One of the great threats to archaeological treasures is popularity. The more popular something is, the more tourists it gets. The more tourists, the faster it decays. Vibration, traffic, moisture, light, and human respiration all can degrade certain ancient artifacts.
The tomb and treasures of King Tutankhamen are quite possibly the most famous treasures of the ancient world, and if a modern rate of tourism was maintained, the tomb, wall art, and other elements would eventually be lost to us.
Enter Factum Arte, which combines laser scanning and hi-definition photography with 3D printing to create precise replicas. Yesterday, the Egyptian government opened their latest masterpiece: a precise recreation of the tomb, art, and fixtures of King Tutankhamen’s tomb that took five years to make.
The laser-scanning recording 100 million points of information per square meter. Every detail, including all the art and ever the cracks in the walls, were painstakingly recreated to make the model as precise as possible.
The new version is located outside the entrance to the valley of the king’s near the home of Tut’s discoverer, Howard Carter. The project will be followed by similar replicas for the tombs of Queen Nefertari and Seti I.
Here’s a 30-minute look at the laser scanner that made this possible.