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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Reminder: Northern Cal. ARCE Lecture Sunday Aug. 26 - The Book of the Dead in 3D

Come to Berkeley this Sunday for what promises to be a fascinating lecture on how computer-aided 3D reconstructions are being used to promote our understanding of coffin funerary art.


The American Research Center in Egypt, Northern California Chapter, and the Near Eastern Studies Department, University of California, Berkeley, invite you to attend a lecture by Dr. Rita Lucarelli, University of California, Berkeley:


Visualizing Ancient Egyptian Coffins:
The Book of the Dead in 3D

Sunday, Aug. 26, 3 pm

Room 20 Barrows Hall
UC Berkeley Campus

(Near the intersection
of Bancroft Way
and Barrow Lane)

About the Lecture:

Egyptian coffins are inscribed with spells and images which stand in for spells. All function together as a machine to resurrect the deceased and to guide them safely through the next world. Given this function, it's perhaps surprising that the texts from coffins are usually published completely divorced from their position on the coffin. Any additional meaning conferred on the texts by their placement on the surrogate body or relative to each other and the vignettes is lost. To understand a coffin as a magical machine, it's necessary to view the spells in 3D so that this relationship can be taken into account.

This lecture will present a project that, by using the technique of photogrammetry for the 3D visualization of ancient Egyptian coffins decorated with magical texts and iconography, aims at building up a new digital platform for an in-depth study of the ancient Egyptian funerary culture and its media.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Rita Lucarelli, Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley, creates 3D models of ancient Egyptian coffins. Using Agisoft Photoscan, she and her team transform 2D photographs into 3D models before annotating the virtual figures with transliterations, translations, and other relevant data. Lucarelli studied at the University of Naples "L'Orientale," Italy, where she received her MA degree in Classical Languages and Egyptology. She holds her Ph.D. from Leiden University, the Netherlands (2005).  Her Ph.D. thesis was published in 2006 as The Book of the Dead of Gatseshen: Ancient Egyptian Funerary Religion in the 10th Century BC. From 2005 to 2010, Lucarelli held a part-time position as a Lecturer of Egyptology at the University of Verona, Italy. From 2009 to 2012, she worked as a Research Scholar on the Book of the Dead Project at the University of Bonn, Germany. She was a Visiting Research Scholar at the Italian Academy of Advanced Studies of Columbia University (2009) and at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW) of NYU (2012). Until June 2014 she worked as a Research Scholar and a Lecturer (Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin) at the Department of Egyptology of Bonn University, and she held a part-time position as a Lecturer of Egyptology at the University of Bari in Italy. She is Assistant Curator of Egyptology at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology of the University of California, Berkeley and Fellow of the Digital Humanities in Berkeley.

Membership Vote:

In accordance with the Bylaws, our August lecture is the designated membership meeting. The nominations for the 2018-20 Board will be voted upon by a voice vote of eligible attendees, as no office is contested.

Parking is available in U.C. lots after 5 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends for a fee. Ticket dispensing machines accept either $5 bills or $1 bills, and debit or credit cards. The Underhill lot can be entered from Channing way off College Avenue. Parking is also available in lots along Bancroft, and on the circle drive in front of the Valley Life Sciences building.

A map of the campus is available online at

For more information about Egyptology events, go to or

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