Digital Humanities Fellow Lecture Series: The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead in 3D
Ancient Egyptian coffins are fascinating artefacts whose rich and complex iconographic and textual decoration provides a central source for the study of the ancient Egyptian religion and funerary culture. During this lecture, I will present my project “The Book of the Dead in 3D,” which uses photogrammetry for the analysis of illustrated and textualized Egyptian coffins kept at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology of UC Berkeley. In particular, I will explain how three-dimensional visualizations are extremely useful for studying the physicality of the magical texts (many of them belonging to the so-called “Book of the Dead”) copied on the coffins. The technical issues encountered while building the 3D models with Agisoft Photoscan software will be also presented while discussing the important role that photogrammetry and 3D techniques of visualizations are playing in the current research on ancient artefacts and archaeological contexts in Egypt.