Archaeological Field School Opportunities in Egypt
For the past 36 years from 1975 to the present, The Akhenaten Temple Project, a program initially created to study and reconstruct on paper the dismantled sun-temples of the heretic Pharaoh Akhenaten (14th Century B.C.), has undertaken archaeological work at four major sites in Egypt: At East Karnak (Luxor), our excavations have uncovered the largest temple of this king; across the river in the Theban necropolis, we initiated a tomb survey of burials and sepulchres including that of Akhenaten's butler Parennefer; at Tel el-Rub’a in the eastern Nile delta, we commenced excavation of the ancient city of Mendes; and in the Sinai, a New Kingdom fortress today known as Tel Kedwa.
The archaeological field work of the A.T.P. has made significant contributions to our knowledge of all the major time periods of Ancient Egypt, and opened untold opportunities for student participation and training. From 1998, directors, Prof. Donald Redford and Dr. Susan Redford, have combined the work of the project with a field school run under the sponsorship of Penn State Education Abroad, which has been highly successful in training undergraduates, not only in history, but also in the mechanics of archaeological field methodology, epigraphy, recording of reliefs and artifacts, human osteology, paleobotany and conservation. Since field operations always involve native Egyptian labor, the student moves within the local native community and is obliged to learn a little Arabic. It is a marvelous opportunity for the undergraduate to come into close contact with another important world culture and the Islamic way of life.
Penn State’s Summer Abroad field school offers students six credits in the area of archaeology, ancient Mediterranean studies and international cultures toward their degrees. Those who are interested in taking part in this exciting research and gaining a memorable cultural experience may find more detailed information and submit an application on-line at www.outreach.psu.edu/summerabroad/study-egypt for the up-coming 2012 expeditions. The application deadline is December 20, 2011.
This narrative was written by Professor Donald Redford and Dr. Susan Redford.
Photo courtesy Susan Redford and the Theban Tomb Survey