Last week the Do Not Touch? 3D in Museums conference took place organised by The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. In order to give a very short talk (5 minutes!) about digitising the tomb chapel of Hetepherakhty, I paid a visit to this lovely town. Thanks to the awesome Rennan Lemos I was a guest at Emmanuel College, where one can stroll across the freshly mowed lawns and watch students play croquêt (true story). During the quiet period all of the colleges are closed to tourists, but I managed to take a sneak peek inside the chapel and old library (and sing an aria or two).
Your average university chapel (Emmanuel College)
A highlight of Cambridge is of course the Fitzwilliam Museum, with its stunning Egyptian collection including a rare relief from the mastaba of Itet, lovely Middle Kingdom wooden models, dainty selection of daily life articles, and the massive sarcophagus lid of Ramesses III, hauled to England by the Italian strongman Belzoni. I love how the hands of Isis and Nephtys come out of the granite to lightly embrace the deified king. But the museum contains so much more, from Roman glassware to modern paintings.
The Fitzwilliam Museum
Relief from the tomb of Itet: notice the cavity where the paint paste was inserted
Middle Kingdom model of a bakery/brewery: notice how the lighter-skinned women grind, sieve and heat bread moulds, while the red-skinned men pound grain, brew and carry the beer
Granite sarcophagus lid of Ramesses III
The ugliest object in the collection: a carp tureen
But also: Pieter Bruegel
Cambridge in general is a gorgeous old University town, a Leiden² of sorts. I managed to locate the river Cam (who knew), stumbled upon the best noodle bar in town and enjoyed the surprisingly good weather. I also died and went to heaven upon entering Heffers, and managed to cram a not further specified amount of books into my hand luggage.
The best ramen in town
Heffers is like Escher but with books
The bridge on the river Cam with some punting going on
On Monday, the conference took place. There was an abundance of talks introducing many different projects, from Museum in a Box to the pop-up Egyptian coffins project (antiquities in supermarkets and pubs!), CT scanning of coffins and the Nomad Project. Lorna Richardson discussed the very interesting topic of digital ethics, and I enjoyed Dave Fletcher‘s guerrilla scanning tactics. My own 5 minutes of fame were gone in an instant, but I hope the audience gained a glimpse of what René van Walsem, Hans van den Berg and I are working on.
Afterwards in the pub I met some great people, including the inimitable Lee Robert McStein and the cool kids from the 3D Visualisation Lab at the Natural History Museum. Thanks to Melanie Pitkin, Daniel Pett and Jo Vine for organising this lovely conference!
I could have this for breakfast every day