physician Psamtik’s tomb (nicknamed “the Doctor”).

But Psamtik’s tomb was empty when it was discovered, although a coffin in a nearby room held a woman and was considered to be Psamtik’s wife. Till today, the mystery surrounding Psamtik’s tomb remains.

In addition to Psamtik’s tomb, Rita Lucarelli, along with her colleagues, have scanned and 3D-modeled Egyptian artifacts with a goal to protect ephemeral objects in a digital format.

“My main aim is for this project to be strong academically and useful for scholars.” – Lucarelli.

“The Book of the Dead in 3D” will be launched next year at the Hearst Museum.

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