Urban Development and Regional Identities in Middle Egypt:
A Deep History of the Asyut Region

Principle investigator

Collaborative Partners


  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (GCRF)
  • The British Council - Newton Mosharafa fund

The project aims to implement a holistic approach to map, preserve and present Egypt’s heritage by looking at the broad spectrum of history – from 3000BC up until the present day – at multi-layered sites, including the varied responses of local communities who live atop the layers of history below.

About the project

As case-study, the project focuses on the Asyut region in Middle Egypt; a thriving cultural hub where works of art were copied and re-copied for thousands of years. Textual sources and material culture have confirmed the importance of Asyut for the shaping and subsequent diffusion of Egypt’s cultural memory.

More about the Project and Research Aims 

Map of the Asyut region (Google Earth)  

1934 map of the Asyut region (with the village of Shutb in the middle of the map) 

Project research

As the project continues, the research outputs will be highlighted here.


Asyut Guardian City (English) (Arabic)


Season 01 – March 2016 (English) (Arabic)

Season 02 – October 2016 (English) (Arabic)

Season 03 – March 2017 (English) (Arabic)

Season 04 – October 2017 (English) (Arabic)

Season 06 – October 2018 (English) (Arabic)


Community and heritage

Rather than merely look upon archaeological sites as salvage missions or academic pursuits, the project will appeal to local interests, and support capacity building activities through deploying methodologies drawn from archaeology and heritage preservation. We aspire to provide a model for innovative and sustainable fieldwork initiatives, promoting increased empowerment of, and participation by, the local communities.

A History of Asyut through Objects - card game for download 

Mission 1 Report on the vernacular architecture of Shutb  

Mission 2 Report on the vernacular architecture of Shutb  

Heritage Outreach Workshop I 

Heritage Outreach Workshop II 

Architectural heritage workshops in Shutb, Asyut I 

Architectural heritage workshops in Shutb, Asyut II