The American Research Center in Eygpt

AEF Projects Archive

AEF Projects Archive

Round XI - 2013


Mausoleum of Shajar El-Durr Rehabilitation Project

May Al-Ibrashy, Built Environment Collective (Megawra)

The Mausoleum of Shajar Al-Durr (1250) is Cairo’s only mausoleum commemorating a female ruler from the Islamic Period. Unique not only for its historical value, but also for its rare art-historical features such as the glass mosaic mihrab, reused wooded decorative friezes from the Fatimid Period, and carved stucco typical of the Ayyubid Period. Dr. Al-Ibrashy has been awarded an AEF grant to conserve this unique monument and hopes to establish a mechanism of sustainable maintenance-through-use, which will be part of the larger Athar Lina (The Monument is Ours) Project. The Athar Lina Project is a partnership initiative with the local community for the care and rehabilitation of the Al-Khalifa Street and its monuments.

Conservation of the Wall Paintings at Amheida, Dakhleh Oasis: Preliminary Survey and Assessment Test Project

Roger Bagnall, New York University

The unique Roman wall paintings awaiting study and conservation at the site of Amheida in the Dakhleh Oasis constitute one of the most important bodies of evidence from the Roman world surviving to the present day. This AEF awarded project will comprise a survey and mapping of the extant painted plaster along with a detailed conservation needs assessment. This represents the critical first steps towards the formulation of a comprehensive conservation plan that is necessary in order to further study and protect this endangered site.

Karnak Hypostyle Hall Project

Peter Brand , University of Memphis

The massive corpus of exquisite but decaying relief decoration on the Hypostyle Hall columns preserves one of the largest bodies of ritual art from Ancient Egypt. This vast and rich ancient heritage merits comprehensive documentation and systematic recording, all the more because it is still unpublished and under threat of decay. This AEF funded project aims to document and conserve hundreds of reliefs and inscriptions through the use of high-resolution, "unrolled" photographic images of the column decoration and creating digital facsimile drawings from these images.

Archaeological Research in the Valley of the Kings and Ancient Thebes: Papers Presented in Honor of Richard H. Wilkinson

Pearce Paul Creasman, University of Arizona

Through an archaeological career that has spanned nearly 40 years, Richard H. Wilkinson has contributed 10 important books (with many translations) and dozens of articles. He has served ARCE directly, including two four-year terms on ARCE’s National Board and as founder the Arizona Chapter in 1989 (as its president until 2000). AEF funding will ensure that this festschrift provides his colleagues an opportunity to honor him with their own original research studies. Furthermore, this volume will inaugurate the peer-reviewed ‘Wilkinson Egyptological Series.’

White Monastery Church Conservation Project

Stephen Davis, Yale University

The fifth-century Church of Anba Shenoute at the White Monastery (Dayr al-Abyad) in Sohag is one of the largest and most important Late Antique buildings in Egypt. The proposed architectural conservation project funded through this AEF award will be the first in over a century and is in response to serious structural instability. The goal of the project is to stabilize two critical elements of the stonework of the church and thus prevent catastrophic collapse.

The Recording and Preserving Remains from the Darb Ain Amur Project

Salima Ikram, American University in Cairo

This project focuses on recording and preserving the remains of human exploitation of the western portion of Kharga Oasis through which several routes, including the Darb Ain Amur run. With the aid of an AEF grant, Dr. Ikram will be able to continue and complete this important work. The rich rock art and inscribed sites will be checked to evaluate any damage occurring over time, they will be photographed and drawn and previous documentation checked; ancient routes will be traced to their termini and the collected ceramics recorded so the material can be prepared for publication and dissemination in forthcoming years. Egyptian and American students will be trained on how to conduct survey work with an emphasis on documentation of ceramics, rock art and inscriptions.

Gedenkschrift for Cathleen A. Keller

Deanna Kiser-Go, University of California, Berkeley

The AEF award is helping to publish the Festschrift “Weseretkau “Mighty of Kas:” Papers Submitted in Memory of Cathleen A. Keller,” following the premature death of this dedicated professor and Egyptologist. The volume is a collection of papers submitted by her friends, students and colleagues as a way to honor her memory and her love of ancient Egypt. Approximately 30 papers cover the topics of Egyptian Art and Deir el-Medina, Candy’s own primary research interests.

Preservation and Interpretation of the Palace of Amenhotep III at Malqata in Western Thebes Project

Peter Lacovara, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and M.C. Carlos Museum

The Palace of Amenhotep III at Malqata is probably the best-preserved ancient Egyptian royal palace and is of tremendous importance to Egyptology, it is of great interest to scholars and tourists alike. This AEF funded project will support a practical and sustainable on-site conservation and interpretation assessment in order to remedy the many threats the site faces. The award will also help with a number of interventions in order to preserve what remains of the palace walls. The ultimate goal is the conservation and restoration of the palace for proper visitation as part of a larger campaign of publication, excavation, and site management for the entire southwestern Theban area.

