Cairo Lecture: The city of the Baboon project: New Excavation at Hermopolis Magna

Presented By Dr. Basem Gehad ; City of the Baboon project Co-Director 

  • 6:00 PM Cairo Time
  • ARCE Cairo Center2 Midan Símon Bolívar Garden City Cairo 11461 Egypt
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Lecture Information

  • The City of the Baboon Project A collaboration between Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (Basem Gehad) and CU Classics (Yvona Trnka-Amrhein).

The lecture focuses on the results of excavation, surveying, and mapping work conducted at the site of Hermopolis Magna, the City of the Baboon.

The season, starting in January 2023 and ending in August 2023, focused on three main axes of work. Within this season, the team was able to excavate a large area of the Ramses/Seti temple. Additionally, the team conducted restoration and excavation work at the Basilica, including the re-installation of eight columns. Finally, it surveyed large segments of the site and documented various visible remains pertaining to the ancient buildings of the city. 

The mission’s objectives have been to revisit and continue the excavation of the Ramses II/Seti II Temple as well as investigate the previously unstudied areas of Kom Ousoum and Kom an-Nar. Moreover, it has focused on excavating, restoring, and studying the 5th-century Coptic Basilica and the underlying Ptolemaic temenos. Moreover, the mission has been cataloging talatat blocks, from the Amarna period, as well as identifying the city’s main urban crossroads, and finally, resuming the excavation at the Ramses/Nero temple as well as its surrounding area. 

Overall, the mission’s work strives to provide a clear picture of ancient Hermopolis for all scholars and visitors.

Speaker Bio

Basem Gehad is currently the supervisor of the Central Training Unit, and the Archaeological Training Center at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. He has been the director of the Egyptian excavation project at the ancient Philadelphia necropolis (Fayoum), since 2015.  He has also been co-directing the city of the Baboon project at Hermopolis Magna, with Yvona-Trnka Amrhein, since 2022. Dr. Gehad is a corresponding member of the DAIK, and co-editor of the Proceedings of the First International Conference on the Science of Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technologies (SAEMT) with Anita Quilis. He completed his Ph.D. in ancient Egyptian materials and technology with a focus on ancient texts, namely Greek papyri on materials and industries during the Ptolemaic and Roman periods; he has also conducted further studies on Greek Philology and Hellenistic architecture.