Coming Soon: Ramses IV Tomb in Immersive Virtual Reality

View the tomb as it was being constructed in 1147 BCE

This project serves as a sequel and an immersive expansion to a previous work of mine, titled "Ancient Estimators." It was designed to be part II of that narrative. The goal is to allow for an exploratory dive into ancient builders' captivating methodologies and processes. This immersive experience seeks not only to educate but also to envelop the audience in the historical context and architectural ingenuity that defined the creation of these ancient marvels.

Ramses IV Tomb

Ramses IV Tomb: How it all started

All this started as a joke. Two of us, a writer and myself, worked in a marketing department for a company that digitized blueprints. The writer, we will call him “Bob,” was doing some research for an article he was writing about the origins of the blueprint. He mentioned something about them being started in the early 1800’s. I was surprised, as I figured the blueprint idea went back further in time.

I did some research and stumbled upon a clay tablet from ancient Sumeria. Now, at this point in time, we were joking a lot about “Ancient Aliens” and “Reptilian People,” so it was natural to wrap up our daily tasks and thought processes into this genre. A good laugh at work makes the day more enjoyable.

At any rate, one thing led to another, and here we are joking about our target market and referring to that group as “Ancient Estimators” – because they were still using paper blueprints. After all, we were in the business of digitizing those blueprints, so you no longer needed paper. Made perfect sense.

From this and all the research, we created Ancient Estimators. It was to be a 5 part video series exploring ancient building techniques and processes. Only one episode ever got released.

While episode 1 was being finalized, research and ideas were under development for episode II. During this research phase, I discovered a partial blueprint of an ancient Egyptian tomb. It was of Ramses IV’s tomb.

The Tomb in VR

This was a perfect discovery to start the second episode with. In episode one, we explored how early humans scribed floor plans onto clay tablets. Now, we have proof that they began to use papyrus, an early form of paper, to create floor plans.

So, episode II was underway. During this phase, I started to explore the possibilities of virtual reality and thought maybe I could create an actual VR experience that transports the viewer back in time so that they can see firsthand how this tomb was built, based on the existing floor plan.

I have extensive 3D modeling, texturing, lighting, and rendering experience. I just needed to get on board with applying those skills to VR.

Surprisingly, The VR journey was pretty straightforward, and I immediately took to it. I started doing massive research on ancient Egyptian construction techniques and tools. I learned how they lived while building these tombs, how they slept, what they ate, and how their day-to-day was on the job. All this information allowed me to create the 3D assets I needed to populate my world.

Besides the assets, I also needed to build the tomb itself. Thankfully, the partial blueprint that exists, combined with the known location of the actual tomb, gives me the precise measurements I needed to make the tomb to scale, so you actually feel like you are inside it, in VR.

Putting the world together and designing this educational experience has been fun. I have implemented a way for you to write/paint; you can interact with the common tools they used to build the tomb, and I have also added a few puzzles; you can climb and jump, and so much more.

It’s been an incredible learning experience from a historical and technological point of view. It is getting close to completion and will soon be released to the world for others to enjoy.

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