Mark Lehner

A note from AERA’s director

AERA Director Mark Lehner

AERA Director Mark Lehner

Thank you for visiting the AERA web site and taking the time to read about our work. When I first went to Egypt, I had a vague idea that I might find my life’s work, but I was not sure how serious I was and I did not know that more than thirty years later I would still be at it.

I went to Egypt to study at the American University in Cairo and to search for the Hall of Records that psychic Edgar Cayce had prophesied lay beneath the Sphinx.

I met Dr. Zahi Hawass in 1974, then an Inspector at the Giza Pyramids, now the Director General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities. Over the thirty years I have known and worked with Zahi, we have been on the same path of discovery, with an interest in the people and the social context of the Giza Pyramids and Sphinx.

I also met Matthew McCauley in 1974. As he and I spent months exploring around the Pyramids and Sphinx, we found that our initial notions about the ancient civilization along the Nile could not stand up to the bedrock reality of the Giza Plateau.

But both of us were fascinated by what we saw of the ancient Egyptian civilization. We began to think about what we could know with some certainty and what we might yet discover about that civilization.

Eventually, Matthew, with the help of Margaret Sears, made it possible to establish AERA, Inc. as an umbrella organization to support our work.

While my early experiences gave me a respect for many who seek a deeper meaning in the Egyptian antiquities, I came to believe that what we can know and understand about ancient Egypt must be learned through the application of the scientific method.

AERA now fields a talented and diverse team at Giza. Our large, international group of archaeologists and specialists come from Egypt, Germany, Great Britain, France, Holland, Japan, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, and the United States.

We survey the physical reality of Giza and excavate the archaeological record at this great site. We make empirical observations, propose hypotheses about those observations, and test those hypotheses in valid and reliable ways.

I have been fortunate to be able to follow my passion for science and Egyptian archaeology and to work with so many great professionals along the way, foremost my good friend, Zahi Hawass.

It is my great privilege to direct the Giza Plateau Mapping Project and other AERA projects. As we continue to investigate the Lost City, seeking a deeper understanding of this magnificent ancient civilization that built the Pyramids, we hope you will visit this site often and share your thoughts about our work.

Mark Lehner