November 4, 2012
I learned about ARCE from my Egyptian Guide on my very first trip to Egypt in 1993. At soon as I got home, I became a member. Since then ARCE has provided a way for me, a non-professional, to become intimately involved with many aspects of its work. I have enjoyed attending the annual meetings where I met professional Egyptologists and heard about their newest discoveries. I have used the ARCE Library in Cairo for my own research projects. It is one of the few libraries of its type in Cairo that welcomes and is intensively used by Egyptian students and professors. Last year, I participated in an ARCE-sponsored tour to a number of the sites where ARCE has administered conservation projects (funded by USAID). These sites, selected by the Egyptian Antiquities Authority, range from Pharaonic up through Islamic. I was impressed by the philosophy of “conserve/preserve/present” which underlies all such work. The monuments are preserved from further deterioration and become functioning structures again, often in a new role, but one that guarantees their survival. These conservation projects, as well as various field school supported by ARCE that train Egyptian conservators and archaeologists, are helping develop a new generation of Egyptians capable of preserving their heritage. Their gratitude was touchingly illustrated by our reception at one site where some recent field school graduates welcomed the ARCE group with cold cokes and a special behind-the-scenes glimpse of the slaughter house attached to the Seti I temple at Abydos. Besides serving the needs of professional Egyptologists, as described by other reviewers, ARCE serves a huge audience of amateur Egyptophiles and gives us ways of contributing to the field.
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