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Remembering Katumuwa

Digital Artifact Reconstruction

Project Description

"Remembering Katumuwa" is an animation I produced for the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. The animation is a projected diptych on 5ft x 5ft screens situated side by side. Here you can see the two video channels together.

"Remembering Katumuwa" is featured in the special exhibit "In Remembrance of Me: Feasting with the Dead in the Ancient Middle East" at the Oriental Institute Museum, University of Chicago, April 8 2014--January 4 2015.


The exhibit features a replica of a mortuary monument (stele) of an official named Katumuwa (ca. 735 BC), recently discovered by University of Chicago archaeologists at the site of Zincirli, Turkey. The text inscribed on it has illuminated our understanding of the ancients' concept of the soul and how it was tended by the living. This commissioned video features images and footage from the stele's 2008 discovery and offers an interpretation of the recreation of the rituals enacted before it.


The film is presented as a diptych on two screens in the special exhibit, and presented here in one single video. More specific information about the making of the video and interpretation process can be found in the Oriental Institute Museum Publication to accompany the exhibit:


Hermann, Virginia Rimmer and Travis Saul
2014 "Catalog No.2: Video: Remembering Katumuwa" in, In Remembrance of Me: Feasting with the Dead in the Ancient Middle East, edited by V.R. Hermann and J.D. Schloen, pp.103-105. Oriental Institute Museum Publication 37. Chicago: The Oriental Institute.


Produced by Travis Saul for the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 2014
© Travis Saul/Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago
Content advisors - Virginia Rimmer Herrmann, J. David Schloen
Katumuwa Stele Voiceover: Dennis Pardee
Music: "Lesgi" by TURKU, Nomads of the Silk Road; "Hurrian Hymn" and "King David Danced" from the album "Ancient Landscapes" by Michael Levy, (available from iTunes).

You can see more videos from the Oriental Institute on their YouTube channel:


The animation was rendered, animated, and mostly modeled in Modo. The stele was sculpted from scratch in ZBrush.


Zbrush Sculpting

3D Animation




Editing & Sound

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