The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology located in London has created an interactive, online 3D object library, allowing users to view the artifacts by rotating and zooming in on the artifact. This interaction allows visitors to view the ancient relics much more closely, seeing small details that aren’t visible to the naked eye.
The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology is part of the University College London Museums and Collections, hosting one of the most extensive collections of Egyptian and Sudanese artifacts in the world. The interactive 3D library is funded by the Arts Council England and is creating 3D images from the collections that are available online.
“The aim of our 3D imaging program is to allow visitors to see artifacts in ways not possible in traditional museum displays. The 3D image library gives online visitors the type of access only curators have – the public can now virtually handle objects and closely examine the smallest details of their composition,” explained Tonya Nelson, Head of Museums and Collections.
The 3D Petrie Project research team has developed a process that combines reference photography and 3D imaging. The online 3D library uses WebGL interactive visualization. The museum hopes to share this process soon so that other museums may benefit from this technology.
The museum also plans to expand the library, including a section for visitors to learn about the history and use of the artifacts, as well as the original excavation site of the objects to their present location in the Petrie Museum.