Great digital modeling work being done on Karnak at UCLA by Dr. Elaine Sullivan

The UCLA Visualization Portal displays a 3D virtual reconstruction of Karnak.

The UCLA Visualization Portal displays a 3D virtual reconstruction of Karnak.

Congratulations to Dr. Elaine Sullivan at UCLA, who was recently featured in the Harvard Gazette regarding her research on a 3D virtual reconstruction of “The Temple of Amun-Ra at Karnak: 2000 Years of Rituals and Renovations in 3-D.”

The Karnak model depicts the temple from its earliest hypothesized form in the Middle Kingdom, about 1950 B.C., through the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. It allows the viewer to trace the changes of the temple over time, considering how each new stage of construction was a response to the existing landscape, Sullivan said.

And Harvard’s Philip J. King Professor of Egyptology, Dr. Peter Der Manuelian, understands the power of virtual modeling ancient archaeological sites:

The 3-D models are “terrific tools for teaching and also terrific research tools, because you begin to ask questions that were not possible before.”

Kudos to Dr. Sullivan on her years of work on Digital Karnak, which can be viewed in detail at UCLA’s Digital Karnak website.

ucla digital karnak model reviewed by british museum curator

The Digital Karnak Project was designed and built at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) under the direction of Dr. Diane Favro (director of the ETC) and Dr. Willeke Wendrich (editor-in-chief of the UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology).

the ucla digital karnak model has been reviewed by the curator of the department of ancient egypt and sudan at the british museum, neal spencer. the egyptian complex at karnak is the latest digital reconstruction to come out of the ucla experiential technologies center lab. previous models include the roman forum including the colosseum (italy), qumran (west bank), the cathedral at santiago de compostela (spain), and the hypermedia project.

spencer states:

Karnak represents a perfect case study for using virtual reconstructions, satellite imagery and interactive tools to allow interested parties to explore the archaeological site in many different ways. Karnak lends itself to periodisation, something very difficult to visualise when actually among the jumbled up ruins of the temple, with late phase building shrouding much of what went before, and many buildings having been dismantled or moved, even in ancient times. The timemap feature is particularly useful at disentangling the complex construction histories, with maps overlaid on a Google Earth image, and pop-up boxes to allow further investigation of individual buildings. Each ‘feature’ or monument is then associated with an archive, comprising model rendering, photographs (new and old), videos and object references.

read the review here.

ucla experiential technologies center unveils qumran visualization portal page

Dr. Robert R. Cargill in Qumran Interview Video for the UCLA ETC

Dr. Robert R. Cargill in Qumran Interview Video for the UCLA ETC

the ucla experiential technologies center has produced a new website for its virtual modeling research projects. among the digital reconstruction projects are the egyptian site of karnak,  santiago de compostela, and of course everyone’s favorite, qumran, the site associated with the discovery of the dead sea scrolls. each site comes complete with a description of the project, the principal modelers and research team, and a short movie introducing the research project.

for more information regarding the etc,including a complete listing of the research technologies available to researchers, visit http://www.etc.ucla.edu.

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