Today, 1st April, marks the 134th anniversary of the announcement, in The Times and other newspapers, of the founding of “the long-desired Society for the Promotion of Excavations in the Delta of the Nile”. The aim was to begin excavations in Egypt as soon as sufficient funds had been raised, and, with Sir Erasmus Wilson as Honorary Treasurer and Miss Amelia B Edwards and Mr Reginald Stuart Poole as Honorary Secretaries, work began in earnest to raise those funds. By February the following year, Edouard Naville was in the field at Tell el Maskhuta, and by 1884, Flinders Petrie was at work in Tanis. The rest, as they say, is history.
A shot taken by W M Flinders Petrie in 1883 of ‘Mr Naville’s diggings’ at Tell el Maskhuta
The Society has continued to fund work at some of the most fascinating sites in Egypt, including Naukratis, Oxyrhynchus, Tell Basta, Beni Hasan, Deir el Bahri, Abydos, Amarna, Sesebi, Amara West, Saqqara, Memphis and Qasr Ibrim. A brief introduction to the history of the Society can be found here.
Much of the Society’s archival material can now be viewed for free via our Flickr feed
Today, the work continues apace, with EES concessions in the Delta (Tell Buweib and Tell Mutubis as part of the Delta Survey), at Aswan (jointly with the University of Birmingham), Imbaba (Merimde Beni Salama), Luxor (Theban Harbours and Waterscapes Survey), Minufiyeh (Quesna) and Sais (jointly with Durham University). The Society’s Excavation Fund and Centenary Awards will fund a further twelve projects during the coming financial year; see http://ees.ac.uk/news/index/346.html and http://ees.ac.uk/news/index/324.html for more details.
In order to continue our work we rely on funds donated by an international community of members. In the words of the Literary World, Boston 1884: “The vital want of the ‘Fund,’ like similar Funds, is funds”. We would like to extend our thanks to all of our members that support our work – without you we really couldn’t have achieved so much over the past 134 years, and look forward to more discoveries in the future!
Thanks to your support, we are living up to the hopes of our founders and early excavators, and in the words of Reginald Stuart Poole:
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