Tell Timai Field School
4 June to 11 July 2014
Tell Timai, the ancient city of Thmouis, is a rare example of a well-preserved Graeco-Roman City in the Nile Delta. The urban center is nearly complete and offers an exceptional opportunity to study all aspects of life, business, religion, and administration during the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. Mudbrick architecture is rarely preserved in the Delta, making Tell Timai a unique piece of Egyptian history. Unfortunately the site is under considerable threat from encroachment, erosion, and looting. The Tell Timai Project of the University of Hawaii has embraced the concepts of Research, Conservation, and Education and undertaken the tasks of studying the city and saving it as an important piece of Egyptian patrimony and world history. The ultimate goal is to create a site worthy of drawing tourism to the Eastern Delta and combining the site with neighboring Mendes to create a World Heritage Archaeological Zone.
The ambitious goals of the Tell Timai Project are beyond the means of any one institution. We have a philosophy that this work will only be successful if it is a cooperative effort between international scholars and institutions, Egyptian archaeological institutions, the Ministry of State Antiquities/Supreme Council of Antiquities, and the people who live in the vicinity of the Tell Timai-Mendes Archaeological Zone. Cooperation will result in great benefit for everyone. Foremost on the list of activities is education.
The conservation field school is a new education initiative that has the goals of bringing Egyptian conservators and scholars together with international conservators and scholars in order to exchange knowledge and methods with each other and to train students and inspectors on the latest methods and procedures for artifact analysis, conservation, and digital archiving. The Conservation Field School will combine classroom learning with practical experience with artifacts from Tell Timai that are awaiting analysis. This will help increase the speed and quality of artifact analysis while educating young scholars. In addition, the program will begin the process of reinforcing mudbrick architecture at Tell Timai in order to slow or halt the continued erosion of the site to begin a process of reconstruction that will bring the streets of ancient Thmouis to life.
Our plan is to bring scholars from Cairo, Ad Daqahliyah, and Alexandria together to serve as teachers and to provide the students a wide variety of opportunities to experience conservation programs in Egypt. Funding for this program is being put together from support from the University of Hawaii, the Hawaii Chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America, the National Geographic Society, and private donations.