The American Research Center in Eygpt

Current Conservation Projects

Current Conservation Projects

The following are current and recent conservation projects conducted under the Egyptian Antiquities Conservation (EAC) Project. The goal of the EAC Project is to safeguard Egypt's cultural heritage and to promote tourism through assisting with the further development of the Egyptian Ministry of State for Antiquities' (MSA) institutional capacity and the conservation of specific historic sites.

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

Archaeological Desk-based Assessment

Engineering works on archaeological sites can have devastating consequences for the preservation of standing and buried archaeological remains. To mitigate unwanted consequences developers gauge the archaeological potential of a site by conducting a desk-based assessment (DBA). The DBA provides baseline data on archaeological and heritage assets lurking above and below the ground that are likely to be affected by the proposed development.


The church of Saints Bishai and Bigol, the ‘Red Monastery,’ was the heart of a large monastic community, in a region known as an important center for ascetic life in the 5th century, A.D. It is an astonishingly rare example of the coloristic intensity of late antique monuments in Egypt. In this church, late antique paintings cover about eighty percent of the walls, niches, columns, pilasters, pediments and apses.

Director: Dr. Elizabeth Bolman, Temple University.
November 2005 - Ongoing

360 panorama view of the conserved church >>

View a 2012 video of the Red Monastery >>

A roundtable discussion in 2012 about conservation issue at the Red Monastery >>

View images of the Red Monastery in the photo gallery >>


AircondiitionerEvery cultural heritage conservation program is a unique, unrepeatable opportunity to study the structure and context of the particular monument, site or work of art. While the focus of our monastery projects has been on cleaning and conservation of wall paintings in situ, each project mentioned here has involved not only a team of conservators, but also a group of scholars in art history, archaeology, architecture, Coptology and other related disciplines. Read more >>

Picture an austere desertscape of dry valleys and mountains. Nestled against this backdrop stands a monastery complex surrounded by high adobe walls with churches and chapels, a bakery, a spring, and a lush garden where olive and date trees are cultivated by monks under the unrelenting sun of Egypt's Eastern Desert.


Shortly after the bombing at the Museum of Islamic Art and the Manuscript Library and Manuscript Museum of the National Library and Archives of Egypt, a group of heritage activists rushed to the site to assess what had occurred, to form a protective line around the site to prevent looting if needed and to assist where possible in the collection and purchase of supplies required to stabilize artifacts.


Site Management Plan
Director: Naguib Amin, Michael Jones
December 2007 - Ongoing

Conservation of Mut Temple
Director: Betsy Bryan, The Johns Hopkins University
April 2007 - ongoing


Site Management and Conservation

This project was initiated in 2011 as a short-term program to employ 700+ local Egyptians to help mitigate the severe unemployment caused by a deep drop off in tourism following the January 2011 revolution. Supported by USAID, ARCE has engaged Egyptian youth, construction workers, craftsmen and conservators to clean, survey, and stabilize the Temple of Isis at Deir el Shelwit and Theban Tomb 110, train earlier field school graduates in advanced conservation techniques, record the archaeological remains of the village of Qurna, and construct walkways and a visitor center for improved visitor access in Qurna.

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