The American Research Center in Eygpt


ARCE is delighted to welcome Laura Rheintgen as its new Director of Development. Laura is a senior-level fundraising executive with more than 20 years of experience working with international and educational nonprofit organizations. She is passionate about working with international nonprofits, and thrilled to raise support for ARCE’s mission -- researching all aspects of Egyptian history and culture, fostering broader knowledge about the country among the general public, and strengthening cultural ties between the United States and Egypt. 

Laura’s past experience includes work as Director of Development for the National Women’s History Museum.  She was a member of a capital campaign team that raised the support to build the United States Institute of Peace’s headquarters on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.   She also held progressively responsible positions at the European Institute, American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at Johns Hopkins University, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Laura has served on nonprofit boards and leadership teams to strengthen resource development programs and capital campaigns, address strategic planning and governance, manage brand building, and oversee constituent engagement programs. Laura has lived and traveled in Europe and the Middle East, and holds a M.A. in International Affairs from American University. 



The Council of Overseas American Research Centers (CAORC) - one of ARCE's most important partner organizations - is opening applications for two fellowships on Friday, September 1, 2017. The Multi-Country Research Fellowship supports advanced regional or trans-regional research in the humanities, social sciences, or allied natural sciences for U.S. doctoral candidates and postdoctoral scholars. The National Endowment for the Humanities Senior Research Fellowship supports advanced research in the humanities. View application guidelines on the CAORC website, and apply at The submission deadline is Wednesday, January 31, 2018.  


The Red Monastery Church at Sohag has been the venue of one of ARCE's most significant heritage conservation projects. Made possible with grant funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development, ARCE has worked at the sixth-century church since 2003 - in collaboration with the Ministry of Antiquities and the Coptic Orthodox Church - to reveal the beauty of this Early Byzantine structure for the first time in many centuries.











Nicholas Warner directed a team of architectural conservators and local workers under the leadership of Mahmud al-Tayyib, concentrating on the brick-built tower, or keep, constructed beside the south wall of the church. The tower had undergone several previous phases of restoration and repair, some of which caused damage and sealed moisture into the walls. The team removed modern plumbing and wall coverings to allow the structure to breath and moisture to evaporate. The conservation process revealed an ancient hydraulic system, constructed with ceramic pipes that moved water into different rooms of the tower. And a deck and handrail are now in place to allow visitors to view a large tank that was likely an ancient baptismal basin.











Several recently discovered artifacts are on display at the tower, including shards of Mamluk pottery, an imported Chinese bowl, a locally produced 19th-century vessel and an iron knife. The tower's roof, domes and vaults were cleaned and reinforced, and a new wooden door was installed in an exterior frame that includes the remains of a hieroglyph inscription.

At the nave walls - battered for centuries by sun, wind and other environmental factors - an Italian conservation team led by Alberto Sucato and Emiliano Ricchi cleaned the Red Monastery's plaster and brick masonry, which display some of the church's exquisite decorative paintings. On areas where brickwork had been exposed, conservators resurfaced the walls with plaster compatible with the original materials used by the ancient builders.










Also in the last nine months, ARCE and Dina Bakhoum in collaboration with the Ministry of Antiquities provided on-the-job training for nearly two dozen Egyptian conservation graduates. The trainees learned the theoretical principles and procedures of conservation, safety regulations and proper storage of materials and equipment. Then each student, individually mentored under close supervision, carried out assigned work on the walls of the church.



The University of Arizona Egyptian Expedition is pleased to offer the Dean Allen Fellowship. The deadline for applications is September 15, 2017, for work to be undertaken in 2017 or 2018.


The fellowship, of up to $5,000, is intended to support the participation of engineers and architects - and advanced students in related disciplines - in the field to ensure the safety of excavation or conservation teams.


The work can be conducted anywhere in what was formerly ancient Egypt and its interconnected world (modern Egypt, Sudan, etc.) and is not limited by temporal or cultural contexts. All periods and peoples substantially linked to ancient Egypt are eligible: pre-dynastic, pharaonic, Canaanite, Napatan, Ptolemaic, Roman, Coptic, etc., as long as the work is approved by the relevant governmental institutions.


