British Museum

'Ancient Lives: new discoveries'

June 16, 2014

At the end of 2013 we were briefed by the British Museum to create an interactive, digital experience to allow visitors to explore a group of eight mummies as part of the ‘Ancient lives: new discoveries’ exhibition.

Using breakthrough technology, the exhibition showed a never-before-seen picture of eight individuals’ lives in the Nile Valley over 4,000 years - from prehistoric Egypt to Christian Sudan.

The exhibition was made possible by three-dimensional CT reconstructions of the mummies which were analysed using anthropological and forensic techniques. These were made up from hundreds, sometimes thousands, of CT scans combined to create an impressively detailed reconstruction of the bodies and objects concealed within the wrappings.

We were asked to create an engaging and respectful way of presenting the three-dimensional CT reconstructions alongside the mummies and communicating the information hidden within them. Working alongside the exhibition curators, we developed an innovative, interactive, digital solution.

The digital interactives that were positioned next to the physical mummies offered a choreographed journey that allowed the visitor to unwrap each layer of the mummy, controlling speed and direction. Via the interactives, users were able to control the scans using a simple circular hand gesture. If the visitor dwelled on a specific section of the sequence, they would unveil a deeper layer of interpretation.

The carefully balanced combination of digital media and physical objects in the exhibition aimed to enrich the visitor’s journey as the explored the ancient lives of the eight individuals.