Lost City Museum shares artifacts via virtual reality

OVERTON, Nevada – Lost City Museum is expanding its access to its collections – and using virtual reality to do it.

Beginning June 4, 30 three-dimensional, interactive models of artifacts will be available for public viewing on the website SketchFab.com/lostcitymuseum.

Lost City Museum specializes in exhibiting content that was excavated in the surrounding Moapa Valley, Nevada. This digitization effort focused on ceramic bowls, canteens, jars and cooking pots. Users can click the numbered annotations to read these labels on each model. Objects are labeled with interesting facts such as how they were made, decorated and the time period when they were used.

UNLV doctoral student Ben Van Alstyne and undergraduates Alexx Martinez and Michelle Bosinger-Shannon, spearheaded the project this spring in a partnership with the Department of Anthropology at UNLV. Van Alstyne is increasing the public engagement and awareness of Lost City Museum’s collections and prehistoric Virgin Branch Puebloan cultures through architectural reconstructions, social organization and habitation patterns.

 The Lost City Museum actively engages people in understanding and celebrating Nevada’s natural and cultural heritage. One of seven museums managed by the Nevada Division of Museums and History, an agency of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, it is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily at 721 S. Moapa Valley Blvd., Overton.

Admission is $5 for adults and free for museum members and children 17 and younger. To reach the museum from Las Vegas, take Interstate 15 north to exit 93. Access is also available from Lake Mead National Recreation Area or the Valley of Fire State Park. For more information, call the museum at (702) 397-2193.