Long-term Objectives and How They Will be Achieved
1. The promotion of study and understanding of Egyptian cultural heritage by:
1.1. Developing, encouraging and supporting themes, programmes and strategies for cultural heritage research projects.
1.2. Instigating a Sites and Monuments protection programme, by encouraging scheduling or listing buildings on a 'National Heritage Programme' or as 'World Heritage Sites'.
1.3. The establishment of a sites and monuments 'national baseline data-base' by, documenting and quantifying the deterioration and present survival of some of Egypt's most important ancient and historic features and monuments, and correlating them with previous excavation and conservation records. Assessing also the value of these sites from a symbolic, associative, social, economic, informational, aesthetic, and educational value. With this information a 'monuments at risk' project can be commissioned to determine, the changing state of knowledge about the scale and nature of Egypt's archaeological heritage, the rate of loss and damage suffered by monuments in the recent past and the reasons and causes of this. One of the expected causes of damage is tourism, and the success or otherwise of measures introduced to improve the preservation and management of individual monuments will be assessed. The project will also provide pointers as to how the resources (both financial and in terms of materials and staff) available to statutory, public, private, and voluntary organisations which are wholly or partly concerned with Egyptian archaeology can be used to best effect. The gathered information will then be disseminated to as wide an audience as possible, making it easily available to everyone, and at a variety of levels of understanding.
Some of the main points to come out of the creation of a 'national baseline data-base' will be:
a. An extensive archaeological map of Egypt, created by using a Geographical information system (GIS).
b. An evaluation of the legislation set up to guard Egypt's heritage at both national and international levels.
c. The worth of environmental conservation as a preventative means of protecting Egypt's monuments.
d. The conservation facilities and staff needed to maintain the sites and monuments.
e. A list of funding projects to raise the capital needed to look after Egypt's heritage.
f. The use of public archaeology and increasing the awareness of the national and international public of the importance of World Heritage and its preservation.
g. How best to present the cultural heritage of Egypt, such as: in-place site interpretation, museums and displays; local and national museum displays; popular books, articles, documentaries and press releases, etc.
h. The fundamental structure and organisation to build a complete Sites and Monuments Records (SMR's) for Egypt. *
1.4 Encourage a sites and monuments records (SMRs) to be called the ‘National Archaeological Record’ at local and national level, logging past, present and future data into a computer database. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technologies are proposed to provide spatially referenced records, and a quality control kept on the entries, this will ensure that the local entries are standardised, therefore making the addition of local entries into the 'National Archaeological Record' as smooth as possible.
1.5 Actively conserve, and if necessary restore, Egypt's monuments.
1.6 Create a greater understanding and exchange of scholarly and technical information and knowledge between national and international archaeologists and institutions by promoting fully integrated working environments, thus creating a closer working relationship and community. In addition promote inter-disciplinary activity at all levels, encouraging those from outside the discipline of archaeology to actively participate in field and laboratory work, as well as in debate, both written and verbal. To this end, forums and workshops will be created and promoted.
1.7 Suggest ways in which an archaeological salvage programme may be established to combat the ever-increasing threat of building and industrial development. This will include the development of a programme of evaluation archaeology and watching briefs devised to complement both the developers and the archaeologists and thus prevent the disappearance of the archaeological record without it being recorded and in some instances being preserved if it is proven to be of world or national importance. **
1.8 Create a database of all Egyptian artefacts in the world's collections.
2. Develop programmes of public archaeology that both enhance the dissemination of scholarly knowledge amongst Egyptians and the world community, and promote the public's interest and enjoyment in ancient and historic monuments and sites:
2.1 Increase national and international educational emphasis to improve public awareness, debate and understanding.
2.2 Provide international consultants for the public and media to answer questions on various areas of Egyptology, Egyptian archaeology, conservation and cultural heritage management. Simple questions by the public can be asked through ECHO's web site, and as well as having the question answered, recommendations for further reading will be given. More in-depth media enquires will be answered for a donation to an ECHO project or general fund.
2.3 Make Cultural Heritage Management (CHM), archaeology and conservation decision-making more lucid to non-archaeologists, thus actively promoting public understanding of archaeological issues.
2.4 Promote stronger partnerships with museums and independent archaeologists, and encouraging them to disseminate information on their activities to the public.
2.5 Raise the public profile of monuments, sites and artefacts, and increase the public awareness of the significance of archaeological finds and their place in modern society by such means as multi-media publication and increased interaction with press agencies. Encourage and facilitate archaeologists to disseminate this knowledge to a wider audience through such media as popular magazines, radio and television.
2.6 Use high-profile monuments, such as the Giza Plateau Pyramids, to promote the understanding and character of cultural heritage and the importance of such monuments preservation.
2.7 Promote and acknowledge appreciation of the value of the ancient and historical environment, especially at the local scale. This will include instigating and using already published regional ancient landscape mapping projects as a vehicle for raising public appreciation and understanding of the diversity and historical depth of their local areas. Using this as a base to form an information pack, which will also highlight the intrusions and threats to the archaeological record and thus make it more tangible.
2.8 Acknowledge the importance of archaeological survey and excavation in promoting public interest and enthusiasm and develop appropriate projects. Encourage a wider participation from independent archaeologists and those in related or helpful subjects, and ensure that opportunities to become more involved are created and actively sought.
2.9 Actively promote and establish on-site museums and create open-sites, which will be presented using the latest computer aided graphics to aide interpretation of the site and the human activities that were carried out therein. However, all efforts will be made and encouraged to mitigate the potential negative effects of tourism.
2.10 Utilise archaeological fieldwork as a teaching tool.
3. Promote education in Cultural Heritage Management, conservation and archaeology in general:
3.1 Encourage programmes and actions that facilitate the training of Egyptian archaeologists, surveyors, conservators, and museum curators, in order to ensure the conservation of archaeological finds, landscapes, sites, monuments and artefacts in Egypt.
3.2 Help develop and promote education programmes in Egypt and worldwide at the level of junior and high school education (5 -16 year olds). By such methods as museum visits and special talks, the production of magazines, leaflets, education packs and web-site special foci.
3.3 Establish field-schools throughout Egypt; the funding of cultural exchanges from Egyptian universities to other universities throughout the world, and reciprocal exchanges.
3.4 Promote a greater understanding of CHM and Egyptian archaeology at a popular level; this will include the writing and promotion of popular books, articles and leaflets, documentaries, public lectures, tours, study visits, and physical participation in CHM and archaeological activities, and the establishment of regional centres as foci for educational activities. **
3.5 Help to promote a greater understanding of current research amongst professional Egyptian archaeologist. This will be achieved through the publication and distribution of scientific publications. ***
4. Contribute efforts that aim at establishing facilities for and design research programmes in, conservation, management and display of Egypt's cultural heritage. Promote new methodological and technical developments.
4.1 Establish a series of field schools and centres throughout Egypt, which will teach CHM to both national and international archaeologists, and demonstrate the latest archaeological methods and technologies, and combine them with the most recent theories. ****
4.2 Help promote and develop evaluation techniques, geophysical prospecting techniques, sampling and retrieval, excavation, taphonomy and residuality, statistics, de-watering, mitigation strategies, deposit modelling, predictive modelling strategies, fieldwork recording systems and techniques, DNA studies, and scientific techniques for analysis.
4.3 Produce a series of excavation, surveying, conservation and CHM manuals, as well as a safety code booklet for working in the field. *****
4.4 Open an arena for debate on refining Egypt's chronology by encouraging new and more scientific dating methods, particularly a dendrochronology especially created for Egypt and the Near East.
NOTE: Special Projects already instigated or proposed by ECHO:
* The creation of a 'national baseline database'.
** The setting up of the first of a series of CHM projects in the Eastern Desert and Red Sea Coast is proposed in the near future.
*** The Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) are at present in the process of publishing new volumes of the Annales du Service des Antiquites de L'Egypte. In January 2000 a group of archaeologists led by Mr. G. J. Tassie assisted the Scientific Publication Department of the SCA in editing articles for the forthcoming volumes.
**** The establishment of an archaeological centre of excellence in Cairo.
***** The writing and publication of a series of archaeological manuals has already begun with the first manual on excavation already completed ("Standards of Archaeological Excavation; A Fieldguide").
Jeff Collins (Non-Directorial)
ECHO Publications Board:
Joanne M. Rowland
Joris van Wetering
Claire F. Venables
Egyptian Cultural Attache:
Okasha El Daly (Non-Directorial)
Information Technology Consultant: