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Archaeology & Anthropology Field Schools

Africa - Egypt - Giza Plateau Mapping Project (GPMP), Egypt Archaeological Field Training - 2016

Archaeology Field School Location and Dates

Application Deadline
Start Date 2016-01-03
End Date 2016-02-04

Multiple Sessions No

Archaeology Field School Location

Giza Plateau, Cairo, Egypt

Archaeology Field School Tuition and Credits

Sponsoring College/Institution

American University in Cairo (AUC)

Academic Credit

Five academic credits

Archaeology Field School Tuition


Archaeology Field School Room and Board

Room and board included

Archaeology Field School Travel
Travel not included
Additional Information on Tution/Room and Board/Travel Costs

Cost covers tuition, accommodation, meals, tool kit and supplies, medical insurance, local transportation, and special field trips

Archaeology Field School Description

The Giza Plateau Mapping Project (GPMP), under the direction of Mark Lehner, evolved from its beginnings in surveying and mapping the landscape at Giza (Egypt) into a large-scale project which covers: settlement and burial excavation; experimental archaeology and conservation; geomorphology and geophysics work; and archaeological field training. Under the umbrella of Ancient Egypt Research Associates (AERA) we investigate the development of urbanism, labor organization, and the elementary structures of ancient daily life.
The archaeological field training will focus on the ancient urban site at Heit el-Ghurab (Arabic for Wall of the Crow) about 400 meters south of the Sphinx, in order to assess evidence of the social and economic structures that supported the building and maintenance of the Giza pyramids. The planned settlement, one of the earliest examples of urban planning, is securely dated to the reigns of two Giza pyramid builders: Khafre (2520-2494 BC) and Menkaure (2490-2472 BC).
The settlement has three distinct urban areas designated as the Galleries, the Eastern Town, and Western Town. These areas are characterised by distinct urban layout, design and size of structures, as well as distinct patterns emerging in the faunal, botanical, lithic and ceramic material. The current hypothesis is that the ‘Galleries’ served as barracks for rotating workers; the village-like, Eastern Town was used by a mixed permanent population; and the Western Town housed important scribes and officials. These distinct urban areas are linked by streets, gates and enclosure walls, with a large building, the Royal Administrative Building (RAB), controlling the interface between them.

Working side by side with AERA archaeologists, students learn systematic, standard-practice
excavation and recording techniques, taught by Egyptian and foreign specialists in a multidisciplinary
research team. The program includes instruction in:
?- Archaeological excavation and field recording
?- Archaeological illustration and photography
?- Survey and mapping of diverse archaeological structures from mud brick to stone
?- Artifact recording and analysis
?- Archaeobotany and Archaeozoology; introduction to floral and faunal retrieval, sampling
and analysis
?- Lithics’ analysis (that is stone tools and remains of processing stone tools).
?- Ceramics’ recording and analysis
?- Bio-anthropology; excavation and processing of human remains
?- Database and spread sheet applications to manage and analyse information
?- GIS (Geographic Information Systems) applications in archaeology
- Archive and data management

Archaeology Field School Additional Information

Archaeology Field School Type

field and specialist training

Time Period

Old Kingdom (c. 2450BC) settlement; Late Period (664 BC) to Early Roman (1st Century AD) cemetery

Field School Setting/Conditions

Training takes place on-site and in the on-site lab on the Giza Plateau

How is the project area accessed each day

The project provides transport to and from the site

What is the daily schedule for the field school

Daily site schedule Saturday through Thursday
(Thursday after lunch is free time)
6:00 - 6:30 am Breakfast at the Mark Lehner Archaeological Center
6:30 am Team meeting
6:45 am Depart for the site
7:00 – 10:00 am Site work
10:00 - 10:30 am Second breakfast at the site
10:30 - 1:30 pm Site work
1:30 pm Depart for the Giza Laboratory
1:45 - 2:15 pm Lunch at the Giza Laboratory
2:15 – 4:30 pm Lab work – ceramics, artifacts, faunal, flora, lithics
4:30 pm Depart for the Mark Lehner Archaeological Centre
5:00 - 6:00 pm Lecture
7:00 pm Dinner at the Archaeological Center

Number of years this Archaeology Field School has been in operation
Is there a professional certification for this field school


Directors and Instructors

Dr. Mark Lehner, Director
Mohsen Kamel and Ana Tavares, Field Directors

Specialized skills you will have the opportunity to learn

1. Identify, excavate and record archaeological features
2. Produce accurate written, drawn and photographic excavation records
3. Sample adequately during excavation, various types of material culture (artifacts, ceramic,
faunal, botanical, stone tools)
4. Layout a survey grid, read elevations and understand archaeological maps
5. Excavate human burials; process, record, and pack the remains
6. Understand retrieval strategies and recording methods for ceramics, botanical and faunal
remains, lithics, and artefacts
7. Draw and photograph archaeological material on site and in the laboratory
8. Archive and curate excavation records; construct a Harris Matrix (see below) and
understand a Data Structure Report (DSR, see below)

On rain days will there be lab work?

On rain or sand-storm days there will be Lab and Office work.

Will there be additional organized activities?

Field trips to other archaeological sites and places of interest will be organised

Will there be additional organized activities?

Lectures are daily from 5 - 6pm

Is travel restriced during free time?

Restrictions (visits to central Cairo, Fayum area) depend on the local situation which is monitored daily.

Other resources students will find useful

Archaeology Field School Contact Information and Website

Field School Website:

Field School Contact Information

Daniel Jones
Senior archaeologist and supervisor
Ancient Egypt Research Associates (AERA)

Field School Contact E-mail:
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