News from Aug 17, 2010
No. 258 issued on 08/10/2010
Scientists from Freie Universität will depart August 14 on an archaeological research expedition in Egypt. Their objective is the documentation and interpretation of the ancient Egyptian burial site of Asyut. The long-term international research project has been funded since 2003 by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The DFG has now extended the funding period for an additional three years and roughly 700,000 euros. Up to now, the project was located at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. With the appointment of the excavation director, Professor Dr. Jochem Kahl, to the Institute of Egyptology at Freie Universität, the project will now be managed equally by the two universities. Asyut is considered particularly important for the cultural heritage of ancient Egypt.
In the rock necropolis on the edge of today’s provincial capital, there are still monumental princes’ tombs with inscriptions and decorations from the period 2100–1900 BCE as well as visitors’ graffiti formed around 1500–1200 BCE. The work in the Tomb of the Dogs promises to be exciting. It is a widely branched burial complex dating from the late first millennium BCE. Dogs, jackals, and other animals associated with the locally revered gods in canine form, Wepwawet (Upuaut) and Anubis, were placed there.
For two months, 26 scientists and students from various disciplines and about 80 local excavation workers, inspectors, and conservators from the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities will explore the legacy from the end of the third millennium BCE to Coptic and Islamic times. The research in this international project, which also involves scientists from Japan and Poland, has been taking place since the beginning of 2003 in close cooperation with the Egyptian University of Sohag. Besides Egyptologists and archaeologists, the research team also includes architects and visual artists as well as zoo archaeologists, physical anthropologists, geologists, botanists, and Islamic studies scholars.
The overall objective of the project, in addition to its being the first comprehensive scientific investigation and documentation of the archaeological evidence of Asyut, is to study the necropolis mountain Gebel Asyut al-gharbi in its temporal and qualitative continuity over several millennia.
Prof. Dr. Jochem Kahl
Institute of Egyptology
Freie Universität Berlin
Tel.: +49 (0)30 838-56784
Prof. Dr. Ursula Verhoeven-van Elsbergen
Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Tel. (Ofc., Direct): +49 (0)6131 39-25005
Tel. (Ofc.): +49 (0)6131 39-22438
Link to further details: