CLOSE

Researchers Have Reconstructed an Ancient Egyptian Throne

Researchers at Harvard University recently used computer modeling software to recreate the 4500-year-old throne of Queen Hetepheres, an Egyptian ruler who lived around 2550 BCE. The ornate replica is currently on display in a new exhibit at the Harvard Semitic Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

In 1925, a joint archaeological expedition between Harvard University and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts unearthed Hetepheres’s tomb in Giza, Egypt. The room was filled with once-majestic furniture that had deteriorated over millennia. According to the Boston Globe, conservators and craftsman used detailed archaeological notes from the Giza expedition to build copies of some of the tomb’s furniture pieces in the 1930s; today, they sit in the Cairo Museum and in storage at the Museum of Fine Arts. Hetepheres’s inlaid wood-and-gold throne, however—a find that archaeologists say is one of the most elaborate pieces of royal furniture from Egypt’s Old Kingdom—was too complicated to replicate.

In recent years, advances in technology allowed a fresh generation of scholars to pick up where their predecessors left off. To build the intricate chair, an interdisciplinary team at Harvard first created a 3D digital model of the tomb and its artifacts. They then used a computer-controlled, five-axis milling machine to construct an exact likeness of the throne.

Fashioned from cedar, wrapped in gold foil, and fitted with ceramic falcons, flagstaffs, beetles, and arrows, the brand new throne resembles the original down to the last detail. It was also created using techniques that the original builder used thousands of years ago, team members say.

“This is experimental archaeology,” Rus Gant, lead technical artist on the project, told the Boston Globe. “We wanted to know how they made it, not just replicate something that looked like it." 

Thanks to the chair, experts now know more about furniture craftsmanship in ancient Egypt. However, some ancient mysteries—like the meanings behind some of the chair's inlaid symbols—continue to stymie them.

The throne initiative came courtesy of the Giza Project, a comprehensive digital resource of all archaeological finds from the storied Egyptian city. It includes notes, diaries, photographs, and maps, as well as 3D virtual creations of its famous sites. Learn more about the chair on their website, or see it in person; Recreating the Throne of Egyptian Queen Hetepheres is an ongoing exhibit at the Harvard Semitic Museum. 

[h/t Boston Globe]

All images courtesy of YouTube.

arrow
Afternoon Map
The Richest Person of All Time From Each State


Looking for inspiration in your quest to become a billionaire? This map from cost information website HowMuch.net, spotted by Digg, highlights the richest person in history who hails from each of the 50 states.

More billionaires live in the U.S. than in any other country, but not every state has produced a member of the Three Comma Club (seven states can only lay claim to millionaires). The map spans U.S. history, with numbers adjusted for inflation. One key finding: The group is overwhelmingly male, with only three women represented.

The richest American by far was John D. Rockefeller, repping New York with $257.25 billion to his name. Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Microsoft's Bill Gates clock in at the third and fifth richest, respectively. While today they both make their homes in the exclusive waterfront city of Medina, Washington, this map is all about birthplace. Since Gates, who is worth $90.54 billion, was born in Seattle, he wins top billing in the Evergreen State, while Albuquerque-born Bezos's $116.57 billion fortune puts New Mexico on the map.

The richest woman is South Carolina's Anita Zucker ($3.83 billion), the CEO of InterTech Group, a private, family-owned chemicals manufacturer based in Charleston. Clocking in at number 50 is the late, great socialite Brooke Astor—who, though a legend of the New York City social scene, was a native of New Hampshire—with $150 million.

[h/t Digg]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook
arrow
fun
There’s a Ghost Hiding in This Illustration—Can You Find It?
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook

A hidden image illustration by Gergely Dudás, a.k.a. Dudolf
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook

Gergely Dudás is at it again. The Hungarian illustrator, who is known to his fans as “Dudolf,” has spent the past several years delighting the internet with his hidden image illustrations, going back to the time he hid a single panda bear in a sea of snowmen in 2015. In the years since, he has played optical tricks with a variety of other figures, including sheep and Santa Claus and hearts and snails. For his latest brainteaser, which he posted to both his Facebook page and his blog, Dudolf is asking fans to find a pet ghost named Sheet in a field of white bunny rabbits.

As we’ve learned from his past creations, what makes this hidden image difficult to find is that it looks so similar to the objects surrounding it that our brains just sort of group it in as being “the same.” So you’d better concentrate.

If you’ve scanned the landscape again and again and can’t find Sheet to save your life, go ahead and click here to see where he’s hiding.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios