Thursday, 23 Apr, 2009 Science

Scientists Rebuild Biggest Ancient Egyptian Temple Complex


It took 2 years for a team composed of UCLA Egyptologists, digital modelers, web designers, staff and students to create a 3D virtual-reality reproduction of the ancient Egyptian religious site called Karnak, which is considered to be one of the biggest temple complexes ever erected.

The team of experts managed to develop a high-tech model that makes it possible for users to navigate through the Digital Karnak that runs in real time. It is worth mentioning that the famous Egyptian tourist site is located near today's Luxor, a place where for many generation the Egyptian pharaohs built sacred structures, including temples, chapels, obelisks, sphinxes and shrines starting with the 20th century B.C.

Specialists from UCLA's Experiential Technologies Center were the ones to help initiate the digital restoration of historical sites. Now students, teachers and educators are free to explore the Digital Karnak at . In addition to the 3D model of the Karnak, the website's visitors can also explore a Google Earth version of the temple and several pages describing the chronology and creation of individual structures at Karnak.

"This learning platform allows educators and researchers to geo-temporally situate information and thus visualize and interrogate the evolution of Karnak over 2,000 years," said Diane Favro, who is currently the director of the project and who is also a professor in the architecture and urban design department at the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture.

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