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October 18 2012

Visiting Ancient Egypt, Virtually

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — What do the pyramids of Giza in Ancient Egypt have in common with protesters using Twitter in modern-day Cairo? How did the writings of Thomas Aquinas inspire a field that now uses the motion-capture software of films like “Avatar”?

The answers to these questions lie in a relatively new discipline known as the digital humanities — in which long-lost civilizations can be recreated as virtual interfaces, and personal testimony from wars, disasters and revolutions can come together in interactive databases.

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