Friday, March 16, 2012

Amarna Field School and News and

Update by Barry Kemp, 4 March 2012:


As a follow-on from last year's Amarna field school, we are holding another this year, between October 14th and November 22nd (five weeks). Again it will be devoted entirely to the survey of the remains of the ancient city of Amarna using non-intrusive geophysical equipment. The same teaching team as last year, from the University of Arkansas, will be giving the instruction, but this time it will run under the auspices of the Institute for Field Research that is based in Los Angeles. The field-school works in co-operation with, and under a permit from, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.

For the enrollment process, and more details, go to

The field school also offers the opportunity to get to know Amarna and some of the other ancient sites in the area.


The next season at Amarna will commence at the end of March. For the first month and a half the fieldwork will be largely devoted to the Great Aten Temple site which lies beside the modern village of El-Tell. Although originally the most important of Akhenaten's buildings - it was the House of the Aten - the front part has become a rubbish dump for the village, and other parts are increasingly threatened by the continuing growth of the adjacent village cemetery.

The first step will be to start cleaning the mud-brick enclosure wall that runs across the front and to expose whatever is left of the pylon entrance that is now covered by old excavation dumps. An assessment will then be made as to the feasibility of repairing and building up the brickwork to make it into a more effective perimeter to the site. The 1932 excavation also uncovered several elements of the temple design lying in front of the main part of the temple itself. It is hoped to add further details to the published record.

At the same time, a separate team will work in an area towards the middle of the temple enclosure, the site of a platform that is thought to have supported a large quartzite stele on which were inscribed the list of offerings for the temple.

The cemetery excavations, due to restart later in the year, have, over the years, produced the fragile remains of four painted wooden coffins. These require much attention from conservators, to stabilize and strengthen them and to enable the decoration to be fully studied. That work, and the study of other categories of artefacts by visiting scholars, will run simultaneously with the fieldwork.

The Amarna project has been greatly helped by donations made through the Justgiving web site: Please go on helping if you can.

A new issue of Horizon (no. 10) has been published and sent out. Its pdf version will shortly be available on our web sites: and

I look forward to reporting on how the season progresses.

Barry Kemp 4 March 2012

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