The American Research Center in Eygpt

Conservation Projects Archive

Conservation Projects Archive

The American Research Center in Egypt has been actively helping to conserve Egyptian monuments since 1993. With funds generously provided by the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and in close collaboration with Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), over fifty projects have now been completed. A select number of completed projects will be featured here in the coming weeks. A more extensive look at ARCE's past conservation work can be found in the new book, Preserving Egypt's Cultural Heritage: Conservation Work by the American Research Center in Egypt 1995-2005.

Click the project title to view description of the conservation work.


Fakhuri 18 JDIn response to a request from Dr. Zahi Hawass, then Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, ARCE carried out a six-week season of survey, photographic recording and wall painting cleaning tests at the Dayr al-Fakhuri near Esna.
Read More>>

Monastic Cell Conservation
Director: Fr. Maximous el Antony
Completed January 2009

St paul_3_pptFrom 1997 through 2005 ARCE oversaw extensive conservation work at the Monastery of St. Paul, the Hermit. This monastery is located in the eastern desert mountains of Egypt near the Red Sea. The Cave Church of St. Paul marks the spot where St. Anthony, "the Father of Monasticism," and St. Paul, "the First Hermit," are believed to have met. It is a sacred place representing the very beginning of Christian monasticism.


06Luxor -_Roman_PaintingARCE partnered with Chicago House to document, clean and conserve remaining paintings in this late 3rd century Roman legionary shrine, from the reign of Diocletian, within the Luxor Temple. The murals were painted in fresco on lime plaster by a group of exceptionally skilled artists who were probably attached to Diocletian's imperial court.
Site Presentation
Director: Agnieszka Dobrowolska / Alaa El-Habashi
June 2005 - August 2010

By the 1990s, Quseir was the only Red Sea town preserving historic authenticity and it was attracting greater visitor numbers and new hotel investment.

Director: Michael Jones


Objective: To survey both the Abu'l Muqashqish mosque and the municipal police station in Luxor prior to their demolition to make way for the newly excavated Avenue of the Sphinxes.
The mosque, built within the Luxor Temple, was damaged by fire in 2006. In 2007, SCA renovation work removed plaster from interior walls, revealing the archaeology of the standing building. In response to an unprecedented opportunity to record this important structure, Nairy Hampikian and May al-Abrashi were given permission to undertake a building study of the mosque in collaboration with the SCA.
ASL dome_min2The Mamluk mosque of Aslam al-Silahdar dates back to 1344 and is located in Darb al-Ahmar, within the old city walls of historic Cairo.  As no conservation action has been taken on the building since the 1920s, its condition has deteriorated.  Located at the connecting point between the recently conserved Bab Zuwayla and Al-Azhar Park, the mosque is ideal as a catalyst for local development through cultural tourism.  ARCE entered into an institutional partnership with the Aga Khan Cultural Services in Egypt (a local division of the Aga Khan Trust) to oversee and fund conservation work.


The Karnak and Luxor temple complexes on the East Bank of the Nile at Luxor are, without a doubt, iconic symbols of ancient Egypt. Yet, rising ground water has, until recently, been slowly destroying these sites. Read More>>

The Ministry of State for Antiquities has asked ARCE to prepare the Khonsu Temple for easier and safer access to tour groups, and now ARCE is leading four distinct projects in and around the area. Read More>>

CroppedThree-thousand, five-hundred years is a long time for any building to stand, and it comes as no surprise that, today, Luxor temple is in need of some help. Many of its columns in the first court, for example, have been showing the very serious effects of exposure to the elements and prior maintenance efforts. Read More >>

Directors: ARCE staff and consultants; The Johns Hopkins University; the Franco-Egyptian Center
April 2007 - July 2010


Director: Melinda Hartwig, Georgia State University
April 2007 - May 2009


Training and capacity building has long been at the forefront of ARCE's work in Egypt and with our funding partner, USAID, much has been accomplished this year.

In June 2012, ARCE held a graduation ceremony for its Advanced Conservation Field School. Read more >>

In the 2011/2012 season, ARCE introduced an advanced training program for former graduations of ARCE's Conservation Field School which ran from 2007-2010.

Directors: ARCE staff and consultants
April 2007 - July 2012

Under the direction of Dr. Mark Lehner of Ancient Egypt Research Associates (AERA), the ARCE Field School has won public recognition...Read More >>

Director: Mark Lehner, Ancient Egypt Research Associates
January 2005 - 2012

Director: Janice Kamrin, ARCE/SCA
December 2006 - August 2011

In order to respond to the conservation needs of Luxor's antiquities, ARCE created a conservation laboratory for the Ministry of State for Antiquities. The lab was built inside the Karnak Temple precinct, near Khonsu Temple. Construction was completed in 2008 and is fully operational. The exterior is built of brick that is very similar to the roman wall surrounding the complex, allowing the lab to blend in to the area.

Directors: ARCE staff and consultants
April 2007 - July 2012

Director: Mark Lehner, Ancient Egypt Research Associates


2010 was an exciting and busy year for ARCE. It began with ARCE joining with the Institute for Bioarchaeology and the American University in Cairo to host the first-ever scholarly conference on human remains in Egypt. Read more>>


Working inside Deir el Shelwit

Starting in Luxor.....A new conservation and training program known as the Annual Program Statement (APS) is well under way. This program is in response to USAID’s job creation program in the wake of the events of the Arab Spring in January 2011.  Read more>>

An employment program in Luxor, publication of The Tomb Chapel of Menna, and efforts to properly archive the vast material generated by USAID projects are front and center. Read more >>

Documentation lecture for conservators from the Ministry of Antiquities

Read about ARCE's archaeology, job creation, training, and conservation initatives. Read more >>

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