News from the digs

While some areas of Egypt are seeing looting at archaeological sites, in other places digs are proceeding well. We’ve given you some links to just a few of the sites and the work being done there. While you enjoy these please give a thought to supporting the campaign to stop the looting at El Hibah – there’s a FB group you can join to keep abreast of what’s happening.

Broken stone coffin and human remains in a pit near the north wall.

Broken stone coffin and human remains in a pit near the north wall at El Hibeh.

EES Minufiyeh Survey
In March and April 2012 Dr Joanne Rowland again leads the Egypt Exploration Society’s Expedition to the Minufiyeh Governorate, Egypt. During this season Jo and her team will be carrying out excavation and geophysical survey work at the site of Quesna.

One younger and one more experienced archaeologist working together to uncover a burial in T9 at Manufiyeh

One younger and one more experienced archaeologist working together to uncover a burial in T9 at Manufiyeh.

Leiden Mission Dig Saqqara
Seasons 2004-2006 were spent in explorations of Horemheb’s hitherto unknown forecourt and First Pylon, and of the forecourt of his neighbour Tia. The two following years (2007-2008) were devoted to excavation of the tomb of the royal butler Ptahemwia, further east.

In 2009 the tomb-chapels of two priests of Ptah were found, Tatia and Khay, and in 2010 an unfinished and so far anonymous tomb was uncovered to the south of that of Ptahemwia.

Ancient Egypt Research Associates (AERA) 2012 season
The 2012 excavation season sees a return to the Gallery Complex at AERA’s main site of Heit el-Ghurab. The immense size of the complex, which is divided into four sets of elongated galleries, is a defining feature of the site. Previous excavation of parts of these enigmatic structures, by the AERA team over the years, has given rise to the idea that they could have been built as accommodations for the workers who built the Pyramids at Giza.

EES Theban Harbours and Waterscapes Project
The first season of EES Theban Harbours and Waterscapes Project ( began in January 2011 but was cut short by the Egyptian revolution. The project director, Dr Angus Graham, and co returned to Luxor in mid-February 2012 and regular updates on their progress will appear on this page. To help support this project and others like it please visit

Theban Mapping Project
Since its inception in 1978, the Theban Mapping Project (TMP, now based at the American University in Cairo) has been working to prepare a comprehensive archaeological database of Thebes. With its thousands of tombs and temples, Thebes is one of the world’s most important archaeological zones. Sadly, however, it has not fared well over the years. Treasure-hunters and curio-seekers plundered it in the past; pollution, rising ground water, and mass-tourism threaten it in the present. Even early archaeologists destroyed valuable information in their search for museum-quality pieces.

Franck Goddio Society
Franck Goddio and his team conduct underwater archaeological mission in and around Alexandria. They have made some fascinating discoveries.

A serene face of a statue underwater in Alexandria

A serene face of a statue underwater in Alexandria.

German Archaeological Institute (DAI)
Working on a variety of projects in a number of areas of Egypt. You’ll find all the information right here

The Amarna Project
The ancient Egyptian city of Tell el-Amarna (or simply Amarna) was the short-lived capital built by the ‘heretic’ Pharaoh Akhenaten and abandoned shortly after his death (c. 1332 BCE). It was here that he pursued his vision of a society dedicated to the cult of one god, the power of the sun (the Aten). As well as this historic interest Amarna remains the largest readily accessible living-site from ancient Egypt. It is thus simultaneously the key to a chapter in the history of religious experience and to a fuller understanding of what it was like to be an ancient Egyptian. There is no other site like it.

EES Delta Survey
For the fourth season running, during March 2012, Dr Patricia Spencer will be posting regular updates from the Delta, Egypt.

These are just a few of the many projects happening in Egypt right now – have fun exploring.

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