Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

A concise report on the expedition to the Gilf Kebir National Park

July 30, 2010

PDF file. 63 pages with maps and some beautiful photographs.

Steps are being taken to make the Gilf Kebir a World Heritage site. The above report summarises the main findings and recommendations following an expedition to the area. It looks at archaeology (from the prehistoric period to WWII), flora and fauna and the damage caused by a number of different factors – including tourism.

New Book: Bi’r Minayh

June 16, 2010

Budapest, Úri utca 49 * H-1250 Budapest, Pf. 41.
Telefax: (+361) 3758939;

Ulrich Luft ed.
BI’R MINAYH, Report on the Survey 1998–2004
ISBN 978-963- 9911-11-6

It is the first time that one particular site in the Eastern Desert has been published to the full extent. This approach, that requires high skills and an affinity for details, has been opted for with the purpose to avoid that possible correlations went unrecognized, as it might happen in publications divided into a range of separate studies, each focusing on one specific subject exclusively. By applying the method of full archaeological reports, this present volume was aimed at contributing to a better understanding of the complex archaeology of the Egyptian Eastern Desert. The joint expedition of the Eötvös Loránd University of Budapest and the Budapest University of Technology and Economics was a fieldwork project of interdisciplinary character, thus the multiplicity of approaches necessitated the restating of the expedition’s main objectives and prevented the authors from putting forward unfounded and highbrow ideas.

Preface by ULRICH LUFT; 1. Introduction by ULRICH LUFT;
2. Geology of Bi’r Minayh region by BÉLA KLEB and ÁKOS TÖRÖK;
3. Surveying and mapping at Bi’r Minayh by LÁSZLÓ SZŰCS and ÁKOS GREGORI;
4. Prehistoric finds;
4.1. Introduction by TIBOR MARTON and JÓZSEF DANYI;
4.2. Catalogue by TIBOR MARTON and JÓZSEF DANYI;
5. Petroglyphs;
5.1. Introduction by ULRICH LUFT;
6. Inscriptions;
6.1. Introduction by ULRICH LUFT; Catalogue by ADRIENN ALMÁSY and ENIKŐ KISS;
6.3. Greek dockets by ADRIENN ALMÁSY;
7. Architectural remains;
7.1. Introduction by ZSOLT VASÁROS;
7.2. Catalogue of the buildings by ZSOLT VASÁROS;
7.3. Test excavation at the site by GÁBOR LASSÁNYI;
7.4. Cemetery;
7.4.1. The cemetery architectural report by ZSOLT VASÁROS;
7.4.2. Burials by GÁBOR LASSÁNYI;
8. Small finds;
8.1. Pottery by GÁBOR LASSÁNYI;
8.2. Catalogue by GÁBOR LASSÁNYI;
8.3. Beads by BORI NÉMETH;
8.4. Various small finds by GÁBOR LASSÁNYI;
Indices; Corpus of tribal marks by ADRIENN ALMÁSY;
Index of petroglyphs by ADRIENN ALMÁSY;
Index of inscriptions by ENIKŐ KISS;
Reference works; Contributors; Colour Plates; Maps in folder; Archaeological site map, del. LÁSZLÓ SZŰCS and ÁKOS GREGORI; Architectural site map, del. ZSOLT VASÁROS;
Panorama of Field E, del. ZSOLT VASÁROS; Panorama of Field R, del. ZSOLT VASÁROS

Language: English, 2010., 340 pp. with illustrations, ISBN 978-963- 9911-11-6
Price € 116

Online interview with Fred Wendorf

June 6, 2010

The Archaeology Channel

Dr. Fred Wendorf came of age and began his career during a formative period in American archaeology. But after leaving his permanent mark on the development of archaeology in the American Southwest and the United States, he essentially founded the study of the prehistoric eastern Sahara, beginning with the Aswan Dam Project in the Nile River Valley. His life, nearly ended by a bullet on a WWII battlefield in Italy, has included an archaeological research career spanning six decades and an unsurpassed record of seminal contributions. His recently published book, Desert Days: My Life as a Field Archaeologist, is a record not only of a life, but of an epoch in the history of archaeology on two continents. This is history he not just witnessed, but to a significant degree he created it through his innovative approaches and endless energy, which should serve as an inspiration to subsequent generations of archaeologists.

Dr. Richard Pettigrew of ALI interviewed Dr. Wendorf for The Archaeology Channel on two separate occasions, first in person at the Society for American Archaeology Conference in Atlanta on April 24, 2009, and then over the telephone on June 9, 2009. Guided by Dr. Wendorf’s book, this interview covers a wide array of topics, including his role in the creation of the first truly large contract archaeology projects in the United States, his momentous and very fruitful decision to launch a field expedition in the Nile River Valley against the wishes and advice of others, and the contributions of his research toward the understanding of human cultural development. Personal anecdotes combine with long considered assessments to paint a genuine picture of his life and career and the era they have spanned.

Western Sahara Project

March 4, 2010

This is about as far from Egypt as its possible to get in Saharan terms – but it’s a great project and anything Sahara-related has to be good!

Dear all

This is just to let you know that we are looking for volunteers for the next season of fieldwork in Western Sahara. Please circulate this message to anyone who might be interested.

We will certainly be running a 3-week season of reconnaissance survey work from around 5-27 November 2010. We are also hoping to run a season of excavations from approximately 1 October – 13 November 2010, subject to the availability of external funding.

We are looking for volunteers for both of these components. If the excavations go ahead we will be seeking two sets of volunteers for this element, to participate in two consecutive 3-week excavation modules.

More information is available on the recently updated volunteers page of the project website at:

Note you can now also follow the project on Twitter (

You might also want to read about the project at Past Horizons ( or (more academic) in Antiquity journal (

Best wishes

Dr Nick Brooks

Visiting Research Fellow
Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia
Norwich NR4 7TJ

Director, Western Sahara Project:
Tel:  +44 7919 402 918

Tyndall website:

Western Sahara Project Website:
Follow the Western Sahara Project on Twitter:

Tassili n’Ajjer: birthplace of ancient Egypt?

January 11, 2008

The author of this page, Philip Coppens, appears to be a journalist who specializes in alternative archaeology. It’s difficult to convey the whole argument with a single extract, but here’s something to give you an idea of the contents of the above page (which has some lovely photographs of rock art):

The true highlight, however, was Sefar. Little is written about the city. Lhote does not provide many details, except a map, showing its extent, as well as the presence of several streets and avenues, tumuli, tombs and something that he calls the “esplanade of the Great Fishing God”. Lhote named the character as he seemed to be carrying fish. But a closer inspection of the photograph that successive expeditions have taken, suggests what Zitman had always felt could be the truth: rather than a “fishing god”, was this character not depicted in a pose that the ancient Egyptians knew as “smiting the enemy”? It was a pose that was used by the Pharaohs to display their mastery over the forces of chaos.

The “Great Fishing God” of Sefar is thus potential evidence that there is indeed a link between Egypt and the Tassili. Some of the rock paintings also show boats, such as at Sefar and Aouanrhet. These depictions are very similar if not identical to what was discovered by the likes of Toby Wilkinson in similar sites and similar rock paintings in the region between the Nile and the Red Sea. He dated these paintings to the 5th millennium BC, which overlaps with the paintings of the Tassili. Like the Tassili, the desert area where Wilkinson uncovered these paintings was then verdant grassland. Like the Tassili, these Egyptian paintings are a complex mixture of motifs, depicting crocodiles, hippos and boats from the Nile alongside ostriches and giraffes from the savannah, and suffused with cattle imagery and the religious symbolism that would characterize classical Egyptian art.