Ancient Egypt Research Associates

Welcome to AERA’s 2009 field season. This is the 20th field season of the Giza Plateau Mapping Project under Mark Lehner. It is also the 10th anniversary of our Marathon challenge, sponsored by longtime supporter, Ann Lurie. Just this past weekend, our workers began the heavy lifting to uncover the dig site.

Most of AERA’s field seasons have been conducted at the site of the Lost City of the pyramid builders at Giza, just south of the Wall of the Crow (a few hundred meters south of the Sphinx). Among the challenges facing us in recent seasons has been a dramatic rise in ground water that flooded the ancient site. Thankfully we have recently recorded a lowering of the water level.


Lost City of the Pyramid Builders
AERA will again be working the Lost City with the following objectives in mind:

  • Excavate House Unit 1, a large, high-status house in the western section of the town.
  • Investigate an area we call the Chute to better understand its function.
  • Investigate remote sensing anomalies detected by Glen Dash’s team in the Western Extension of the town to determine the type and date of buildings that may lie in this area.
  • Investigate the construction of the Lost City enclosure wall.
  • Excavate Late Period burials in the Western Extension and train the field school osteology group.

Khentkawes Town (KKT)
Khentkawes was a 5th Dynasty queen whose large mortuary monument lies between the Lost City and the great pyramids of Giza. Her cult was maintained by priests who lived in a town attached to the sacred precincts of her monument. We hope to complete excavation and recording in this area in preparation for publication of the work at KKT.

AERA’s goals in this area are:

  • Define the stratigraphic sequence linking the KKT and Menkaure Valley Temple areas.
  • Investigate the size, layout, function, and date of the eastern building in this area.
  • Record and investigate fully one complete priest’s house in the KKT town.

Field School
Last year we ran the Field School for Egyptian antiquities inspectors at the Avenue of Sphinxes in Luxor. This year will see the Advanced Field School operating back at Giza.

Clearing overburden near KKT

Workers clear overburden near KKT

We’ll do our best during the busy season to keep you updated on this blog. Please visit often and comment. We will not be able to answer questions during the season, as it will be all we can do to dig, eat, sleep, and drop you an occasional note here about the work listed above and the lab work in our storeroom.

Mohsen Kamel – Joint Field Director
Ana Tavares – Joint Field Director
Dr. Mary Anne Murray – Director of Archaeological Sciences