The American Research Center in Eygpt

Year in Review 2010

Year in Review 2010

Year in Review 2010

2010 was an exciting and busy year for ARCE. It began with ARCE joining with the Institute for Bioarchaeology and the American University in Cairo to host the first-ever scholarly conference on human remains in Egypt. Scholars from the United States, Egypt, Europe, South America and Japan participated in two days of papers, roundtables, and scholarly discussions.

ARCE’s large-scale conservation and training projects, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), continued at several sites throughout Egypt. A many-faceted project at the world heritage sites of Karnak Temple and Luxor Temple continued with significant progress in:

- Conserving a portion of the Hypostyle Hall of the Karnak Temple
- Providing hands-on training projects for Egyptian architectural conservators and technicians in the Khonsu Temple at Karnak
- Conducting a massive documentation project dealing with over 16,000 decorated stone blocks dating to the reign of Akhenaten (ca. 1370-1353 B.C.)
- Completing a project to clean the Karnak Sacred Lake and conserve the near-by Nilometer

Other continuing USAID-supported ARCE conservation projects included cleaning the Late Antique (6th century A.D.) wall paintings at the Red Monastery and conserving the mud-brick fabric of the Funerary Enclosure of King Khasekhemwy (one of the two oldest mud-brick structures in the world and now nearly 5,000 years old), both located in Middle Egypt.

In Cairo, a multi-year project to train the first-ever museum registrars office in Egypt was

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Graduating registrars display certificates at SCA ceremony.
Photo: Kathleen Scott

successfully completed this year at Cairo’s venerable Egyptian Museum, marked by a graduation ceremony in September for the program’s ten-member team. Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, attended and Egyptian television and print media covered the event.

ARCE also continued in its traditional missions of assisting 25 expeditions from member institutions in their archaeological, conservation, and documentation projects, and 15 fellows whose areas of study ranged from ancient times to the present. Professor Nasser Rabbat of MIT was this past year’s scholar in residence.

States-side, the ARCE annual meeting was held in Oakland, CA from April 23rd to 25th, with over 120 scholarly papers presented, and a special exhibition at the Hearst Museum on the Berkeley campus. This exhibition, The Conservator’s Art: Preserving Egypt’s Past, was supported, in part, by an ARCE Antiquities Endowment Fund (AEF) grant. The exhibition spotlighted the critical role conservators play in the preservation of cultural heritage using the Hearst Museum’s collection of Egyptian objects. The exhibition was dedicated to the memory of Egyptologist and Berkeley Professor Cathleen ‘Candy’ Keller.

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ARCE director Gerry Scott welcomes Annual Meeting attendees to the Hearst Museum reception. Photo: Kathleen Scott

Eight additional AEF grants were awarded to support conservation and documentation projects in Egypt. Awardees included Chicago House of the University of Chicago and Yale University for a project involving the White Monastery where an archaeological team may have discovered the tomb/shrine of the important monastic saint and abbot, Shenute.

Also in the States, three ARCE senior staff members from the Cairo and Luxor offices visited ARCE Chapters to make presentations on ARCE’s work in Egypt and to encourage member support for ARCE’s current endowment campaign. The North Texas, Northern California, Orange County California,PECH front_cover_only_small Northwest (Portland, OR), Arizona, and Washington DC Chapters were visited.

Two new ARCE publications appeared this year. Preserving Egypt’s Cultural Heritage documents ARCE’s first decade (1995-2005) of conservation and training projects in Egypt. Published by ARCE, the Cairo book launch was hosted by US Ambassador Margaret Scobey at her official residence in February 2010. Babylon of Egypt, documenting the archaeology of Old Cairo, was jointly published by ARCE and the American University in Cairo Press (the 4th in the ARCE Conservation Series). It appeared in December of 2010.

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