Augmenting Ancient Reality: Using a Smartphone App to Teach about the Hearst Egyptian Collection

For my recent summer course on Ancient Egypt, I wanted my students to do some creative thinking about how to share what they’d learned about the Hearst Collection with the public. Their project was to think of questions visitors might have about Egyptian objects on display, research the answers, and then share the answer they thought was most interesting through a short video. We used a smartphone app called Aurasma ( that uses a technology called Augmented Reality to let visitors watch those videos when they hover their devices over the object labels. Educators are using this and similar apps to unlock media content in the classroom, even elementary school kids can use the simple interface to pop up videos on posters or in books. The whole class enjoyed each other’s videos as we linked them to the display, and we’re excited to share our results with you!
To see our videos in person, bring your smartphone or tablet with you to the Hearst (103 Kroeber Hall).
  1. Download the free app Aurasma
  2. Go to Explore -> Search and enter “UC Berkeley Egypt NES18” to find our public channel
  3. Hit “Follow” in the upper right and then the central rectangle on the lower navigation bar to return to the main screen
  4. Hover your device over the object labels at the display case
  5. The video will pop up on your screen and start playing
If you’d like to try before you go, use this blog post as a test by following the channel and using Aurasma on the image below. 
A few of the videos are also compiled here:
We hope you enjoy our experiment!
-Elizabeth Minor
(Ph.D. Near Eastern Studies)
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