This Web site presents the preliminary results of a pilot study conducted by the University of Michigan Virtual Reality Laboratory for AERA, Inc. (Ancient Egypt Research Associates; Mark Lehner, President), which administers the Giza Plateau Mapping Project (GPMP) affiliated with The Oriental Institute (University of Chicago) and the Harvard Semitic Museum. Mark Lehner is Director of the GPMP and a Research Associate at the Harvard Semitic Museum. Peggy Sanders (Archaeological Graphic Services) produced the 3-D Giza model for AERA. The goal of the project is to develop an interactive 3-D model of the Giza Plateau using VRML, the Virtual Reality Modeling Language. VRML is a standard for the distribution of 3-D models over the Web. The models can be functional and interactive. To view VRML models, a VRML plug-in is required for your favorite Web browser. We recommend the CosmoPlayer plug-in for the Internet Explorer or Netscape browser.
Our first VRML model is of the Great Pyramid of Khufu. Several methods of navigation around the pyramid and through its inner passages can be used. A complete "tour" sequence of preset viewpoints is provided that can be accessed using the viewpoint controls on the left side of CosmoPlayer dashboard. Some of these "viewpoints" are short rides (animations) and include one outside the pyramid and 3 in the Grand Gallery and King's Chamber. You also can freely navigate through the passages and chambers using the navigation controls in the center of the dashboard. Outside of the pyramid, you can use a slider control to increase the transparency of the pyramid walls.
Once inside the pyramid, a sectional map provides information about your location
via a red dot that moves with the viewer. A blue arrow on one side of the
dot indicates the direction of movement. It also is possible to click on several spots
on the map and be "transported" to that viewpoint. Map "hotspots" are: the entrance on
the North side, the
Gallery, the Queen's Chamber, the King's Chamber and the Unfinished Chamber.
Another control that appears when you are inside the pyramid is
an arrow button that toggles between standing and crawling positions. Height
to eyelevel for standing is 1.35 meters and height to eyelevel for crawling is .7 meters.
You can stand in the chambers, but not in the passages. If you switch to a standing position
and try to navigate freely in the passages, you will get stuck and will not be able to move.
|Entry passage with texture added|
CosmoPlayer dashboard controls are shown.
|View from the East|
The white transparency slider has been moved to the right to increase the transparency of the pyramid walls. The inner passages and chambers are now visible.
|View from the Northeast|
To view larger versions of the images, click on each image.
|Queen's Chamber||Queen's Chamber with texture added|
|King's Chamber||King's Chamber with texture added|
|Grand Gallery||Unfinished Chamber|
Click to load the VRML model without textures and interact with it on the Web.
File: khufu.wrl - 18 May 99 - 329K (compressed on public site)
Click to load the VRML model with textures and interact with it on the Web.
File: texkhufu.wrl - 18 May 99 - 365K
Click to load the 6-15-99 VRML model with textures. This version uses the Anchor node to display text in the browser window.
File: 6-15_texkhufu.wrl - 7 June 99 - 366K
Click to load the 6-26-99 VRML model with textures. This version restores the VRML text. (texture error at top of Grand Gallery)
File: newtexkhufu.wrl - 26 June 99 - 376K
Click to load the 7-7-99 VRML model with textures. This version has some changes in the Script and Collision nodes to remove inconsistencies and unnecessary routes. Please check this out thoroughly, especially on the SGI. (texture error at top of Grand Gallery)
File: 7-1texkhufu.wrl -- 7 July 99 -- 377K (compressed on public site)