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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Fwd: AERA begins work at the ancient city of Memphis!

November 30, 2015

ANCIENT MEMPHIS: AERA helps develop Egypt's cultural heritage infrastructure

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 York University to develop the Ancient Memphis Walking Circuit within a wider heritage, out-reach 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, out-reach 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. Stay tuned for updates on our progress!

AERA's cost share of the Memphis project is made possible through the major support of David Koch, Mr. and Mrs. Lee M. 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.

AERAgram 15 now available online

While the most recent edition of our newsletter is only available to AERA members, previous issues are available on our website. This includes the recently posted spring/fall 2014 double issue (volume 15, numbers 1-2) with the following articles:
  • On the Waterfront: Canals and Harbors in the Time of Giza Pyramid-Building
  • Did Egyptians Use the Sun to Align the Pyramids?
  • A Change of Address: Funerary Workshop Priests Move to New Quarters
  • A Return to Area AA: Informal Seals and Sealings of the Heit el-Ghurab
  • Construction Hub to Cult Center: Re-purposing, Old Kingdom Style
Download the PDF or become an AERA member to receive future editions hot off the press.  

Read more about our work in Smithsonian and Scientific American magazines and in the first book published about our work in Japanese

AERA's work at the Lost City of the Pyramid Builders is featured in the cover story of the November issue of Scientific American. This in-depth article discusses our recent work at the Lost City and how the construction of the Giza pyramids led to the creation of a social organization that changed the world. 

An article in the October issue of the Smithsonian Magazine examines how the recent discovery of a port of Khufu at Wadi el-Jarf on the Red Sea coast helps to illuminate our work at Giza. Read the full text of this article online.

AERA team member Yukinore Kawae has just published the first book in Japanese about our excavations and 3D survey work at the Giza Plateau. "Excavating the Pyramid Town" addresses who built the Giza Pyramids, how and why.

Give the gift of Egypt this holiday season! 

Our members help make possible our excavations in Egypt, field school training, rescue archaeology, conservation, education and outreach. Members also receive printed copies of AERAgrams and annual reports as soon as they are published. 

Help us keep our field programs vital and effective by becoming a member or giving a gift membership, by donating to AERA or by directly sponsoring an area of research through our giving catalog.
AERA is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt, nonprofit organization. Your membership or donation is tax deductible.

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