South Abydos Mastabas Project

Dawn McCormack, Middle Tennessee State University

The AEF Committee is please to be facilitating through funding, the participation and on-site training of one Egyptian and two American students. The South Abydos Mastabas Project is currently re-excavating two royal mastabas and a newly discovered cultic structure belonging to the 13th Dynasty. The three students will have the opportunity to gain experience in the field starting with a six week intensive training course prior to arrival in Egypt. Once in Abydos they will continue to be instructed in archaeological field methods, recording procedures, mapping (Total Station and ArcGIS database), sorting pottery, describing and documenting artifacts and how to create datasets that can be incorporated into the ArcGIS database.

Conservation of the Vestibule of the Tomb of Karakhamun (TT223) in South Asasif Project

Elena Pishikova, Ministry of State for Antiquities

The vestibule in the Tomb of Karakhamun was found in 2011 and excavated in 2012. It is decorated with drawings of daily life scenes and is the earliest known Kushite example of this type of imagery. An AEF award will allow the conservation and consolidation of this unique body of material that has been badly damaged over the centuries by humidity and periodic flooding.

Environmental Conditions and Long Term Preservation of the Collection at the Egyptian Museum: Advanced Training in Preventative Conservation

Hannelore Roemich, New York University, Institute of Fine Arts

The Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University (NYU-IFA-CC) is offering a highly focused training program in preventive conservation with special emphasis on environmental monitoring strategies for a nominated staff member from the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. The trainee shall implement her training on appropriate preventive measures after her return to Cairo. The AEF Committee is very pleased to be able to financially support this very worthwhile training program. The long-term benefits of increased awareness about environmental risks and possible countermeasures are substantial for the preservation of the collection at the Egyptian Museum.

X-Ray and CT Scanning of 22nd and 25th Dynasty Egyptian Mummies from Thebes

Cynthia Sheikholeslami, Polish – Egyptian Mission to the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari

This AEF funded project undertakes the scientific non-invasive examination, macroscopically, by x-ray, and by CT scanning, of two male and two female intact mummies (and the internal organs in canopic jars belonging to three of the individuals). The mummies are securely identified as Theban elites from the 22nd and 25th Dynasties (ca. 800-700 B.C.), providing important diachronic ranges, and will be placed in their cultural context through the study of the burial equipment and the excavation site. Training on the methodologies used for non-invasive scientific study of mummies will be provided for the staff of the museums involved, recommendations will be made for conservation measures and proper museum storage and display for the ensembles, and the results will be published in volumes devoted to the history of the Temple of Hatshepsut at Thebes during the 22nd to 25th Dynasties.

Article in Science and Scholarship in Poland >>

Fresh Approaches to Conserving Bio-Archaeology in Egypt: A Workshop on the Conservation of Human and Animal Remains

Lucy Skinner, Pennsylvania – Yale – Institute of Fine Arts Project to Abydos

In recent seasons, a small number of beautifully preserved human burials and countless animal mummies interred inside ceramic jars were carefully block lifted by conservators from the North Cemetery excavations at Abydos. This AEF funded project allows a unique opportunity to conduct a one month workshop for the training of Egyptian conservation professionals together with their U.S. colleagues to investigate these bio-archaeological remains. Utilizing the latest in imaging and analytical techniques and archaeological conservation methodologies, these remains will be conserved and stabilized for long-term storage and museum display.

Conservation of the Throne and Plinths of the Colossi of Memnon in the Mortuary Temple of Amenhotep III at Luxor, Egypt Project

Hourig Sourouzian, German Institute of Archaeology (DAI)

The Colossi of Memnon has been visited by millions around the world and throughout history. These massive Colossi have suffered from the passage of time and successive earthquakes over the centuries. During archaeological work at the mortuary temple, numerous fragments of the Colossi have been recovered over the years, numbered and stored. AEF funding will be used to ensure that all fragments will be cleaned, desalinated and treated by a stone specialist. Re-construction of the Colossi will be conducted taking into account the size and weight of individual fragments in order to maintain the integrity of the monuments and its stability. An illustrated explanative panel will be put near the Colossi with diagrams and adequate information for the numerous visitors to the Colossi of Memnon.

Conserving the Amarna Coffins Project

Anna Stevens, Amarna Project

With financial assistance from the AEF, this project will help facilitate the conservation and study of a group of decorated wooden coffins recently excavated from a cemetery at Amarna. This material represents the only surviving examples of decorated, non-royal coffins found in over 100 years of excavations at Amarna and form a remarkable new source for the study of the funerary beliefs of Akhenaten’s citizens. This project combines post-excavation conservation treatments with scientific analyses that will reveal the technology of the coffins and the processes of their deterioration. Most importantly, it will help to ensure the long-term survival of this unique group of artifacts and by developing protocols for mounting a selection of coffin pieces for display in the Amarna Visitor’s Centre or Minia Museum, both of which are currently under construction.

The Tutankhamun Sticks and Staves Project

André Veldmeijer, Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo

Among the many objects that were discovered in the tomb of Tutankhamun were 130 objects referred to as ‘sticks’ or ‘staves.’ These vary from unique short and thick ‘walking canes’ with handles depicting Egypt’s enemies to shapes that can be recognized within iconography. The majority are elaborately decorated with complicated motifs that include a variety of materials such as gold, leather, bark and glass. Through the assistance of an AEF award this project will study and document the hitherto unrecorded and unstudied material and will conserve and restore these objects in close collaboration with the Conservation Department of the Egyptian Museum, Cairo and the Wood Conservation Lab of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), Cairo.

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