March Prof & A Pint: Death on the Nile: A 3D Visit to Egypt's Most Enduring Cemetery

The ancient Egyptian necropolis of Saqqara was the burial place of kings, queens, priests, and elite officials for 2500 years (3000-332 BCE), and boasts some of the most spectacular architecture and art from the Pharoanic Period. In this talk, we'll make a virtual visit to the site, using a 3D model that digitally 'reconstructs' the original appearance of the ancient monuments, and explore how royal and elite Egyptians created a special landscape to guarantee their eternal life and power.

Elaine Sullivan (M.A. and Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University) is an Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Sullivan is an Egyptologist and a Digital Humanist whose work focuses on applying new technologies to ancient cultural materials. Her archaeological work in Egypt includes five seasons of excavation with Johns Hopkins University at the temple of the goddess Mut (Luxor), as well as four seasons in the field with a joint UCLA-Rijksuniversiteit Groningen project in the Egyptian Fayum, at the Greco-Roman town of Karanis.

Her upcoming born-digital publication, Constructing the Sacred (Stanford University Press), utilizes a geo-temporal 3D model of the necropolis of Saqqara (near modern Cairo) to investigate questions of ritual landscape at the site. In 2007-2008, she served as project coordinator for the Digital Karnak Project, creating a multi-phased 3D virtual reality model of the famous ancient Egyptian temple complex of Karnak. Sullivan has published extensively on the use of digital technologies for research and scholarship, including recent articles in the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, and the Bulletin for the Institute of Classical Studies.

In October 2020, Professor Sullivan will lead a 12 day small-group expedition to some of her favorite research sites in Egypt. For more information visit the UCSC Inspired Expeditions page here:

Check out the Meetup page for more details

Monday, March 9 at 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Forager Tasting Room and Eatery 420 South 1st St. San Jose, CA 95172

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations

Invited Audience

Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Students, General Public, Graduate Students


Science & Technology




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