Harvard’s Digital Giza Project Lets Scholars Virtually Visit Sites in Egypt And Beyond, and Even Print Them in 3D
From The Harvard Gazette:
The [Digital Giza] project was created in 2000 by Peter Der Manuelian, who at the time was on the curatorial staff at the MFA. A scholar of ancient Egypt, Manuelian said his initial vision was to create a digital record of the work of Harvard’s legendary Egyptology Professor and MFA curator George Reisner and the Harvard-MFA Expedition he led. The expedition was one of the major academic archaeological efforts at Giza and other sites in Egypt during the early 1900s.
Reisner, who led the expedition for more than 40 years, dug at 23 sites, and Manuelian soon realized that just digitizing material relating to the vast finds on the Giza Plateau — which includes not only the pyramids and the Sphinx, but also associated temples, nearby cemeteries, and even a workers’ village — would be a career-long challenge. In 2010, he moved to Harvard to become the Philip J. King Professor of Egyptology and director of the Harvard Semitic Museum, and he brought the Giza Project with him.
The project staff’s ambition has since expanded to include not just Reisner’s work at Giza, but that of other archaeologists at the site as well, making it a comprehensive resource for Giza archaeology. It contains some 77,000 images, 21,000 of them Harvard University-MFA Expedition glass-plate negatives, and 10,000 of Manuelian’s own images. It has published manuscripts as well as unpublished expedition records, dig diaries, object record books, and sketches and drawings made by the archaeologists doing the digging. In January, during Harvard’s winter recess, Manuelian visited Egypt and collected another 5,000 digital images — including panoramic photos — of Giza and related objects in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
- A key feature of the Giza Project is the fact that the material it holds is cross-referenced online, allowing a researcher to seamlessly move from a 3D image of an object to scholarly articles about it to diary pages by the archaeologist who discovered it.
Direct to The Digital Giza Project Website
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Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.