The American Research Center in Eygpt

Year in Review 2013

Year in Review 2013

Year in Review 2013
The Tomb Chapel of Menna, edited by Dr. Melinda Hartwig. This fifth book in ARCE's Conservation Series is available from AUC Press.

It's been an eventful year in Egypt! This is the perfect time of year to look back; here are some of our highlights.

  • Luxor: Nearly 1000 jobs created in Luxor at Deir El Shelwit, Qurna, Theban Tomb 110, and Mut Temple to help mitigate the devastating effects of the overwhelming economic downturn in tourism as part of ARCE's conservation program.
  • Khonsu Temple: Completed conservation, working on signage
  • Luxor: 105 graduates of archaeological, conservation, and photography field schools
  • Cairo: Published The Tomb Chapel of Menna
  • Cairo: Initiated archival project for USAID funded projects. Images, maps, drawings, and reports make this one of the world's most significant archives for Egyptian heritage preservation.
  • Cairo: Visitor plans for Historic Cairo are complete. Pilot walks are scheduled with graduates from the Faculty of Tourism.
  • Cairo: Finalized designs for the St. Antony's Monastery Museum


USAID provided funding under its Annual Program Statement (APS) to respond directly to Egyptian needs in the areas of job creation, poverty alleviation, and economic development. Under this program ARCE began several projects on the west bank in Luxor. ARCE created and has sustained nearly 1000 jobs targeting youth and others to provide employment and increase marketable skills through conservation projects in Luxor (at the Temple of Isis at Deir el Shelwit, the sites of Sheikh Abd el Qurna and el Khokha, Theban Tomb 110, and Mut Temple). Additionally, through the APS project, ARCE has used hundreds of Egyptian businesses, most of which are micro or small businesses. A detailed article about this project is published in the ARCE Bulletin, Number 202 - Summer 2013, a member publication. More about Qurna online >>


In June 2013, ARCE graduated 105 Egyptian students from training programs in archaeology, conservation, and photography. This was ARCE’s first archeology field school organized, run completely by Egyptians, and taught in Arabic. Those leading the training were themselves former graduates of the several ARCE field schools conducted in past years.  Both instructors and graduates acknowledged the importance of ARCE and the American people in helping them further their careers.


Excavations have been underway since 2012 as one aspect of ARCE's initiative to open the tomb to visitors on behalf of the Ministry of State for Antiquities. Located on Luxor's west bank on the border between Sheikh Abd el Qurna and El Khokha, it was built for a man named Djehuty who held the position of Royal Butler under both Hatshepsut (1473-1458 BC) and Tuthmosis III (1479-1425 BC). A detailed article about this project is published in the ARCE Bulletin, Number 203 - Fall 2013, a member publication. More about TT 110 online >>


In addition to conducting a conservation field school for MSA conservators, a full photographic record was created of conservation work before, during, and after its completition. A study was completed of the ancient craftsmen's plastering and painting techniques, and all mechanical cleaning of the temple's decorated walls was completed. To prepare the area for visitation, ARCE built new offices for site inspectors and guards, and a public restroom for which an innovative surface mounted foundation system was designed. This design omits the need to dig a foundation at an archealogical site. More about this is published in ARCE Conservation 2013, a member publication.


Work is continuing since late April 2012 which involves the clearing and permanent eradication of the weeds surrounding the sacred lake and throughout the temple utilizing approximately 120 workers. The ministry is expected to open the temple to visitors this winter. Pathways, solar lighting, and signage is in the process of being installed.


In March 2013, ARCE brought together American and Egyptian scholars and artists to share insights into the cultural production – literature, art and music – in response to political upheavals in Egypt’s more recent history; from 1879 through January 2011.


After a decade of intensive work, this project is nearing completion. All cleaning is complete and the church is now being prepared for presentation to the public. Reflections on the work are in ARCE Bulletin, Number 194 - Winter 2009, a member publication.  Read more online >>


At times during this very uncertain year, the ARCE Cairo office has been on the front line of clashes and protests nearby and close to the homes of many of our staff who live in Doqqi, al-Muhandisin, Bab al-Luq and close to Midan al-Tahrir. Keeping the office going and moral up during these times has been a major achievement for which Rania Radwan, Office Manager, the messengers and drivers, and all staff can take credit. Madam Amira Khattab, with the help of Salah Mitwali, has given us all sterling support, especially in negotiating with the MSA on behalf of our field projects and research activities during long periods when the ministry has been only semi-functional due to political transitions this year. A heartfelt thanks also goes out to the many ARCE members who have called and emailed to check on ARCE staff, expeditions, and fellows. Your support keeps us going >>

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