Ancient Egypt Research Associates

Thanks to the support of our members and donors, in 2019 we were able to bring together specialists from around the world to search for answers about the origins and development of Egyptian civilization and help preserve Egypt’s heritage for the future.

Returning to the Menkaure Valley Temple (MVT) and the Great Sphinx of Giza
We returned to the MVT to excavate its western side, unseen since George Reisner discovered the famous statue of Menkaure and Queen in 1910, where we made some intriguing discoveries.

Along with Dr. Zahi Hawass and the Glen Dash Foundation, we conducted a geophysical survey of the Sphinx Temple using ground penetrating radar. We also collaborated with Yukinori Kawae and a Japanese team to carry out 3D recording of the Sphinx by drone, photogrammetry, and laser scanning.

Preserving & Interpreting Egypt’s Heritage: From Monuments to Everyday Life
Thanks to 2019-2020 grants from ARCE, we’ve begun work on two conservation projects. The Great Pyramid Temple Project aims to conserve what remains of Khufu’s pyramid temple and to promote greater visitor understanding of the pyramid complex as a whole.

The AERA Objects Publication Project will create a freely accessible archive of data about the everyday items used by the individuals involved in the construction of the Giza pyramids and mortuary cults and will offer scholars a unique insight into Old Kingdom economy, administration, technology, and daily life.

Sharing our Work with a Worldwide Audience
Our work in Egypt was featured in several new documentaries this year. Decoding the Great Pyramid examined the latest research into how the Great Pyramid was built and how building it transformed Egyptian society, while an episode of CNN’s Inside Africa gave an in-depth look into our ongoing work at the MVT.

A statue fragment from the MVT

Looking Forward to 2020: Deeper into the MVT and the Search for Khufu’s Palace

In early 2020, we’ll return to the Menkaure Valley Temple and begin to dig even deeper to see what new information remains to be found in its deepest, unseen levels.

At the Lost City of the Pyramid Builders, most of what we’ve found so far dates to the reigns of Khafre and Menkaure, but somewhere underneath lies an even older phase of the site. This year we’ll continue our search for the location of Khufu’s pyramid town and palace, Ankh Khufu, which we’ve found tantalizing clues about in the oldest levels of the site and the Kromer area dumps, as well as in the Wadi el-Jarf papyri.

In this holiday season, we are truly grateful to everyone who helps make our research possible. We hope you will become a member or make a donation and help us continue our work in Egypt. We look forward to sharing more discoveries with you in 2020!


Mark Lehner
President, Ancient Egypt Research Associates

AERA members will receive information on our 2019 & 2020 excavation seasons in our AERAgram newsletters. Become an AERA member to receive your copy, enjoy all of our member benefits, and help support our work in Egypt!