Walk in the footsteps of fictional archaeologist Indiana Jones. Check out a sneak peek at the interactive tour set to open in Santa Ana, Calif., this month.
Calm before the storm
When the Indiana Jones franchise debuted with "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in 1981, the resulting iconic movie series starring a charming Harrison Ford sparked wide public interest in archaeology and exploration.
More than 30 years later, National Geographic and Lucasfilm have teamed with X3 Productions on the Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology exhibition, which opens in the U.S. on October 12 (and runs through April 21, 2013) at the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana, Calif. The touring exhibit previously stopped in Montreal and Valencia, Spain.
Throughout the tour, visitors can bask in the glow of an extensive collection of authentic "Indiana Jones" film props, set designs, and concept art. Additionally, the experience shows off a wealth of content related to locations in the movies and explores the myths surrounding the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail. A full assortment of real historical artifacts on loan from the Penn Museum and the National Geographic Society archives -- many of which date back thousands of years -- also await onlookers.
The tour features several large murals from memorable moments in the movies, such as this sunset scene with silhouettes of Harrison Ford and others toiling tirelessly in a desert scene from "Raiders of the Lost Ark."
This section of the exhibit mostly relates to "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and includes several concept art pieces and authentic props. In the glass case to the left, check out authentic "Raiders" clothing worn by Marion Ravenwood, who was played by Karen Allen (read CNET editor David Carnoy's recent interview with the actress).
The Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology museum tour features a wide array of authentic props from the various films.
One truly memorable moment in the Indiana Jones saga occurs during the opening scenes of "Raiders of the Lost Ark," where we find the daring adventurer trying to steal the gold Chachapoyal Fertility Idol above out of a booby-trapped Peruvian temple. Artist Norman Reynolds created the painted plastic prop.
Indiana Jones traded the funerary urn at the bottom to a crime lord for an epic diamond in "Temple of Doom." In the movie, the urn supposedly contains the ashes of Nurhachi, the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty.
The "Temple of Doom" segment of the Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology tour features authentic concept art and props from the movie. On the left, we see Willie Scott's (played by Kate Capshaw) authentic bride-like white dress from the film, while Mola Ram's skull headdress sits nearby.
Photo by: National Geographic, Lucasfilm, X3 Productions, and jfbriere.comd jfbriere.com / Caption by:
Skull and stone
Top: Artist Stan Winston created the skull featured in "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" out of real crystal. Indiana Jones spends the majority of the movie trying to obtain it while fighting off a group of deadly Russians.
Bottom: During "Temple of Doom," Indiana Jones tries to recover a Sankara Stone stolen by Mola Ram.
This area of the Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology tour highlights moments from the "Last Crusade." The Holy Grail prop used in the film sits near other mock cups that Indiana Jones had to choose from in the movie to save his dying father (played by Sean Connery).
Artist Elliot Scott created this concept painting of the burial chamber seen in "Last Crusade" with watercolor and gouache. Indiana Jones figures out the location of the catacombs below the library in Venice after solving a peculiar riddle. The Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology museum tour features many pieces of original concept art that helped define the look of the movies.
Each visitor to the Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology museum tour gets a personal video companion designed for the exhibit. The touch-screen device features an hour of video and 45 minutes of additional audio narration to enhance the experience. Visitors can also use the digital companion to participate in an interactive treasure hunt complete with puzzles and hidden digital items.