Visual Acuity advises on 3D image display  for Mummy: the inside story tour

6 December 2011

Brighton, UK. Visual Acuity is working with The British Museum on a new version of their international touring exhibition entitled Mummy: the inside story — secrets of the tomb. The tour's premier venue, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, USA, will display a 3D imaging experience around one of the Museum’s most intriguing ancient artifacts: the mummy of Nesperennub.

For this new tour, The British Museum deployed advanced 3D imaging technologies to reveal the secrets inside the mummy of Nesperennub — an ancient Egyptian priest who died in approximately 800 BC — using non-invasive X-ray and computerised tomography (CT) scanning techniques to look inside the mummy without disturbing its wrappings in any way.

 The latest result of a 3D scan of Nesperennub. Image credit: (C) The British Museum
Image (here 2D of course) of a 3D scan of Nesperennub.
Image credit: © The British Museum

The experiment provided a unique insight into the complex mummification process and Nesperennub’s life in ancient Egypt, while also allowing Museum staff to reconstruct his facial features. Visual Acuity was then engaged to advise on a 3D theatre display, which would allow visitors to see graphic visualizations of the mummy’s face and skeleton, despite the fact that they remained encased within his coffin.

Blair Parkin, Managing Director at Visual Acuity, recalls: “We have used the most advanced projection and display technologies to show graphic representations of the outer coffin, the cartonnage case that sits inside it and actually holds Nesperennub’s remains, the skeleton and the jewellery with which the body was adorned prior to embalming and, most strikingly, a very detailed representation of his face.”

Image of a 3D scan of Nesperennub, Montage showing whole body.
Image credit: © The British Museum
Image of a 3D scan of Nesperennub.
Image credit: © The British Museum

The Mummy — still intact — has made a transatlantic journey to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia for an exhibition spanning four months. Teams from both museums are working on creating a new display, using the latest 3D projection technology to create an even deeper and more realistic experience for visitors.

The latest chapter in this mummy’s extraordinary story unfolded on 19 November 2011. The show is narrated by Patrick Stewart and covers many new discoveries unseen to the visiting public before now.


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