The Elegance of Technology

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From the Theban Mapping Project website.

Update: There’s been a significant update to the Theban Mapping Project.


Modern technology? Eh. It’s poetry I’m after. But there are times, rare certainly, when the meshing of computer technology and the humanities is nothing less than elegant. The most recent example of this is in Egyptology. It’s worth a look even if you’re not the archaeology fetishist I am.

The Theban Mapping Project is an astonishing, and super mega ultra awesome, project using 3-D representation to map the entirety of one of Egypt’s richest, and largest, archaeological areas, Thebes. Surprising yet inevitable use of technology. From their website, you can look around, above and below ground, at the myriad tombs, chapels and other structures at both the Valley of the Kings and the Theban Necropolis. Short films give an introduction to each structure. There is also an archive of relevant articles and you can read the “comprehensive site management Masterplan” for the VoK.

Although the project started in 1978, I believe its greatest value to the layman has come about with the confluence of a number of computer technologies: the interknob, 3-D graphics, animation and online video. The only thing the site seems to be missing is a feed. In my opinion, they should have at least a news page, if not an out-and-out blog (and why not that?), equipped with a feed so interested people could keep up-to-date with their activities.

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