The tomb of Nefertari, an Egyptian queen who died in 1255 BC, is the biggest in the Valley of the Queens and has been called the Sistine Chapel of Ancient Egypt.
Now there's a novel 360 degree VR capture of the tomb, which has been closed to visitors since undergoing a major restoration in 1992.
The resulting VR experience is the work of a 3-member team from developer Experius VR.
To capture the tomb's chambers, the Experius team used a 3D scanner from Leica Geosystems in order to produce a laser-scanned map. Thousands of stitched together DSLR photos were overlaid atop the map, creating a navigable, high-fidelity visual recreation of the tomb.
The same Leica Geosystems scanner was recently used for an immersive tour of one of architect Frank Lloyd Wright's homes. The scanner digitally maps physical environments with millimeter accuracy, making it a useful tool in fields as disparate as archeology and construction.
"The capture of Nefertari's tomb proves there are no boundaries in the effort to digitally preserve and explore our world's most stunning cultural artifacts," said Clint Stinchcomb, President and CEO of CuriosityStream, a VOD service specializing in nonfiction educational content.
CuriosityStream has been pursuing educational VR storytelling for its platform.
Nefertari: Journey to Eternity is available to download on Steam and Viveport. Web and mobile users can also watch a 360 degree video tour of the tomb.
Five additional videos from the same Egyptian production are also available.
Collectively, the projects illustrate the promise of VR as both an innovative education tool and a creative tool that could unlock new narrative forms for forward-thinking creators.
"As virtual reality and 360° technologies continue to improve and become more readily available, these tools will have the power to transcend today's production capabilities and transport audiences to places that we once thought unimaginable," said Jorge Franzini, Executive Producer for CuriosityStream. "It's still in the early days, but innovative filmmakers have the capacity to harness these technologies and forge a path to a new way of storytelling."