Dear Members


I had hoped by now to be able to tell you that we had exchanged contracts for the sale of Doughty Mews, but we are still in negotiations. We have however been looking at a number of potential new homes. When we asked you, in last year’s survey, where you would like the new offices to be, the great majority wanted the Society to remain in the London area.  Access to good transport links was considered most important, and accessibility/proximity to the British Museum and Petrie Museum was desirable to many. We are bearing these criteria in mind in our search and no decision has yet been taken as to our future location.

We intend that the new premises should contain our research library and archive, with ancillary space for readers and researchers, and of course office space for our staff.  These are our priorities. We may find suitable premises which also have room for meetings or seminars, but we have to be mindful of cost, as what we do not spend on property will be available for furthering our education and research aims in the future.

Our transition to research institute

Cédric’s vison for a research institute was welcomed by those who took part in last year’s consultation process, and his blog updates will tell you how this is progressing. We are all excited about our new excavations in Sudan, but this is only one aspect of what the Society does. We will continue to sponsor other fieldwork, to hold concessions worked on by other field directors, and to help early-career Egyptologists through the new Patrons’ Awards and our Centenary Award scheme, as well as providing training and education programmes and of course our publications.   


I was sorry not to see more of you at our Current British Archaeology in Egypt and Sudan event last month. Fortunately Carl was able to secure a smaller and therefore less expensive room than we had originally intended, and I think that all those who attended found it interesting, informative and enjoyable. I certainly did. Claudia Näser’s tale of crocodiles, scorpions and storms destroying tents, and Martin Bommas’ account of collapsing walls and inrushing sand, reminded us all of the dangers and discomfort of fieldwork, and how much we owe to those who do it. We will be reconsidering where and when to hold this event next year, bearing in mind that the British Museum Annual Egyptological Colloquium, which in recent years has taken place on the two days before it, is moving to September.

I would like to reassure you that even if we do not have a seminar space in our new premises, we will continue to hold events, as we have done this year, for example, in conjunction with the Friends of the Petrie Museum and with the Petrie Museum itself.  The Local Ambassadors’ programme envisages that events could be organised or coordinated locally by volunteers in their own areas, to raise awareness of the Society and its aims. Prof Joann Fletcher will give a presentation on this after the AGM on 24th November, and there will be an opportunity for discussion then.

With best wishes to you all, and hoping to see many of you at the fourth British Egyptology Congress in September,

Margaret Mountford