The Field Museum of Natural History

Quick Facts:
Location: The Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago
Type: Permanent exhibition, Temporary exhibition, Content partners Installation: 2013-ongoing
Content: CT-Scans provided by the client
Services: Data processing, visualization, software customization, UI customizations.

The Field Museum of Natural History, located in Chicago, USA, is one of the largest natural history museums in the world and keeps one of the largest collections of mummies found in any U.S. museum.

Field Museum researchers use advanced computer tomography (CT) to examine mummies and other objects in the collection. The medical imaging technology helps the scientist to virtually examine mummies in detail and gain knowledge about sex, age, health, living conditions, and beliefs of the mummified individual.

When Field Museum first wanted to make the 3D scans of the mummies available for their visitors, they turned to us. Over the years we have worked together with researchers and curators to produce several interactive exhibits based on Inside Explorer allowing museum visitors to virtually explore a variety of artifacts, including Egyptian and Peruvian mummies, Martian meteorites, and insects in amber.

The Gilded Lady is a real ancient mummy that dates from 30 BC-AD 395, a period when Egypt was a province of the roman empire. Shown in Inside Explorer.

Adding a new dimension to The Mummies Exhibition

Our first two interactive experiences, one featuring Egyptian mummies and one Peruvian mummy, were showcased in Field’s traveling exhibition Mummies which toured the US between 2016-2018 displaying at venues such as the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

The exhibition featured the ritually preserved bodies of 18 Egyptians and Peruvians, with accompanying artifacts and Inside Explorer interactives that made the mummies more accessible than ever.

Having been 3D CT-scanned, the intricate details within the wrappings of the mummies were revealed, and visitors to the exhibition were able to virtually ‘unwrap’ the mummies and see the contents of the coffins using Inside Explorer installed on interactive touch screens. Users could remove layers of ornament and wrapping, examine details of the mummification process, and “section” mummies to examine their skeletons and see internal elements, such as organ preservation.

Partnering to make the collection accessible to others.

In addition to being our long-term friends and customer, Field Museum is a much-appreciated content partner sharing their visualized artifacts with the world through our inside Explorer 3d content library. Our partnership is opening for other museums to access and showcase Field Museum’s natural history collection.

The meteorites, fossilized insects, and Egyptian and Peruvian mummies are all packaged and licensed for our Inside Explorer users.

A visualized meteor from the meteor explosion in Chelyabinsk district of Russia 2013. The meteor is the largest object to fall on Earth in almost 100 years, with an estimated mass of about 11,000 metric tons.

Watch an on-demand webinar with JP Brown, Regenstein Conservator, Field Museum.

In an on-demand Webinar together with Field Museum, Conservator JP Brown takes us through how you go about scanning items from Chancay pots to Egyptian mummies, what we learn from the results, and how we present the excitement of discovery to the public. A must-see for museum employees interested in digital heritage.

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