Scanning Seti: The regeneration of a Pharaonic Tomb

Antikenmuseum Basel, 2017

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"Scanning Seti: The Regeneration of a Pharaonic Tomb" is an immersive visual journey showing the evolution of tomb of Seti I since its discovery in 1817 by Giovanni Battista Belzoni to the present day.

The rock-cut tomb of Seti I (1290–1279 BC) is the largest and most important of its kind in the Valley of the Kings.

In 1817, when Giovanni Battista Belzoni discovered the tomb of Seti I in the Valley of the Kings, he was fascinated by the perfect preservation of the wall decorations. He documented the relief paintings in great detail in a series of watercolours that later became a godsend for researchers. Unfortunately, enthusiasm, preservation and human presence have caused immense damage to this ancient site. The fascination with the tomb of Seti I and other discoveries in the Valley of the Kings led to the removal of Egyptian heritage and to the establishment of famous Egyptian collections abroad. Unregulated access in the 19th century, compounded by the effects of mass tourism and geological movements in the 20th century, furthered the damage to the pharaonic tomb. The tomb of Seti I was closed to the public in the 1980s and has only reopened recently.

Visitors can see a re-creation of the Hall of Beauties, made from Belzoni´s watercolors of the tomb and a full-scale facsimile of two chambers of the tomb: room I ¨The Hall of Beauties¨ and room J, the pillared s chamber.

Belzoni´s Hall of Beauties

The Facsimile of the Hall of Beauties

The facsimiles were created using data recorded at the original tomb in Luxor with non-contact technologies developed by Factum Arte, including special 3D scanning techniques and composite photography.

The Facsimile of Room J

Conservation and deterioration of the Tomb

Facsimile of the Sarcophagus

One of the highlights of the exhibition is Seti’s sarcophagus. The original has been in Sir John Soane’s Museum in London since 1824 but this facsimile allows to be seen for the first time in the context of the rest of the tomb.

New Technology for Cultural Heritage Conservation

The exhibition presents different technologies for cultural heritage conservation. Factum Arte has designed and developed non-contact technologies to record heritage at the highest possible resolution.

Factum Foundation also made the facsimile of the tomb of Tutankhamun currently installed at the entrance to the Valley of the Kings.


Virtual tour of the tomb of Seti I
3D video animation of the Sarcophagus of Seti I

Printing skins and adding colour
Re-materializing data
Squeezes, an invasive conservation technique

2017 Scanning Seti (article)
2017 Two hundred years in the life of Seti (booklet)
2017 Scanning Seti (exhibition catalogue, in German)
2002 Recording Seti (book)



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