Traditional museums have put their galleries and archives online. Concerts are happening on YouTube. Even Burning Man is going virtual this year. But if you've had your fill and want an escape through space and time, the Egyptian Tourist Board has the antidote to the everyday click-through tour. With international travel out of the question for many, the board posted virtual 3-D tours of notable historical sites to encourage learning during social distancing.
Sites on offer include an interactive tour of Queen Meresankh III’s tomb, the tomb of Menna, the Coptic Orthodox Red Monastery, and the late-14th-century medieval Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Barquq. Each one has distinct charm and unique details, but expect to see Egyptian heiroglyphics, amazingly preserved paintings depicting gods and goddesses, and frescoes of Coptic saints. Even if it was possible to see these sites in real life, there's something to be said about not sweating it out in the desert and being able to get answers to any of your questions. Cue: "Alexa, play 'Walk Like an Egyptian.'"
If you're familiar with Google Street View, you'll be able to navigate the site's interface and discover fun facts, like how Queen Meresankh III's tomb features 10 rock-cut statues of women. That's very rare, especially in Giza, thanks to Ancient Egypt's male-dominated society. Menna's tomb has vibrant depictions of everyday life, including images of his beautiful wife and five children. As a scribe, he had a specific and special place in the social heirarchy, so his temple blends religious iconography and a look at what life was like for ordinary people.
Sit back, click around, and don't be embarrased if you feel a little like Nicholas Cage or Harrison Ford. Archaeology was never this easy — or this fun.