Harvard’s Digital Giza Project Lets You Access the Largest Online Archive on the Egyptian Pyramids (Including a 3D Giza Tour)

Noth­ing excites the imag­i­na­tion of young his­to­ry-and-sci­ence-mind­ed kids like the Egypt­ian pyra­mids, which is maybe why so many peo­ple grow up into ama­teur Egyp­tol­o­gists with very strong opin­ions about the pyra­mids. For such peo­ple, access to the high­est qual­i­ty infor­ma­tion seems crit­i­cal for their online debates. For pro­fes­sion­al aca­d­e­mics and seri­ous stu­dents of ancient Egypt such access is crit­i­cal to doing their work prop­er­ly. All lovers and stu­dents of ancient Egypt will find what they need, freely avail­able, at Har­vard University’s Dig­i­tal Giza Project.

“Chil­dren and spe­cial­ized schol­ars alike may study the mate­r­i­al cul­ture of this ancient civ­i­liza­tion from afar,” Harvard’s Meta­l­ab writes, “often with greater access than could be achieved in per­son.” The project opened at Har­vard in 2011 after spend­ing its first eleven years at the Muse­um of Fine Arts, Boston with the goal of “dig­i­tiz­ing and post­ing for free online all of the archae­o­log­i­cal doc­u­men­ta­tion from the Har­vard University—Boston Muse­um of Fine Arts Expe­di­tion to Giza, Egypt (about 1904–1947),” notes the about page.

The Dig­i­tal Giza Project was born from a need to cen­tral­ize research and arti­facts that have been scat­tered all over the globe. “Doc­u­ments and images are held in far­away archives,” the Har­vard Gazette points out, “arti­facts and oth­er relics of ancient Egypt have been dis­persed, stolen, or destroyed, and tombs and mon­u­ments have been dis­man­tled, weath­er-worn, or locked away behind pas­sages filled in when an exca­va­tion clos­es.” Oth­er obsta­cles to research include the expense of trav­el and, more recent­ly, the impos­si­bil­i­ty of vis­it­ing far-off sites.

Expand­ing far beyond the scope of the orig­i­nal expe­di­tions, the project has part­nered with “many oth­er insti­tu­tions around the world with Giza-relat­ed col­lec­tions” to com­pile its search­able library of down­load­able PDF books and jour­nal arti­cles. Kids, adult enthu­si­asts, and spe­cial­ists will all appre­ci­ate Giza 3D, a recon­struc­tion with guid­ed tours of all the major arche­o­log­i­cal sites at the pyra­mids, from tombs to tem­ples to the Great Sphinx, as well as links to images and arche­o­log­i­cal details about each of the var­i­ous finds with­in.

For a pre­view of the mul­ti­me­dia expe­ri­ence on offer at the Dig­i­tal Giza Project, see the videos here from project’s YouTube chan­nel. Each short video pro­vides a wealth of infor­ma­tion; young learn­ers and those just get­ting start­ed in their Egyp­tol­ogy stud­ies can find lessons, glos­saries, an overview of the peo­ple and places of Giza, and more at the Giza @ School page. What­ev­er your age, occu­pa­tion, or lev­el of com­mit­ment, if you’re inter­est­ed in learn­ing more about the pyra­mids at Giza, you need to book­mark Dig­i­tal Giza. Start here.

Relat­ed Con­tent: 

Who Built the Egypt­ian Pyra­mids & How Did They Do It?: New Arche­o­log­i­cal Evi­dence Busts Ancient Myths

A 3,000-Year-Old Painter’s Palette from Ancient Egypt, with Traces of the Orig­i­nal Col­ors Still In It

What Ancient Egypt­ian Sound­ed Like & How We Know It

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

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