Egypt and British Museum to collaborate on training and object documentation with support from the Arcadia Fund

The British Museum and the Ministry of Antiquities (Egypt) are pleased to confirm the instigation of a joint project to train early-career archaeologists in the digital documentation of ancient artefacts across several archaeological storerooms throughout Egypt. Made possible with the generous support of the Arcadia Fund, the project will start later this year and run through 2016, and ensure the preservation for future generations of the knowledge embedded within these objects.

On-the-job training in Egypt will see British Museum curators and photographers provide guidance in documentation methods to 6 teams of early career Egyptologists, focused on three archaeological storerooms in the first year, and a further three storerooms in the second year. A key component of the project is that trained staff will cascade acquired knowledge and skills to their colleagues.

The Ministry of Antiquities staff trained in object documentation will undertake complete documentation of up to 10,000 archaeological objects – from statues to amulets. A sustainable software platform will be created by the project, and staff trained to use and maintain it. This software platform will be available for other Ministry of Antiquities projects to use. Key data collected on archaeological objects will be published online, on an Open Access basis, thus creating a resource of value to scholars but also those monitoring the antiquities trade.

The Ministry of Antiquities (Egypt)

The Ministry of Antiquities is responsible for the management of Egypt’s archaeological heritage, including ancient sites and museums. All excavation in Egypt work with permits issues by the Ministry, who also oversee site management, conservation and documentation projects around the prehistoric, pharaonic, Graeco-Roman, Coptic and Islamic periods.

The British Museum and Egypt

The British Museum has long-standing positive relationships with colleagues across the museum and archaeology sectors in Egypt. Each year sees collaboration on a number of fieldwork and research projects. As part of archaeological concessions granted by the Ministry of Antiquities, specialists on British Museum projects take measures to improve site protection and conservation of monuments. The Museum also hosts Egyptian scholars on research visits, and since 2004, has hosted curators and archaeologists as part of the Museum’s annual International Training Programme.

The British Museum works closely with the Egyptian Embassy in London to help identify antiquities illicitly removed from Egypt. In May 2013, reliefs that had been illicitly removed from the temple of Amenhotep III were identified by a British Museum curator, and have now been returned to Egypt.

Notes to Editors:

For further information on the British Museum’s work with Egypt:

International Training Programme 

Research projects in Egypt 

Arcadia Fund

Arcadia is the charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. Since its inception in 2001, Arcadia has awarded grants in excess of $237 million. Arcadia works to protect endangered culture and nature. For further information, visit:

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