Latest prototype 3D applications for laser scanning technology of heritage materials made accessible to the public for the first time in Qatar.


University College London Qatar (UCL Qatar) has unveiled its inaugural exhibition entitled 3D Encounters: Where Science Meets Heritage, allowing the public access to cutting-edge 3D scanning technology of ancient artefacts for the first time.

The 3D interactive exhibition is one of a series of activities that UCL is planning to increase public engagement and interest in cultural heritage and its preservation. The exhibition aptly takes place in the Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture, a year of festivities to celebrate the long-standing relationship between the two countries.

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Installed on 10 February 2013, the  permanent exhibition explores how 3D digital replicas of museum collections can be used to advance museum, archaeological and conservation practice. Using 3D visualisations of artefacts from UCL Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology in London, the exhibition offers a 360 degree view of ancient items that range from fragments of stone vessels and carved wooden hair combs to a skull on an ancient Egyptian ruler.

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At the exhibition, visitors can try out the 3D technology themselves and handle virtual images of historical treasures. The public are invited to do this through a series of interactive activities that combine 3D images with immersive technologies such as heightened reality and gesture recognition. For example, one interactive visualisation transports visitors to an archaeological site in Egypt where they are able to select 3D replica artefacts to pick up and inspect.

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Visitors can also try their hands at restoring an ancient mummy mask through a touch screen interactive image that allows them to choose and test different facial features. Another interactive option offers a 3D image of a skull that archaeologists believe is that of an ancient ruler named Inti. Visitors can then build layers of muscles, veins and skin on to the ruler’s skull via touch screen animation to see what Inti might have looked like.

You can view the permanent exhibition at UCL Qatar, housed on the second floor of the Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) building at Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU) in Education City from 8 am to 5 pm.