Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Virtual exploration of Egypt's monuments

With a click of his computer mouse, Peter Janosi, a lecturer at the Institute of Egyptology in Vienna, analyzes ancient statues and decodes hieroglyphs unearthed
in the distant Giza Necropolis.

From the comfort of his study in Norwich, England, Colin Newton, a retired television repairman, explores rare Giza maps and expedition diaries in an effort to catalog all Old Kingdom tombs. Meanwhile, Laurel Flentye, an Egyptologist who specializes in art and archaeology, downloads excavation photos and roams inside subterranean chambers, zooming in on relief decorations in tombs around the Sphinx and Great Pyramid from her Cairo home.

They are virtual explorers, traveling through time and space via an online, interactive collection of one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world -- the Old Kingdom Giza Necropolis, with its royal tombs, pyramids, temples, and other Egyptian monuments circa 2500 BC.

The Giza Archives Project, established by Boston's Museum of Fine Arts in January 2005, aims to become the world's central online repository for all archaeological activity at the necropolis, beginning with the major 20th-century excavations that were jointly funded by the museum and Harvard University.

There's a rather nice slide show of Giza to accompany the article.

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