Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do I create an account in Cleo?
Please visit You can create an account by providing a username, email, password, and agreeing to our Privacy Policy and General terms and conditions.

Is the account free?
Yes, limited use of Cleo is for free. The first 50 queries each month are for free and give you access to the entire collections and all functionalities:

  • Access to over 45,000 ancient Egyptian objects
  • Search, filter, save, and download

There are no strings attached. If your free queries run out and you would like to continue searching, you can buy extra queries: € 4.95 for 100 queries. You can buy them online via credit card, PayPal, iDEAL, or even Bitcoin. Your transaction is handled by Mollie, our payment partner. Whichever method you choose, paying within Cleo is always safe and secure.

The unused queries do not expire but roll over at the end of each month. Furthermore, you will still receive your free monthly queries (50 per month). Here is an example: You have a Cleo account and are able search up to 50 times each month. In September, you have used all 50 of your free queries and buy 100 queries to continue searching. You use 50 queries by the end of September, so the 50 remaining queries roll over to October. In October, you can use the 50 free queries for the month of October plus the 50 paid queries that your purchased in September. The free queries will be used first, so your paid queries can also roll over to the following month.

NB: The free queries do not accumulate, which means that you cannot save your free queries to an amount larger than 50. You have the possibility to use up to 50 free queries each month.

It is also possible to acquire a subscription for your institution. Contact us if you would like to know more about this.

How can I search across 45,000 objects from the four museum collections using Cleo?
You can search the combined museum collections in different ways, depending on your preferences and needs. Start your search on the “Home” page with a:

  1. Simple text search: Enter keyword(s) into the search bar and hit “Enter” or the search button.
  2. Advanced search: Click on “Advanced search” and enter keyword(s) in the search bar and/or select one or more filters of your choice. You can open a filter by clicking on it. Select one or more items and click “Confirm” in the upper right-hand corner. Then click on the search button.
  3. Uploading an image: You can select “Image” (see the illustration below) by clicking on the arrow next to “Text”. Then you select an image file from your device. When you are using a smartphone for your search, you also have the option to take a photo and to use that photo as input. Press “Upload” to start the search.

You can refine your search by using the filters on the left-hand navigation or by using the map on your right-hand side. If you would like to start a new search, enter (new) keyword(s) in the search bar at the top of the page or click “Home” in the upper left-hand corner of the page.

What happens to an image I upload in Cleo?
The image is only available for searches in your account and it will not be shared with other users.

What kind of objects can I find in Cleo?
All the objects from ancient Egypt from the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the National Museum of Antiquities, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Walters Art Museum. This ranges from Prehistory to the Coptic Period.

How can I select a language (Dutch or English)?
You can select a language by clicking on NL (Dutch) or EN (English) in the upper-right corner.

How can I use filters to refine my search?
You can find the filters in the left-hand navigation on the results page. Click on the filter of your choice and select one of the items that appears or click on “More” to see all options. Select one or more items and click on “Confirm”. You can select multiple kinds of filters. The filters are flexible, which means that they show the number of objects (in parentheses) within the results of your search. If you want, you can easily remove a filter and choose another one.

How can I remove a filter that I have selected?
You can remove a filter by clicking on the cross in the grey box above the search results or by clicking on the ticked box (the box that has a check mark in it).

What are the different options for viewing the results of my search?
There are three viewing modes for the results of your search, which you can select by clicking on the icons. The first (left) option shows your results as thumbnails without text. The second option are thumbnails with short descriptions. The third option shows thumbnails in a list with some more information.

Can I search Cleo on my mobile phone?
Yes, Cleo is responsive. This means that you can use Cleo on any device you like, for example, your mobile phone, PC, or laptop.

Can I save my results and can I download the texts and images?
Yes, you can. Select the objects you like and save them to “My Collection”. You can access “My Collection” by clicking on your personal profile in the upper-right corner of the screen. You can download “My Collection” or download texts and/or image(s) of an object on the detail page (jpg or csv).

How can I use the downloaded texts and images?
The rights (Creative Commons) of the images and texts differ per museum collection. On the detail page of an object you can find a link to the rights statement (general) of a specific collection, a link to the rights for an object, and another link to the rights for the texts. These will give you information on how you can use the images and texts.

How can I search using the map?
The map displays the objects displayed on the results page where you are, with a known provenance. By clicking on the marker(s) on the map, you can see which objects are from which country or location. You can also zoom in and out, select satellite view, or enlarge the map by using the buttons on the map (the zoom buttons are located on the bottom-right corner of the map and the satellite button is located at the upper-left corner of the map).

