About the Atlas

In September 2018, humanity witnessed the destruction of one of the largest archaeological collections in history. The Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was 90% reduced to ashes. By early 2019, just over 2,000 artifacts had already been excavated from the ashes. Some in relatively good condition, others in poor condition.
During the twenty years before the fire, hundreds of artifacts were scanned by museum researchers. These scans, initially intended for research, are now the only remaining 'ghosts' of the once rich collection. Many museums have scanned parts of their collections. But what strategies, methodologies and visions can be developed around this trend of digitization, and how can we use this data in a meaningful way to create new objects and see history through decolonized glasses?

With Atlas of Lost Finds we will investigate how 3D scans and other digital data of ancient artefacts can be used and deployed in a meaningful way. The results are shown on this growing website.

Are you a museum and you want us to look at your digital data? Or are you a maker who is intrigued by museum’s collections? Please don’t hesitate to contact us at

Atlas of Lost Finds is an initiative of Belgium based studio unfold. Developed with the kind support of Creative Industry Fund NL and Flanders State of the Art.