KAFR HASSAN DAWOOD
FIELD ARCHAEOLOGY RESEARCH AND TRAINING CENTRE
Investigations by University College London (UCL) and the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), Cairo, under the direction of Dr. Fekri A. Hassan (Petrie Professor of Archaeology, UCL), have been underway since 1995. This collaborative project is Egypt's first Field Archaeology Research and Training Centre in the East Delta. The expedition has been funded by UNESCO, The National Geographic Society, the Bioanthropology Foundation and the Institute of Archaeology, UCL. The fieldschool’s aims were to teach hands-on methodology and practice, as well as cover theoretical and ethical issues of archaeology, conservation and cultural heritage management (CHM). As well as the normal fieldschool that has been run each season, a special UNESCO World Heritage Fieldschool was held at KHD in 1998/9 (see below).
Figure 21. The Field Archaeology Research and Training Centre.
A. Conservation lab
B. Environmental lab and outside toilets
C. Store cupboards
D. Unfinished extension to storerooms
I. Office J. Osteology lab
L. Draughting and equipment room
O. Lecture and meeting room
Gazebo – Processing area
Courtyards - Processing areas
The normal KHD training programme emphasised the training of Egyptian archaeologists (Inspectors) and conservators employed by the Egyptian SCA in conjunction with the training of young archaeologists from outside Egypt. In order to maximise the learning process, Egyptian archaeologists and conservators were conjoined with counterparts from the USA and Europe to enhance information dissemination and develop language skills among participants. This was also achieved by housing the whole team in a special Field Archaeology Research and Training Centre designed by Prof. Fekri A. Hassan and built by the SCA specifically for this project. The complex includes living facilities as well as facilities for field analysis and storage of archaeological materials. The interaction among trainees of the same age grade in a training-working-living situation in the Field Archaeology Research and Training Centre was instrumental in creating a cohesiveness and friendly atmosphere. It also allowed the Egyptian archaeologists to improve their English and allowed those from abroad to develop a fundamental archaeological and everyday Arabic vocabulary. Both Egyptian and international archaeologists were trained in modern field excavation methods, especially bioarchaeology, and are expected to contribute elsewhere in the future to the discovery of Egypt's most ancient past. Because the trainers are all highly skilled in their specialist fields and most of the trainees already hold at least a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in archaeology, the actual teaching is of an advanced nature, more of a masterclass in archaeology than a school.
Figure 22. A) Typical KHD excavation kit
Figure 22. B) Typical laboratory Kit
The excavation methodology is focused on meticulous recording of all the archaeological material and controlled excavation techniques. The training programme emphasised hands-on experiences; training in the field was combined with a series of lectures on relevant topics by a selected training staff. The staff assembled included Egyptian lecturers from the Egyptian universities and scientific institutions, as well as staff from University College London, Uppsala University and Washington State University to mitigate against viewing the training project and field investigations as a unilateral exchange. The dissemination of archaeological knowledge and experience was of a two-way process with much technical and methodological knowledge being shared amongst the participants.
The SCA’s newly formed Department of Foreign Archaeological Missions (DFAM) strongly urges closer cooperation between Western archaeologists and their Egyptian counterparts. The SCA and in particular CultNat supports and advocates the use computer aided analysis and information and communication technology (ICT). The SCA is also not granting any new concessions in the Nile Valley to encourage work to be conducted in the Delta and Eastern and Western Deserts. The KHD Project has been practicing these newly formed ideals since 1995, when the mission was originally formed, working in a close collaborative project (UCL-SCA), and using Geographic Information System (GIS) and database technologies to record and analyse the site.
Figure 23. Teri Tucker instructing Nassrallah Fat-hi Kilany and Mustafha Nour El-Dean on bioarchaeological methodology
Figure 24. Prof. Fekri Hassan (not in view) instructs the Inspectors (from anticlockwise) Nassrallah Fat-hi Kilany (looking through site), Hisham El-Sayed Khattab, Mustafha Nour El-Dean and Ashraf Kamel Hussein in surveying and use of a dumpy level.
Figure 25. Amanda Sutherland lectures the class on conservation techniques and practice.
Figure 26. Prof. Fekri Hassan and Prof. S. Hillson (to the right) teaching surveying.
Figure 27. Dr, Mohammed Abdul-Rahman Hamden lecturing on Geoarchaeology.
Figure 28. Ashraf El-Senoussi (centre left) lecturing on ceramic analysis to (from left clockwise) Nassrallah Fat-hi Kilany, Eric Kansa and Hisham El-Sayed Khattab.
Figure 29. Prof. Fekri Hassan demonstrates how to document the site in the written medium to (anticlockwise) Hisham El-Sayed Khattab, Nassrallah Fat-hi Kilany and Ashraf Kamel Hussein.