Digital Humanities Initiative Talk Series: “Death in 3D : the visualizations of ancient Egyptian coffins and their virtual traveling back to the tombs”
Date: 4 December 2023 (Monday)
Time: 12 noon (HKT)
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Prof. Rita Lucarelli
Associate Professor of Egyptology
Department of Middle Eastern Languages and Culture
About the talk:
Since 2015, the Book of the Dead in 3D Project produces 3D annotated models of ancient Egyptian decorated coffins and sarcophagi, conceived as media of funerary religion and magic. In this lecture it will be discussed how meaningful it is to study a religious text or image through digital annotations on a 3D model of ancient artefacts.
In the second part of this lecture, the application of VR technology to the study of ancient Egyptian coffins and funerary monuments will be discussed as well, through the presentation of the international collaborative project “Return to the Tomb: the re-contextualization of a 26th Dynasty Egyptian sarcophagus at the cemetery of Saqqara in Virtual Reality” (UC Berkely, UC Santa Cruz, Virginia Tech, University of Bonn)
Since 2015, The Book of the Dead in 3D Project produces 3D annotated models of ancient Egyptian coffins and sarcophagi, serving as mediums for funerary religion and magic. This lecture examines the significance of studying religious texts and images using digital annotations on 3D models of ancient artifacts. Additionally, the lecture delves into the application of virtual reality (VR) technology in studying Egyptian coffins and funerary monuments. The collaborative project “Return to the Tomb” by UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, Virginia Tech, and the University of Bonn demonstrates the re-contextualization of a 26th Dynasty Egyptian sarcophagus in Saqqara Cemetery through VR.
About the speaker:
Rita Lucarelli is an Associate Professor of Egyptology in the Department of Middle Eastern Languages and Culture, and the Class of 1939 Chair of Undergraduate Education. She is the Faculty Curator of Egyptology at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology and a Fellow of the Digital Humanities at UC Berkeley. She is presently working at a project aiming at realizing 3D models of ancient Egyptian coffins, the Book of the Dead in 3D. She is also completing a new monograph on demonology in ancient Egypt entitled Agents of punishment and protection: ancient Egyptian Demonology in the First Millenium BCE.
Rita Lucarelli teaches, lectures and researches Egyptomania and the reception of ancient Egypt in the contemporary world, in particular on the representation of ancient Egypt in Afrofuturism. She also teaches courses of Egyptology, Comparative Religion and Interdisciplinary Writing at San Quentin State Prison through the Mount Tamalpais College (https://www.mttamcollege.org/).
Rita Lucarelli studied at the University of Naples “L’Orientale,” Italy, where she received her MA degree in Classical Languages and Egyptology. She holds her Ph.D. from Leiden University, the Netherlands. Her Ph.D. thesis was published as The Book of the Dead of Gatseshen: Ancient Egyptian Funerary Religion in the 10th Century BC. She worked as a Research Scholar and a Lecturer at the Department of Egyptology of Bonn University, where she was part of the team of the “Book of the Dead Project”.