The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis


Lost Labyrinth

Sponsored by: UCL Graduate School

28 November 2016

In 2000, Narushige Shiode was funded by UCL's Graduate School to develop a Reconstructive Model and Planning System for the Hawara Labyrinth Pyramid Complex and The Roman Period Cemeteries. This project is a collaboration between CASA and UCL's Petrie Museum. It explores the possibility of reproducing a destroyed historic site from its remaining artefacts using VR (virtual reality) technologies, and will also investigate the possibility of applying VR to planning the galleries of the future. 

This project explores the possibility of reproducing a destroyed historic site from its remaining artefacts using VR (virtual reality) technologies. We will build an experimental model for an online reconstruction that allows public users to explore and visualise the range of possible forms of the ancient architecture.

The project will focus primarily on the Hawara Labyrinth site, a unique combination of buildings and artefacts from two different eras and cultures: an Egyptian pyramid complex, and Roman period cemeteries. However, the method that we will develop is generic in that it is applicable to other sites and artefacts that require reconstruction and dissemination using digital technologies.

The project represents a unique collaboration between the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis and the Petrie Museum for Egyptian Archaeology. The Petrie Museum has a wealth of artefacts mainly from the ancient Egyptian periods, and there are innumerable projects involving their interpretation through reconstruction as well as many possibilities for displaying and disseminating these artefacts in new settings. What we propose here is the pilot phase to a series of digital reconstructions, which would be developed and disseminated using state of the art digital technologies, and popularised in a web-based context so that various publics could view the exhibits as well as consider various reconstructions for themselves.

The techniques we will develop are of wide use in archaeological reconstruction and we will continue to pursue this approach in the three-year project of the Digital Egypt, so as to realise the full potential of these new media in archaeology and museum planning as well as distance education.


  • Naru Shiode