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The Institute of Fine Arts is deeply involved in one of the most ambitious and extensive archaeological projects current in Egypt. The Institute co-sponsors, with the University of Pennsylvania Museum and Yale University, excavations at the site of Abydos in southern Egypt.
Since 1938, the Institute of Fine Arts has worked in the Sanctuary of the Great Gods, uncovering the home of its famous mystery cult with its series of great, marble buildings, dedicated by Philip II and his successors and seminal in the formation of Hellenistic architecture. At present, emphasis is on study and preparation of publications, as well as on conservation.
In May 2007 the IFA began sponsorship of a new excavation on the Acropolis of Selinunte in western Sicily. The focus of the excavation is the area of the main urban sanctuary of the ancient Greek colony, in particular the two temples B and C, dating, respectively, to the Hellenistic and Archaic periods. The current program is devoted to the architectural study and conservation of temple B, and to the archaeological investigation of the area between temple B and temple C. The first campaign has already provided important evidence concerning the history of Selinunte prior to the arrival of the Greek colonists, as well as significant finds of pottery and sculpture originally dedicated as votive offerings in the sanctuary area.