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Egypt: discovering antiquity from your sofa

In this period of confinement, many have had to cancel trips, outings, and other outdoor activities. Although an overwhelming amount of cultural attractions are at a complete standstill, there are some initiatives, however, that allow for one to have beautiful discoveries, without even leaving the couch! This is the case in Egypt, where the national tourist office offers all online visitors a virtual visit to the ancient tomb of Queen Meresankh III.

Who hasn’t dreamed of visiting monuments dating back to antiquity without leaving the comfort of their living room? Lots of people haven’t, actually, since it is far more pleasant to be able to travel and discover the world and its heritage in person. But with the current health crisis the entire world has no choice but to endure, this is a luxury no one can longer afford. This is why the Egyptian Tourist Office currently provides virtual tours, free of charge, of an epic 5000-year-old site: the tomb of Queen Meresankh III, located in the Giza Necropolis.

 

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Prototyping in the tomb of Meresankh III in the eastern cemetery on the plateau. Can't wait to be able to talk more about this 🤫 In the meantime, check out the Giza Project at giza.fas.harvard.edu from @harvard and the AR Dreaming the Sphinx app we built for Peter der Manuelian at @harvardmuseum to translate hieroglyphs between the paws of the Sphinx. . . (Many thanks to @damirkotoric1 for modeling 🙏🎥) . . . . . . #digitalarchaeology #digitalhumanities #archaeology #digitalart #art #heritage #digitalhistory #hackathon #giza #cairo #egypt #pyramids #meresankh #harvard #harvarduniversity #education #augmentedreality #ar #vr #xr #digitalnomad #nomading #digitalnomads #digitalnomading #fieldwork

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3D Modeling

The site, which can be accessed here, opens the doors to this tomb, which is as famous for its impeccable state of preservation as it is for its timeless beauty. Through the 360 degrees Google Street View tool, users can move around freely, discovering the entirety of the site at their own pace, taking the time to linger on any of the works present. According to Georges Andrew Reisner, the archaeologist who discovered the site in 1927, the quality of the works is unparalleled. The visit is made possible by the 3D modeling technology of the American University of Harvard, as is the visit to two other sites, no less spectacular: the mural paintings of the Red Monastery near Sohag, or the Ben-Ezra Synagogue.