Jul.5, 2013

A Swedish museum says it plans to digitise its mummy collection in 3D using the latest 3D reality capture techniques to allow visitors to unwrap a real mummy in digital form.

(Credit: Institute Swedish ICT)

A group of Swedish visualization researchers, The Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities – Medelhavsmuseet in Stockholm, FARO and Autodesk team up in this state-of-the-art mummy visualization project.

As part of the development of a new permanent Egyptian exhibition, Medelhavsmuseet in Stockholm is making their collection of mummies available in digital form for the first time.

Six mummies from the museum's collection will be scanned using dual energy Computer Tomography (CT). The dual energy CT scan will not only reveal the interior in very high detail, but it will also reveal the type of material from which different objects inside the mummy are made.

Through collaboration with Autodesk and 3D scanner maker FARO, the intricate surfaces, colors and textures of the mummy, cartonnage and the sarcophagus will be surface scanned using a combination of photogrammetry and laser scanning reality capture methods. This will result in the generation of a 3D geometric mesh and associated textured imagery, in addition to the volumetric data captured by the CT scanner.

The results will then be visualized using a real-time interactive visualization table developed by the Interactive Institute Swedish ICT. This table will be part of the new permanent exhibition. Museum researchers or visitors will then be able to use simple gestures to explore the mummy as a whole or zoom in to see fine detail, such as carving marks on the sarcophagus. They can also remove the outer casings, unwrap the mummy, and peel off layers from the body to reveal anatomy and artifacts wrapped together with the body.

(Credit: Institute Swedish ICT)

"The technology will enable our visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the men and women inside the mummy wrappings. Layer by layer, the visitor can unwrap the mummy and gain knowledge of the individual, his or her living conditions and beliefs in eternal life. Through this technology, the mummies convey and promote knowledge of our past as human beings." said Elna Nord, Exhibition Producer of Medelhavsmuseet.

"We aim to set a new standard for how museums work with 3D digitization and interactive visualization to make collections more accessible to other museums, researchers and museum visitors." said Thomas Rydell, Project Leader of the Swedish Interactive Institute.

"We literately create a virtual copy of the mummy. This version could be shared to other museums, be used for research or be part of an interactive visitor experience. We could also 3D print the mummy or objects that we find inside the wrapping, making them physical again."

The permanent exhibition at the Medelhavsmuseet in Stockholm is scheduled to open in the spring of 2014.



Posted in 3D Scanning



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