I have walked passed the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology pretty much every day on the way to and from work, I even walked past it on endless occasions when I was a student at UCL, and shamefully I had never been in. Instead I always took the opportunity to nip to the British Museum and gaze at the impressively large objects. But not yesterday, yesterday was different. Last night saw the first of the UCLDH digital excursions, which just so happened to be at the Petrie! So I jumped at the chance to go along and have a pog about. Climbing three flights of stairs I entered the museum that looks like it is stuck in a time warp – not in a bad way, it looks amazing, and it is stuffed full with artefacts dating back 5,000 years. Every available space is filled with a multitude of objects, so much that you cant take it all in, in one go. I will definitely be going back. It is the perfect contrast to the British Museums Egyptian collection, the Petrie focuses on the Micro compared to the BM’s Macro, and at the Petrie it’s overwhelming just how many artefacts there are in such a small space! over 80,000 objects in fact
UCLDH’s digital excursions are an opportunity visit UCL departments that have specialist equipment and expertise of use to the field of digital humanities giving people a chance to look over interesting bits of kit and geek out over the possibilities the gadgetry and skills presented provide to the field of digital humanities. A great idea! So, last night we looked at the Petrie Museums use of 3D scanning in the museum environment, and there was wine too. Always good.
The Petrie is committed toward public accessibility for its collection so they formed a partnership, 3D Encounters, with the Ireland-based multimedia company IET (Íomhánna Éigipteach Teoranta) to develop high-end 3D scanning, modelling and presentational resources. Its a really interesting project and the webiste is quite fun.
Now the project has only just started, but the kit is pretty cool and apparently ‘portable’ it didn’t really look like it could port very well, but you never know. The aim is to digitally record themed selections of objects and make them more accessible by telling their ‘stories’. The project will also Digitally recreate some of the more rare & fragile artefacts, replicated for public handling and for sustainability. There is something really compelling about being able to manipulate digital objects and being able to learn more about them in such a tactile (albeit virtual) way, so I cant wait to see the end product.
A good night out.