A new exhibition that uses complex 3D models and a giant touch screen has been unveiled in Stockholm, Sweden. The Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities is allowing budding archaeologists to look deep inside an Egyptian sarcophagus.  As BBC News reports, the museum in Stockholm recently used computed topography and photogrammetry on 8 Egyptian sarcophagi in order to look inside the coffins. It is quite common to use CT scanning technology to assist in the analysis of relics such as these, but the museum is using one of the scans for a new exhibition.

Virtual Archaeology

The table that is used in the exhibition is a giant touch screen that allows the user to ‘digitally unwrap’ the mummy of what is believed to be an Egyptian priest. Users can use a slider to virtually take off layers of the coffin, from the solid sarcophagus through the cartonnage and down to the mummified remains that are encased beneath.  Users are able to move their hands to zoom in and out and rotate the 3D models on each layer of the mummy.

Interactive Institute Swedish ICT are the team behind the exhibit.  They have previously collaborated with other museums, using a CT scanner to unveil the hidden gems behind other ancient artefacts. The institute says this new exhibit is it’s most advanced yet.

“CT scanning gives you information about the interior of the mummy but it doesn’t give you any colour or surface information…so we continued the process by doing laser scanning and photogrammetry and that process gave us information about the surface and textures and colours of the mummy and then we’re taking all that data and putting it on the table and making it accessible for museum visitors,” said the institute.

So what are you waiting for? Time to pack your backpack and head on over to Sweden for some virtual archaeology.

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[Image via eteknix]

SOURCE: http://www.theverge.com/2014/3/21/5532476/museum-lets-visitors-digitally-unwrap-an-egyptian-mummy