Beyond King Tut – The Immersive Experience

Enter into the cavernous building on Pier 36 in NYC, and find yourself transported to ancient Egypt to follow the short and storied life of King Tutankhamun, the boy King. Marking the 100th anniversary of the discovery of his tomb in the Valley of the Kings, the exhibit that was made in partnership with the National Geographic Society, is a fascinating look at the life of a pharaoh who lived 3000 years in the past.

Stepping from room to room you feel as if you’ve been given special access to a catacombs, each turn revealing another stunning golden digital display wrapped around the discovery of the tomb in 1922, his life and family and the afterlife. Facts and digitized artifacts commingle—the important personal effects that were buried with King Tut, reflecting the day to day of his time, games like senet reminding the viewer that he was just a boy for most of his reign. A few moments really stood out to us. Not to be morose, but we loved the detail on the death ritual—interesting and comprehensive, it gave insight into ancient Egyptians’ beliefs and rituals surrounding the journey to the afterlife, to include gods like Isis, Horus and Ra. There is a visually stunning animation of Tut going on this journey, about 20-30 minutes but well worth watching in its entirety. It’s where the immersive technology really shines, the colorful and powerful imagery shown on all four walls and the floor. The room is anchored by a giant ship giving it increased visual interest.

The other aspect that is important not to miss is the 8 minute VR experience, Tutankhamun: Enter the Tomb. I am a big fan of VR, and this is used in a way to allow you to literally step into his tomb, with both ability to float over and in, exploring the various chambers and artifacts. In all, we loved this immersive experience as the technology is used to its full effect and the result is a delight for both adults and children to imagine the short and impactful life of a boy King who had captured the imaginations since the discovery of this treasure trove of history

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