The Outer Coffin of Amun's Priest Nespaperennub, as Digitized by the "Book of the Dead in 3D" Project at UC Berkeley
Ancient Egypt is among the most studied ancient civilizations in the world and the museum collections of Egyptian antiquities keep attracting an impressive number of visitors, while Egyptology has become a fundamental discipline to include in university curricula focusing on the study of the ancient world.
However, there are categories of ancient Egyptian artifacts that remain hidden to the public as well as difficult to study for specialists. This is the case of the coffins that housed the deceased’s mummified body. Those produced in the First Millennium BCE, which are the focus of a project currently undertaken by UC Berkeley, were anthropoid in shape and decorated with spells and scenes mainly taken from the so-called ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead.
Since 2015 and with the support of small seed grants, the so-called "Book of the Dead in 3D" project has produced eighteen 3D models of previously unpublished ancient Egyptian coffins, which are kept in the storage rooms of the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at UC Berkeley and in other Egyptological collections in California and in the US. These 3D models are currently available to study on the project’s website as well as on their Sketchfab page.
In digitalEPIGRAPHY's most recent 3D modeling article written by Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures researcher at UC Berkeley, Rita Lucarelli, the author provides a first-hand glimpse into their current goals of research, digitization methodology as well as their plans for the future. If you'd like to study UC Berkeley's coffins in 3D or learn more about the project, click here to read professor Lucarelli's article.
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