Why are there so many pins in the center of Egypt? From which specific location are these objects
This is the center of Egypt. The objects or results that are plotted here have the provenance “Egypt”, without further details.

Where can I find more information about a specific object?
Cleo aims to provide all the information that the museum collections allow to be presented. Some information cannot be presented in Cleo, but can be found on the website of the museum collection itself. A link to the original object is provided for each object on the detail page of an object.

I cannot find a specific object that I know is part of one of the museum collections. What is the reason for this?
Not all objects within a museum collection are digitised. This is a work in progress for the museum collections. Cleo reuses and makes searchable the objects that have been digitised and are available for reuse.

How can I enlarge an image on the detail page?
You can download an image and enlarge it by zooming in or you can enlarge the image by changing your screen settings (use the key combination Ctrl +).

Are the four museum collections standardised?
Yes, the museum collections in Cleo are standardised, using the thesauri of Thot.

How are the texts from the museum collections translated?
The texts are automatically translated in English and Dutch in two steps:

  1. The specialised Egyptological words are translated by using the thesauri of Thot.
  2. The entire texts are translated using Google Translate.

What is AI and how is it used in Cleo?
AI is the abbreviation of Artificial Intelligence, which facilitates the image search in Cleo. An algorithm has been trained on all the objects in Cleo to classify new uploaded images and to show objects that are similar. This image search can also be done on one or more objects in Cleo by selecting object(s) and starting an image search.

What do the words with numbers mean that are provided with my uploaded image?
The words are suggested classifications of the uploaded object or image. The numbers indicate how certain the prediction is. For example, if you upload the image in the illustration below, the prediction is that the object is a scarab with a certainty of 91.16%. Other suggestions (that have a lower score) are plaque, coin, ring, and amulet.

Why do some objects not have an image?
For some objects there are no images available. The digitization of collections is a work in progress for the museum collections. Cleo reuses and makes searchable the objects that have been digitised and are available for reuse.

When using my mobile phone, why does the link to an object in the National Museum of Antiquities refer me to the collection search instead of the specific object?
The website of the National Museum of Antiquities is not yet responsive. This means that it cannot be properly viewed on a mobile phone. The museum is updating its website and expects the problem to be solved later this year.

Why do some objects have a side view as the main photo when there are better photos available?
Some objects have a main photo that you would not expect. When you see a thumbnail at the results page, it might be, for example, a side view of an object. When you select this object and go to the details page, you might find better photos. The reason is that some museum collections do not provide information on what the main photo is of an object. The result is that the photos are downloaded in the order of the museum collection and the first photo is not always the main photo.

How can I give feedback?
Your feedback is highly appreciated. Cleo is in beta, which means that that there are still things that need to be improved. You can send us your feedback by clicking on the feedback button on the website (landing page) or in Cleo (the tool) itself. You can find the button in the right upper corner.

Can I search for specific details of an image, for example, a specific god on a stela?
This is not yet possible. We think it would be a valuable addition to the current image search and hope to make that available in the next release.

Who is Cleo?
Cleo is named after two powerful women from ancient history: the famous Egyptian pharaoh Cleopatra and the Greek muse of history, Clio.

How are my data treated?
We value your privacy, and illustrate how we protect your rights in our Privacy Policy.

Will more museum collections and different kinds of sources be added to Cleo?
We strive to include many more ancient Egyptian museum collections in Cleo. We are also exploring the possibilities of adding 3D content and an integration with other kinds of sources, for example, literature and dictionaries.

Are you working at a museum and would you like to integrate your collection in Cleo?
We are very interested in adding other museum collections to Cleo and in pursuing new partnerships. Please contact us.

Would you like to participate in Cleo?
We greatly appreciate your help and would like to get in touch with you. Please contact us.

Are you interested in using Cleo for other cultural data, outside the scope of ancient Egypt?
Cleo is open-source and will be made available on Github in the near future. The tool is developed for ancient Egypt but could be used for all kinds of data. Contact us if you would like to receive more information.

Who are making Cleo possible?
Cleo is created by the social enterprise Aincient, whose mission is to unlock ancient cultures using cutting-edge technology. The development of Cleo has been generously made possible by the SIDN Fund and the Google Cloud Startup Program. We are grateful to the team of Goldmund, Wyldebeast & Wunderliebe for building the website and tool, to SynerScope for our first prototype, to Thot for the use of their thesauri, and to Leiden University for the continuous feedback. Many thanks to the four museum collections for sharing their online collections and for their help and support: the National Museum of Antiquities, the Brooklyn Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Walters Art Museum. And last, but not least, to all people who are helping in many ways to make Cleo a success and to the Global Egyptian Museum for setting an inspiring example.