NEH Funds Development of Ancient Egyptian Exhibit at Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Grant provides funding for planning stages of immersive virtual experience.
Carnegie Museum of Natural History received a grant from the National
Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) that will fund the development of an
immersive virtual experience centered on the museum’s ancient Egyptian
The museum was awarded a $29,962 Humanities Digital Projects for the
Public grant, which NEH developed to support projects that contribute to
public engagement in the humanities through digital platforms.
The grant will fund the initial research and planning stages of an
on-site immersive virtual experience that will simulate a journey on the
Nile in the royal funerary boat of pharaoh Senwosret III (c. 1887-1848
“This is an opportunity for us to utilize technology and plan an
engaging new exhibit around a fascinating piece of our Egyptian
collection,” said Dr. Eric Dorfman, director of Carnegie Museum of
Natural History. “This grant ensures that we will have the proper
scholarship and expertise we need on the front end of the project.”
The boat, which was discovered outside of Cairo in the Dashur pyramid
complex, is currently on display in Walton Hall of Ancient Egypt.
Egyptologists believe that the boat, one of four discovered at Dashur,
was used in funerary rituals to transport the pharaoh’s body across the
Nile where it was mummified and buried.
“The Carnegie boat can provide museum visitors a tangible connection to
how the ancient Egyptians viewed life, death, and the afterlife as
extensions of the natural world,” said Dr. Erin Peters, an assistant
curator of science and research at Carnegie Museum of Natural History.
The museum plans to use the immersive virtual experience as a
centerpiece for Egypt on the Nile, a new exhibition Carnegie Museum of
Natural History is developing that will explore the parallels between
the natural and human history of ancient Egypt and the modern world. The
exhibition is being planned for 2020-2021.
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment
for the Humanities supports research and learning in history,
literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding
selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional
information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its
grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.
“NEH provides support for projects across America that preserve our
heritage, promote scholarly discoveries, and make the best of America’s
humanities ideas available to all Americans,” said NEH Chairman William
D. Adams. “We are proud to announce this latest group of grantees who,
through their projects and research, will bring valuable lessons of
history and culture to Americans.”
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this
report do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for
Carnegie Museum of Natural History, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is among the top natural history museums in the country. It maintains, preserves, and interprets an extraordinary collection of millions of objects and scientific specimens used to broaden understanding of evolution, conservation, and biodiversity. Carnegie Museum of Natural History generates new scientific knowledge, advances science literacy, and inspires visitors of all ages to become passionate about science, nature, and world cultures. More information is available by calling 412.622.3131 or by visiting the website, www.carnegiemnh.org.