AERA Starts Two-Year Project at Ancient Memphis

December 12th, 2015

AERA Helps Develop Egypt’s Cultural Heritage Infrastructure

Three of our field school students examine a colossus of Ramesses II located at Memphis

Three of our field school students examine a colossus of Ramesses II located at Memphis

AERA is pleased to announce that we have been awarded a grant for a two-year project from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). AERA is partnering with the Ministry of Antiquities of Egypt and the University of York to develop the Ancient Memphis Walking Circuit within a wider heritage and training program at the ancient city of Memphis.

Memphis was Egypt’s largest settlement and a major economic center, particularly for international trade. During much of its history it was the administrative and religious center of Pharaonic Egypt and its temples were some of the most important in Ancient Egypt. The only other site comparable in political, religious and economic importance was Luxor, yet today we know far less about Memphis.

While many visitors make a brief stop at the “Open-air Museum/Sculpture Garden” to look down upon a colossal limestone statue of Ramses the Great, they pass right by eight sites where archaeologists have excavated important parts of Memphis, including the Great Temple of Ptah, the Apis House (a major tourist stop in Roman times), a Hathor Temple, a New Kingdom shrine, and a series of early tombs and residences.

Over the next two years, AERA and its partners will develop an archaeological walking circuit that guides visitors through some of the most important Memphite sites, while also conserving the cultural heritage of Memphis by cleaning, stabilizing and documenting this endangered area. During the course of the project we will be training 80 inspectors from the Ministry of Antiquities in site management, cultural heritage planning, and conservation. These newly trained inspectors will then carry their knowledge and experience back to their regional offices throughout Egypt. We are very excited to be working on this important new project to help conserve the ancient city of Memphis.

AERA’s cost share of the Memphis project is made possible through the major support of David Koch, Lee and Ramona Bass, The Glen Dash Foundation for Archaeological Research, Ann Lurie, Ed and Kathy Fries, Lou R. Hughes, Bruce Ludwig, Piers Litherland, Cameron and Linda Myhrvold, Marjorie Fisher, Ann Thompson, Jon and Janice Jerde, and Matthew McCauley.

 

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