The American Research Center in Eygpt

Year In Review 2012

Year In Review 2012

Year In Review 2012

Working inside the Temple of Isis at Deir el Shelwit


A new conservation and training program in Luxor known as the Annual Program Statement (APS) is well under way. This program is in response to USAID’s job creation program in the wake of the events of the Arab Spring in January 2011.

Deir Shelwit Workshot 2012 05 14 Pho APS Arce Lux MMS5278

Working at Deir el Shelwit

To respond directly to Egyptian-identified needs in the areas of job creation, poverty alleviations, and economic development, ARCE initiated a plan to create several hundred jobs that target unemployed youth in Luxor, where the economy has been particularly hard hit. ARCE's program is designed to provide employment with a focus on site improvement at the Temple of Isis at Deir el Shelwit and Qurna on the west bank and at Mut Temple in the Karnak Temple complex. Field schools in conservation and archaeology are now underway at these project sites. Excavation and conservation treatment of Theban tomb 110 also began in Qurna this year. The initial stages of these APS projects were documented in this year's ARCE Conservation.

Subsequent to publication in ARCE Conservation, site improvement work at Qurna has begun. This involves clearing rubble, creating walkways, and installing lighting and signage for visitors to the open tombs in the area.

New Lime Mortar Luxor Temple Photo  Khadiga Adam

Conservation students applying new lime mortar to a column in Luxor Temple

This has also been a great year for our training programs, graduating dozens of students from our AERA-managed archaeological field school in Giza, and conducting conservation, supervisory, and photography field schools in Luxor with advanced students. Through these programs, students have been able to further develop their skills and useful methods for use in field work.

Mut Workshot 2012 05 10 Pho APS Arce Lux MMS5088

New walkway installed around Mut Temple's sacred lake following weed eradication

At Mut Temple, a walkway has been prepared that circles the lake. Nearby, a visitors center and restroom facilities are in the early planning stages next to a section of the Avenue of Sphinxes.


  • Another successful season was conducted at the Red Monastery in Sohag. A roundtable discussion with various constituents will be held in December to discuss how this space can be made accessible.
  • Books about the Roman Wall Paintings and Red Monastery are in the works. The Roman Wall Paintings volume will be in production early next year.
  • A site museum is being readied at St. Antony’s Monastery near the Red Sea.
  • Informational panels, directional signs, and maps for visitors in Historic Cairo are being prepared.
  • Conservation, training, and site improvements are underway at Deir el Shelwit, Qurna, and Mut Temple.
  • Conservation, supervisory, and photography field schools are ongoing in Luxor.


Red Monastery 4492

Semi-dome showing paint layers from the 6th-9th centuries

During the Spring, work focused on further cleaning and conservation of the paintings in the eastern apse and in the northern side rooms. Plans were made for the installation of electrical lighting and for the reinstatement of missing wooden elements (cupboards and doors).

In the eastern apse, the lowest range of painted niches and the walls between them were cleaned. And a semi-dome, in which a complex palimpsest of overlying paint layers from different periods (6th to 8th/9th centuries) is visible, was prepared for final treatment. 


At St. Antony's Monastery Museum, Fr. Maximous' project to create a museum in the monastery, supported by USAID funding, has completed a digital inventory. ARCE staff are now selecting objects from the monastery's collection for display. This work will continue in 2013.


Jere Bacharach and an international team have started work on a project to install information and directional signage at monuments and in the streets in the areas where ARCE has worked in Historic Cairo since 1995. These include the Bab Zuwaila, Zawiyah Farag Ibn al-Barquq, Sabil Muhammad Ali, Bait al-Razzaz and Aslam al-Silahdar Mosque. This project will continue into 2013.

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