EXPEDITION 2023 (Kharga)

Focus: Archeology.

Dates: 18 – 29 July 2023.

Area/site: Fortified Settlement of Umm al-Dabadib; ceramic dumps and cemeteries along the eastern wadi.

Short description: The aim of this expedition was to complete the work started in 2022 along the eastern border of the site, to investigate an isolated building to the north of the Fortified Settlement and to check a few constructional details in the Fortified Settlement that remained unclear. A new map of the sequence of cemeteries and ceramic dumps along Aqueduct 5 was finalized, that highlights the different activities that were carried out in that area and their chronological sequence. An extremely large terracotta basin was unearthed in the isolated building and duly documented. Back at the Taftish, detailed photographs were finally taken of the objects retrieved in 2015, that became inaccessible afterwards due to the security issues that affected the entire Western Desert. Finally, the papyri found in 2022 were re-arranged according to the suggestions of Alain Delattre (who is publishing them together with Roger Bagnall and Corinna Rossi), re-photographed and re-positioned between their pairs of glass sheets.

Team: Dr Corinna Rossi (Director), Dr Alessandro Mandelli, Dr Clementina Caputo, Dr Nicoletta De Troia, Ms Francesca Lori, Mohamed Hassan Gaber ‘al-Wahati’ (Site Inspector). With the support of Mr Ahmed Moussa, Ms Amal Moussa, Ms Marwa Fawzy, Essam, Aysam, Sayed and Shukri (Pan Arab Tours) and Abdelradi and Hamdi (Kharga Police).

Acknowledgements: Mr Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmed (General Manager of the Kharga Antiquities), the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

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This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizion 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement n°  681673).