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Prof and a Pint: Death on the Nile – A 3D Visit to Egypt’s Most Enduring Cemetery

March 9, 2020 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm  |  Forager, San Jose


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.

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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 UC Santa Cruz Inspired Expeditions page.

Questions? Contact Kara Snider at


March 9, 2020
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


Forager, San Jose
420 S 1st St
San Jose, CA 95172 United States