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Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9920

January 12, 2005
CONTACT: Amy Cowles

Egyptian Excavation Returns to the Web
The dig will be chronicled online starting Jan. 15.

The world is invited to watch Johns Hopkins University archaeologists uncover clues to ancient Egyptian life by visiting "Hopkins in Egypt Today," a Web site chronicling the university's 12th annual dig, at www.jhu.edu/~neareast/egypttoday.html.

Daily progress reports for at least four different ongoing Johns Hopkins projects in Egypt are anticipated Jan. 15 through mid-February.

For the fifth year in a row, the Web site will follow the work of Betsy Bryan, Alexander Badawy Professor of Egyptian Art and Archaeology and chair of the Near Eastern Studies Department at Johns Hopkins, and her graduate students. The site documents their excavation and research projects with photographs featuring Bryan's detailed captions.

The Johns Hopkins team's work is supervised by Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, led by its secretary general, Zahi Hawass. The goal of "Hopkins in Egypt Today" is to educate its visitors by showing them the elements of archaeological work in progress. The site typically garners more than 50,000 hits every winter when the dig is active.

This year, "Hopkins in Egypt Today" will track three graduate students as they continue their excavation of the Precinct of the Goddess Mut in Luxor and conduct research at other locations in Egypt:

First to be seen will be Jacquelyn Williamson, a graduate student in the Near Eastern Studies Department who is using her grant from the Fulbright Student Program to examine an unstudied artistic motif in ancient Egyptian art in museums and on important archaeological sites. Fulbright awards are rarely granted to Egyptologists. She will be doing research at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, and the Web site will cover some of her study there.

Next, the Web site will cover work at the Mut enclosure behind the Sacred Lake, where Elaine Sullivan, a graduate student in Egyptian art and archaeology, will be excavating to study residential aspects of Thebes in the New Kingdom. That work will be shown from mid-January to mid-February. A team from the Brooklyn Museum of Art, under the direction of Richard Fazzini, will be working in the front courts of the precinct at the same time as Johns Hopkins researchers are present.

Also in Luxor during this period will be Yasmin El Shazly, a graduate student in Egyptian art and archaeology who is studying some tombs at Deir el Medina as part of her investigation into the supernatural powers the Egyptians believed their deceased friends and family possessed.

Bryan is on leave this year writing a book on painting as an occupation in the mid-18th Dynasty (ca. 1480-1400 B.C.). The Web site will follow her as she visits various painted tombs of the time period researching the techniques and work carried out by these skilled artists of ancient Egypt.

"The variety of work carried out by Hopkins students and faculty in Egypt this year (2004-05) is typical, but we are pleased this year to be able to show a bit of it to you," Bryan said. "Next year, we'll be returning to our large-scale work at the Mut Temple."

Photographs and data from the 2001 through 2004 excavations are still available online. For information or to speak with the students and Bryan, who is also the guest curator of the traveling exhibit "The Quest for Immortality: Treasures of Ancient Egypt," call Amy Cowles at 443-287-9960.

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