Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Mysterious World of Mummies

Visitors to Discovery’s TLC site unwrap a world of mummies as they explore “how the dead are living’” The Unwrapped site tells the stories of more than 20 naturally and artificially preservedmummies from around the globe—from South America’s Andes and China’s deserts, to Europe’s bogs and Egypt’s tombs. As audiences explore the site, they find and unravel the secrets of both ancient time travelers and surprisingly modernmummies . A blend of science and imagination reveals how each lived, died, and came to survive the ravages of time. A re-creation of an ancient Egyptian tomb lets audiences discover, unwrap, and create an Egyptian mummy, then explore the tomb as it might have looked when the mummy was first sealed in its sarcophagus.

Designed for audiences with high-speed connections, Unwrapped combines animation, story text, music, streaming video, and audio commentary to create an environment that is both cinematic and user-responsive. The site’s design and functionality are inspired by archaeological metaphorsand the spirit of exploration. Users probe beneath a layer of linen mummy wrappings to move between story levels and find the mummies hidden underneath. Within each story, a controller lets the user pace the narrative and pause to access media-rich content embedded within animation sequences. In theEgyptian tomb , re-created by 3-D illustrator Jim Ludtke, a custom cursor simulates a flashlight, while a sliding controller lets users make and unwrap a classic Egyptian mummy. Each mummy has a custom soundtrack that transforms 10-second loops into complex, seamless musical scores.

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