Cairo Lecture: Digitizing the Valley of the Queens and the Western Wadis – A New Theban Mapping Project Database

Presented by: Bianca van Sittert

  • 6:00 PM Cairo Time
  • ARCE Cairo Center2 Midan Simon Bolivar Garden City Cairo Governorate 11461 Egypt
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Lecture Information

“In March 2023, the first ever online open-access database on the Valley of the Queensand theWestern Wadis was launched on the Theban Mapping Project website (TMP.com). Located approximately a mile southwest of the Valley of the Kings, these sites comprise of a large system of wadis that extend west from the edge of the low desert into and behind the Theban West Bank’s highest mountain—the Qurn. These wadis offer accessible but easily protected sites for burials and it is here where many tombs of New Kingdom royal family members and high-ranking officials were dug. 125 of these tombs are now accessible to both scholars and the public on TMP.com through interactive aerial maps of the sites and individual tomb plans, histories of use, exploration, and conservation, exhaustive bibliographies, and photography. In this lecture, I will showcase how we approached and undertook the building of the Valley of the Queens and Western Wadis database and underscore its value as an academic resource, public educational platform, and on-site digital guide for tourists.” 

Speaker Bio

Bianca van Sittert is an Egyptologist from Cape Town, South Africa. She received her BA and Hons degrees in Ancient Cultures from the University of Stellenbosch, and her MA degree in Egyptology and Coptology from the American University in Cairo (AUC). She specializes in philology and ancient Egyptian religion, as well as digital epigraphy. She has worked on a number of projects in Egypt, including digitizing the reliefs and texts in the tomb of Harwa (TT37), the Wadi el-Hudi expedition, the Colossi of Memnon and Amenhotep III Temple Conservation Project, and artistic reconstructions of ancient Egyptian and Nubian clothing. As one of ARCE’s Theban Mapping Project Fellows, Bianca manages, plans, and develops current and future content for the TMP website, as well as the digital ARCE archive for TMP material.