Even if you’re not an archaeologist or a connoisseur of Egyptian history, there’s definitely something intriguing about the pyramids that keeps you wanting to know more. Now, thanks to a partnership between Dassault Systemes and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, that knowledge will be accessible in a lifelike, virtual 3-D experience.
Dassault is joining forces with the museum to bring the power of experiential 3D to the domain of archaeology, specifically for the the Giza Archives Project, a digital initiative that “assembles and links” the world’s archeological information on the Egyptian pyramids at the Giza Plateau. In the last decade, the project has digitized historic expedition photographs, excavation diaries and field notebooks, maps, plans and sketches from the ancient tombs. The result is the largest database and Web site ever assembled devoted to this topic.
Building on the research, the Dassault partnership will enable real-time virtual reconstruction of the Giza plateau based on actual archaeological data. Leveraging Dassault’s simulation tools and immersive 3-D technologies, the collaboration will result in new forms of scientific inquiry and communication that will open the door to new questions and offer new hypotheses. Dassault and the MFA plan to create new forms of multi-platform experiences through Internet devices or through more complex virtual and augmented reality systems, using game consoles, 3-D screens and potentially movie theaters.
The Giza Archives Project is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and supervised by Egyptologist Peter Der Manuelian, the MFA’s Giza Archives Director, and Philip J. King, professor of Egyptology at Harvard University. The partnership is a logical extension of projects initiated by Dassault three years ago around the pyramid of Khufu as well as others.