This hybrid three-day symposium aims to delve into the rich tapestry of archaeological endeavours undertaken at the captivating site of Abydos over the course of 125 years. From the first excavations of the Egypt Exploration Society (directed by William Matthew Flinders Petrie) in 1899 to the present day, Abydos stands as a pivotal location in the annals of Egyptian archaeology. 

The discoveries unearthed at Abydos have revolutionised our comprehension of ancient Egyptian administration, society, and religion, leaving an indelible mark on scholarly pursuits. Moreover, Abydos has played a prominent role in shaping the very essence of modern archaeological methodologies, practices, and management. The 125th anniversary provides a point of reflection upon the archaeological work conducted at Abydos, and this conference will focus upon four key areas:

  1. Knowledge production: the significant archaeological finds which have reshaped our understanding of ancient Egypt language, culture and society.
  2. Methods: the methodological advancements which work at Abydos has necessitated.
  3. Histories of archaeological labour: shed light upon the often untold histories of Egyptian labour at the site of Abydos.
  4. Restoration: delve into the important aspect of restoration in relation to the archaeological findings at Abydos, highlighting the efforts and techniques employed to preserve and reconstruct ancient Egyptian artefacts, and monuments.

The event will be held in a hybrid format, which means that participants will have the option to attend in-person or online, however, there will be an emphasis on in-person participation, with a smaller number of slots allocated for online presentations. We aim to offer live translation via Zoom during the event, ensuring accessibility and inclusivity for all participants in Arabic and English.

As part of our commitment to supporting local researchers, we can offer four places for researchers from Upper Egypt to attend the conference. This is an exceptional opportunity for scholars to share their valuable insights and discoveries on Abydos. The selected researchers will be offered funding for their travel, accommodation, and registration fees, enabling them to participate in the conference.

We encourage all interested researchers to submit their research papers for consideration. The papers will undergo a thorough review process by a panel of experts in the field, and accepted papers will be presented at the conference. We encourage contributors to present previously unpublished material as we plan to publish papers from this conference in an edited volume or as a special edition of a journal.

Symposium organisers

Dr Hisham El Lithy – Dr Mohammed Gamal Rashed – Amany Abd El Hameed (primary organiser) – Robert Vigar – Essam Nagy

If you have any questions then please email them to [email protected]. Thank you. 

Call for papers

Please submit your 150-word abstract to [email protected] and state, if your paper is accepted, whether you plan to attend the conference in-person. Preference will be given to presenters who can attend in-person, however, we will insure that up to 20% of presentations can be conducted online.

We look forward to your participation in this conference and your insights and perspectives on Abydos.

Download this call in Arabic

Important dates

Abstract deadline: 21st July 2023

Notification of acceptance: 18th August 2023

For accepted papers, the deadline for submitting presentation papers: 10th November 2023

The conference will be held on 5-7 December 2023 at the British Council in Cairo


This event is supported by Egypt Exploration Society, Penn Museum, the Supreme Council of Antiquities, and the Centre of Documentation of Egyptian Antiquities.