Community Engagement Day, Project of Leiden University at The Theban Necropolis (Photo Credit: Ashraquet Fakhry, March 2020)

Over recent years, there has been a growing interest in including community engagement components within the framework of ongoing archaeological and heritage projects in Egypt and Sudan incorporating various practices. The aim of this workshop is to share some current practices of community engagement and to explore the common grounds in this field and the possibility of engaging experts to draft the general guidelines of this work for future projects.

This workshop has been organised in collaboration with The Place and the People.

Proceeds from ticket sales will go toward the EES: Heritage at Risk Grant Appeal. Thank you for your support.

Schedule (Cairo/Khartoum = GMT+2:00)

12:50-16:30 Cairo/Khartoum
11:50-15:30 UK

12:50 - Event opens and welcoming remarks
13:00-13:30 - Communities and archaeologists at Amarna: Reflections on the opportunities and challenges of new collaborations, Dr Gemma Tully and Dr Anna Stevens
13:30-14:00 - Culture heritage as sustainable development: A case-study from the Asyut region (Middle Egypt), Dr Ilona Regulski
14:00-14:15 - Break
14:15-14:45 - The Mograt Island Collaborative Project: Dialogues in the Making by Dr Claudia Näser and Dr Gemma Tully
14:45-15:15 - Working towards collaboration: a case study from Amara West, Sudan, Tomomi Fushiya
15:15-15:45 - "Learning by Doing”: Engaging with Local Communities through Heritage, Fatma Keshk
15:45-16:30 - Discussion chaired by Fatma Keshk

Presentations

Communities and archaeologists at Amarna: Reflections on the opportunities and challenges of new collaborations
Dr Gemma Tully and Dr Anna Stevens

This paper will present collaborative archaeology and heritage initiatives linked to recent work at the site of Amarna in Middle Egypt. In a somewhat unconventional approach, we aim to work backwards from the project's outputs to reflect on the challenges and opportunities faced by MoTA colleagues, local communities and foreign archaeologists as they attempted to change both perceptions and the representation of ancient and modern Amarna.

Culture heritage as sustainable development: A case-study from the Asyut region (Middle Egypt)
Dr Ilona Regulski

The British Museum Asyut Region Project aims to implement a new holistic approach to fieldwork in Egypt by looking at the broad spectrum of history – from 2500BC up until the present day – at multi-layered sites, including the varied responses of local communities who live atop the layers of history below. Rather than merely looking upon archaeological sites as salvage missions or academic pursuits, we appeal to local interests and aspire to increase empowerment of, and participation by, the local communities using the Asyut region in Middle Egypt, and the village of Shutb (ancient Shashotep) in particular, as a case-study.

Such an all-inclusive approach has rarely been tested in Egypt, where most projects are physically and intellectually separated from present-day inhabitants of rural areas with large numbers of low-profile sites and unlisted historic buildings. Local communities have therefore not benefitted from archaeological work in their area, and as a result do not function as working partners in preserving it. The lecture will present outcomes of our engagement programmes.

The work was supported by AHRC and the British Council Newton Musharafa Fund.

The Mograt Island Collaborative Project: Dialogues in the Making
Dr Claudia Näser and Dr Gemma Tully

This presentation will introduce the community project which is part of the Mograt Island Archaeological Mission. Starting in 2014, the project coproduced a bilingual 50-page book "Discovering Mograt Island Together –  مقرات جزيرة معاً نستكشق بنا هيا" in collaboration with children at one secondary and two primary schools on the island. 1600 copies of the book were disseminated to all school children aged ten and above as well as their teachers on Mograt. Based on the content of the book and the feedback collected in post-completion sessions with project participants, further educational materials were developed and installed in 20 schools on the island and the nearby district town of Abu Hamed. This talk will outline the trajectory of the project, discuss the feedback from project participants and other stakeholders, and share lessons learnt over the past five years.

Working towards collaboration: a case study from Amara West, Sudan.
Tomomi Fushiya

Community engagement is increasingly embedded in archaeological projects across Egypt and Sudan. These engagement programmes have different objectives, use different approaches and target various audiences. At Amara West in Sudanese Nubia, the approaches to community engagement programmes evolved from outreach to collaborative approaches over four winter seasons (2015-2018). This change in approach was crucial to surface narratives of Amara West as part of local heritage, foregrounding elements of tangible and intangible heritage emphasised by local communities, rather than simply an “archaeological site”. This presentation highlights the issues and opportunities of outreach programmes and the importance of working towards collaboration with local communities.

"Learning by Doing”: Engaging with Local Communities through Heritage
Fatma Keshk

Experience on the ground with various communities in Egypt since 2007 proved that Engaging with local communities at heritage and historic sites does not follow fixed guidelines. Consecutive encounter with local inhabitants living in the surroundings of archaeological sites showed that heritage outreach work needs, in the first place, to explore the existing knowledge of local heritage, the ways in which the inhabitants are or aren’t tied to that heritage and the surviving narratives around it. Only after this first layer of gathering information it can be possible to start planning for the suitable community engagement plan for this community. This presentation presents the advised practices of community engagement through heritage based on the experience of “The Place and the People” team since 2007.

Please note

Register in advance using the link below. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Webinars have a limited attendance capacity, so please only sign up if you’re confident that you can attend. We recommend that you join our online events using a PC or laptop.

Please ensure that you have read our guide to attending EES online events before the event begins. This event will not be recorded. 

Cairo Associates

If you are an EES Cairo Associate, then please contact the Cairo Office to receive discounted tickets. You can also renew your Cairo Associate subscription or join by contacting the Cairo Office. The joining link will be emailed to you before the event starts. 

Proceeds from ticket sales will go toward the EES: Heritage at Risk Grant Appeal. Thank you for your support.

EES Heritage at Risk Grant Help us support heritage projects on the ground by donating to our grant programme. Find out more

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