Sunday, January 15, 2012

There's an App for Everything

I decided to see what (free) apps existed for iPhones (or iPads) for those of us interested in archaeology. There are not many, but there are a few:

1) British Museum - The Book of the Dead: this app was created to promote a special exhibit the British Museum had on the Egyptian Book of the Dead in 2011. There is a short video that can be viewed on the topic. You can also answer a few reasonably easy questions to unlock a copy of the papyrus of Hunefer for viewing. Some of the vignettes (such as the weighing of the heart) in the papyrus are explained when you click on them. Overall, an app that is interesting but could have been so much more.

2) Louvre Top 100 - this app has some stunning photos of the major works of art housed in the Louvre Museum in Paris. Ninety-Six of the objects have nothing to do with the ancient Middle East. The four items that do are:

  • The Law Code of Hammurabi
  • The Mesha Stela (9th Century B. C., from Jordan)
  • The Dendera Zodiac - Egypt (about 50 B. C.)
  • The Seated Scribe - Egypt (Old Kingdom)

Each object has a photo and a short description. Hopefully someone will use this same format for an app that covers a major collection of Egyptian or Mesopotamian art.

3) The Brooklyn Museum - the app itself has nothing on it really. There is, however, a link to the museum's full website. The website has some good photos and descriptions of:

  • Egyptian Mummies
  • Assyrian Reliefs
  • Egyptian Sculptures

Overall, these apps have their moments, but could be better. Hopefully someone will fill this gap in the near future (do I smell a business opportunity here?).

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