3D interactive journey into the Great Pyramid of Khufu


A mouse click – and a member of a pharaoh’s burial procession turns around. One more click – and the animated figure invites you inside the snaking, narrow corridors of one of the world’s most magnificent structures – the Great Pyramid of Khufu, also known as the Great Pyramid of Cheops.
Peering into the screen through his funky red and blue 3D glasses, ancient Egypt enthusiast Keith Payne is gripped by the centuries-old story unfolding before his eyes as if through a time-travel lens.
“This is amazing!” he says. “I think that being able to use a 3D simulation tool to explore Khufu’s pyramid is really a whole new way of both learning and teaching. Being able to pause the narration and virtually take control of the camera to go anywhere in the scene and explore for yourself, and then return to the documentary where you left off is a way of learning that was never really available before now.”
This interactive journey, first presented to the public in a 3D theatre in Paris, has now migrated onto the home desktop. To watch the film, users simply download a plug-in and don a pair of 3D glasses – although the software gives the sensation of depth without them too, to a lesser extent.
And it works with 3D TVs, too.
With help of cutting-edge 3D technology, the video lets users take a peek inside the 146m-high Great Pyramid, the last of the seven wonders of the ancient world still standing. The scene appears as it might have 45 centuries ago – full of the loyal people of the second ruler of the fourth dynasty.
But the film is not pure entertainment – besides the educational aspect, it tries to explain one of the theories behind the pyramid’s construction. Lying north of modern-day Cairo, the largest and oldest of the three pyramids of the royal necropolis of Giza is believed to have been built as Khufu’s tomb. Inside, it contains three burial chambers – one underground, a second known as the Queen’s Chamber which was possibly intended for the pharaoh’s sacred statue, and the King’s Chamber. This latter is located almost exactly in the middle of the structure, and it is there where the pharaoh’s granite sarcophagus lies, but no mummy has ever been found. The 3D film takes viewers back to ancient Egypt, as it was 45 centuries ago.