Saturday, February 23, 2008

Australians celebrate 25 years of work in Egypt

Al Ahram Weekly (Nevine El-Aref)

Over the past year the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square has hosted several archaeological exhibitions commemorating the anniversaries of excavation work carried out by foreign archaeological institutes and missions all over Egypt and highlighting their contribution to preserving the national archaeological heritage. Among these were the German, Polish, French and American institutes in Egypt. The most recent exhibition was inaugurated early last week to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the Australian Institute in Egypt.

Entitled Corroborree, a name that refers to a traditional Aboriginal Australian gathering for the lively exchange of friendship and information, the exhibition contains 31 key objects carefully selected from Australian excavations at Saqqara, Helwan, Luxor and Dakhla Oasis.

Among the most significant objects put on display for the first time, is a collection of glass bottles, jugs and jewellery unearthed during excavations at the Ismant Al-Kharab site in Dakhla Oasis. . . .

Wine clay jars, bone labels, limestone seals and stelae from the Helwan necropolis are also exhibited. Helwan was the main necropolis of Egypt's capital, Memphis, and reflects the social classification of Egyptian society at the time when the Egyptian state was in the process of formation. The site was previously excavated during the 1940s and 1950s by Egyptologist Zaki Saad, who uncovered more than 10,000 tombs. In 1997, an Australian mission headed by Christian Köhler re-excavated the previously discovered tombs and stumbled upon almost 6,000 objects and more than 150 new graves dating from between the First and Fourth dynasties.

See the above page for the full story - it has lots of details about Australian activities in Egypt and offers a lot of useful information about sites investigated.

No comments: