This virtual 3D model is an Egyptian ‘shabti’ statue; shabtis were special servant statues placed in tombs. The statue in the app is holding agricultural tools for farm work. It is over 2,500 years old and was once owned by Florence Nightingale who spent several months in Egypt in 1849-50. The hieroglyphic script on the statue is a magical spell to bring it to life and set it to work. This statue is number 7 of Liverpool World Museum’s 10 Objects from Ancient Egypt.
3D Models are made of points called vertices that define the shape of objects (a 'point cloud'). Connected vertices form a surface from a 'wireframe' mesh of triangles. The triangles can be shaded according to the colour of the object and the virtual lighting. This is called rendering. We make the 3D model look real by wrapping it in pixels from photographs of the original object (known as 'textures').
With 3D models we can create 3D printed copies at different sizes. Here are three transparent resin 3D prints of the shabti.
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Our thanks to Dr Ashley Cooke, Head of Antiquities at Liverpool World Museum for supporting this project.