Click here to find the application form. Applications should be submitted to 


Egypt has undergone a great deal of instability, and since 2011 security has been particularly challenging. ARCE now has two representatives (Jane Smythe & Mary Sadek) working directly with the US Embassy as part of their Consular Warden system. Currently the advice is to stay away from crowded public areas and especially any protests. It is also advised to avoid police/army facilities as well as churches and mosques during events/prayer times. This is because of the recent targeting of these centers. All US citizens are requested to register online with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) before arriving in Egypt at:


The Council of Overseas American Research Centers (CAORC) is pleased to announce a new program: The Responsive Preservation Initiative for Cultural Heritage Resources - funded by the J.M. Kaplan Fund.
The program is designed to aid in the preservation of the cultural heritage resources in crisis in countries within American overseas research centers’ networks. Targeted preservation efforts include conservation interventions for architecture and artifacts, on-site salvage work, documentation campaigns, as well as key presentation and management strategies in select situational contexts.


ARCE’s 68th Annual Meeting in Kansas City April 21-23 was of a high standard that has become routine in recent years, with more than 330 attendees, 119 papers – three of which were delivered by guests from Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities – and nine graduate student posters. ARCE Chapters were especially well represented at the meeting.


The members of the American Research Center in Egypt are sad to mark the passing of leading American Egyptologist William Kelly Simpson. Professor of Egyptology at Yale University, curator of Egyptian art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and benefactor to ARCE, Professor Simpson's contributions to Egyptology were many and significant. The Marilyn M. and William Kelly Simpson Library in ARCE Cairo's headquarters, was named in recognition of his generosity to our organization. ARCE Director Gerry Scott, a student of Professor Simpson, noted "Kelly was one of the field's great all around Egyptologists who was knowledgeable in most areas of our field and led a life filled with academic accomplishment. His many students serve as a lasting legacy."

Obituary in New York Times >> 



ARCE would like to congratulate Drs. Aymen Ashmawy & Dietrich Raue on the magnificent find of an upper torso and head of what appears to be Psamtek I, a little known pharaoh from the 26th dynasty who ruled Egypt between 664 and 610 B.C., at the site of Heliopolis. In 2015 ARCE assisted this Egyptian-German project with an AEF Emergency Grant by funding a salvage season. More photos >>


The Egyptian Foreign Ministry has announced new fees for tourist entry visas to Egypt. As of March 1, 2017 the fee has changed from $25 to $60. In addition, for ARCE Fellows and Expedition members staying longer than 30 days, residence visas will now cost EGP 600. 

Questions about residence visas for ARCE expeditions should be directed to Mary Sadek in ARCE's Cairo office; ARCE Fellows should contact Djodi Deutsch.



The Arts and Humanities are a vital part of our cultural identity and enhance the quality of our lives. They connect us to the past, they speak to us in the present, and they are our legacy, our gift to the future. Investing in them is never a waste, and we strongly urge that both the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities continue to receive federal funding.

Sign the petition >>



For well over a decade, ARCE has been documenting, conserving, and studying the late fifth-century Red Monastery church, near Sohag in Upper Egypt with funding from USAID. Laser scanning technology provides remarkable opportunities for the production of high-quality, three-dimensional records of monuments. Take a 3D fly-through of the Red Monastery Church >>

More info on the project >>



Celebrating the Move to Washington, DC

Jun 11, 2017

ARCE marked the move of its headquarters from San Antonio to Washington, DC on May 24 with a celebratory reception held at the DACOR Bacon House in Washington, DC.






US Office: 909 North Washington St. Suite 320, Alexandria, Virginia, 22314 p: (703) 721-3479
ARCE Cairo Center: 2 Midan Simón Bolívar Garden City Cairo 11461 Egypt p: 20 2 2794 8239 

ARCE is a 501(c)(3) organization. Content on the ARCE website is available for personal use only. If content is downloaded, it must be for the sole purpose of viewing, or for "fair use" as defined in United States copyright law. Requests to publish ARCE images must be submitted in writing to

United States Agency for International Development   National Endowment for the Humanities   Council of American Overseas Research Centers   Network for Good   GuideStar"
Copyright 2017 ARCE