Animal mummies

Years: 2022 - 2023

Commissioned by: Ben van den Bercken, curator Allard Pierson

Supervision: Jitte Waagen

Concept development: Tijm Lanjouw / Jitte Waagen

Modelling: Tijm Lanjouw / Alicia Walsh / Markus Stoffer

Technical development: Markus Stoffer / Tijm Lanjouw

Project description: This project aims at making CT scans of the animal mummy collection from the Allard Pierson available to the wider public. A 3D viewer was developed that allowed museum visitors to interact with volumetric 3D visualisations of the CT data as well as with surface scans of their exteriors.

To create the desired content for the application, all animal mummies from the Allard Pierson were scanned using photogrammetry or with an Artec LEO. The CT scans were made by the Amsterdam UMC. The application itself was developed using the X3DOM framework.

Two versions of the application were developed. A pilot version was presented at the temporary animal mumies exhibit in january 2022 and included two animal mummies. The final version was developed for all animal mummies. For this version an interactive learning experience was added which gives information about what CT data allows researchers to see. The code was rewritten to improve the quality of volumetric data visualisation reusing code from Virtual Natural History Museum (with permission). This version will be on display in the Allard Pierson from january 2024.


Tijm Lanjouw, 2022, Creating the animal mummy viewer.

Application test version with CT data visualisation


Animal mummies introduction screen. Here museum visitors can choose which mummy to investigate.
Volumetric display of crocodile mummy with cross-section tool active in the pilot version.
The sparrowhawk CT data in the final version of the application with learning experience.
Exterior scan of the sparrowhawk mummy displayed in the animal mummy 3D viewer.