Site Protection at Abydos
One of the greatest challenges facing the site of Abydos comes from the pressures of modern development. In recent years expanding agricultural fields, villages, and modern cemeteries have all begun to encroach on important areas of the site. In response, the Institute is working closely with Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), headed by Vice Minister of Culture Dr. Zahi Hawass, to identify at-risk areas and to develop solutions with the aim of protecting important cultural remains from damage or destruction, while also demonstrating recognition of and sensitivity to the interests of local communities. The comprehensive map produced through the Institute’s Greater Abydos (GrAb) Survey Initiative is being shared with the SCA, providing local authorities with accurate and up to date information about both archaeological remains and modern features. The map also represents a baseline in terms of which future activities on and around the site can be monitored, and the Institute works closely with the SCA to identify areas appropriate for development that will not have an adverse impact on the site. In addition, the Institute, with financial support from the American Research Center in Egypt, constructed a site protection wall around the most vulnerable components of the ancient town and temple site.
The Institute continues to work closely with the SCA as it develops and implements an overall site protection and management plan at Abydos.