Detail of niche artwork at Aslam al-Silahdar Mosque
Project Spotlight
ARCE Celebrates 70 Years Committed to Egypt's Cultural Heritage


ARCE was formally established on May 14, 1948, at a meeting presided over by Harvard’s Edward W. Forbes and Archaeological Institute of America President Sterling Dow. During the early part of the 20th century, leading American archaeological institutions had conducted major excavations in Egypt, but there was no central office in Cairo serving these institutions in their fieldwork or associated research.



Built in 1344, the Aslam al-Silahdar Mosque is a treasure trove of fine Mamluk architecture and design, and it was the focal point of an intensive – and ultimately stunning – conservation project. > >


Today, more than a dozen archaeological teams sponsored by leading American universities are assisted annually by our Cairo Center, which also houses a library offering scholars 25,000 volumes on all periods of Egyptian history. Additionally, ARCE offers training programs largely for the benefit of Egyptian colleagues in field archaeology, conservation techniques, salvage archaeology, site management, and museum registrar practices. ARCE constructed the first-ever sole-purpose conservation facility on-site in the Luxor complex for our partners at the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities. 


TT110 Conservation

Working in tandem, two ARCE field schools excavated, cleaned and conserved the Theban Tomb of Djehuty in Luxor's West Bank. > >


On the ground, ARCE has directly participated in monitoring and conservation work with our partners. From its inception in 1948 to today, ARCE has been steadfast in its belief in the value of cross-cultural exchange between Egypt and the United States and the shared objectives of promoting research into Egypt’s rich history and the conservation of all antiquities and historic sites.


Before and after, St. George

From 1998 to 2004, ARCE carried out a comprehensive project to document and conserve Coptic icons - visually striking and spiritually invaluable images that are rooted in early Coptic artistic practice. > >