The Heracleópolis Magna Project
With your help and assistance we can continue to excavate and carry out a scientific research project in Egypt, in the city of Heracleópolis Magna.
The Project "Excavations in Herakleopolis Magna (Egypt)" is part of the research work of the Department of Egyptian Antiquities and the Near East of the National Archaeological Museum, its director is Mª Carmen Pérez Die since 1984.
Heracleopolis in the pharaonic era was the capital of the twentieth nome of Upper Egypt, called Naret hentet or upper Naret. The Herakleopolis Magna of the Greeks, Nen-nesut of the ancient Egyptians and now Ehnasya the Medina, is a city located in Middle Egypt, in the province of Beni Suef, 130 kms south of Cairo and very close to the entrance of the oasis of Fayum.
The project started in 1966, its Director was Martin Almagro, and this project is the one that has been operating in Egypt for the longest time. In 2016 we celebrate 50 years of campaigns.
Purpose of the project
The purpose of the project is to study and disseminate the history of the twentieth nome of Upper Egypt, with Heracleópolis as capital.
The excavation in the site is fundamental, so each year we spend 1 month working in Heracleopolis Magna, in different sectors of the city. So far we have excavated in the necrooplis of the First Intermediate Period, in the necropolis of the Third Intermediate Period and in the Temple of Heryshef.
The team consists of Egyptologists, archaeologists, restorers, architects, geologists, anthropologists, photographers, ceramologists, etc. Thanks to all the work and studies carried out, it has been possible to influence aspects such as urbanism, art, religion, funeral beliefs, society and the landscape.
Likewise, much progress has been made in the restoration and conservation of movable and property located in the Spanish concession, essential work is required by the Egyptians to continue working. The research is done in specialized libraries inside and outside of Spain.
Cultural cooperation with Egypt is an essential part of the Project. Several Egyptians, students and graduates in archeology spend the entire campaign with us and each of the team members teaches each of them a part of the project, depending on their specialty: archeology, topography, drawing, photography, restoration. This is one of the aspects that has been developed more in recent years.
Excavations in the necropolis of the Third Intermediate Period
The publication of this excavation was made in 2011, by the Ministry of Culture in collaboration with the Barrero Foundation. The work consists of 2 vols and a CD and has almost 1,000 color photographs and as many drawings
This necropolis, housed the local leaders of the XXII dynasty (from the middle of the IX century until the middle of the VIII century BC), which were buried with very rich furnishings, such as canopic vases, inscribed faience shabti, ceramic and alabaster vases, scarab of heart and necklaces. However, from the VIII century and the beginning of the VII a.C. There is a massive reuse of the necropolis by people of low social status who were buried with little grave goods. Anthropological studies have allowed to know essential aspects of the population such as age, sex, pathologies, race, etc.
Necropolis of the First Intermediate Period / Beginnings of the Middle Kingdom (Din IX-XI))
During this time Herakleopolis was the capital of Egypt with the royal court installed in it. It was discovered in 1968 by Prof. Almagro and, from 2000 to 2013, the Spanish Mission has carried out systematic excavations in this sector, confirming that the cemetery has a considerable extension.
The chapels containing the False Door and the Table of Offerings are located next to the eastern wall of the sepulchral chambers, built in adobe or stone, and in this case decorated with paintings of funerary and religious themes. The ceramic and epigraphic studies confirm the date of the necropolis between the middle of the First Intermediate Period and the beginnings of the Middle Kingdom.
The Temple of Heryshef
The temple was discovered by Naville at the end of the 19th century, excavated by Petrie at the beginning of the 20th century and by Almagro in 1966. The work of the Spanish Archaeological Mission was resumed in 2004 and has continued until 2017 with excellent results and new knowledge for the interpretation of the monument. Heryshef, main god of Ehnasya, was named King of the two Lands, King of the Country and of Heaven, Great God, Pillar of the Stars, being one of the most venerated deities of the Egyptian pantheon. His name could be translated as "he who is on his lake". We have worked in the porch and in the patio, where we have found a series of sculptures or inscriptions misplaced at the time of their discovery. Also, we have been able to advance in the work of excavation and documentation, finding new rooms, paving and inscriptions.
Photogrammetric documentation of the Colossus Heryshef Temple
The 2018 campaign will be centered on the Temple of Heryshef, where we will continue excavating in extension and depth.
See project website: https/www.heracleopolismagna.com
About the rewards
Depending on your contribution you can get:
- Recognition as patron on the web, (if you wish).
- Electronic dossier resulting from the sponsored campaign.
- DVD with the Egyptian Museum collection in Spanish and English (with the 1,500 most relevant pieces of the Egyptian Museum collection)
- Guide tour to the Egyptian rooms of the National Archaeological Museum with Carmen Pérez Díe.
- T.shirt with the Heracleopolis logo
- Documentary of 45 minutes in pen drive: “Proyecto Heracleópolis Magna. En busca de un tiempo olvidado”.
- Publication of the TPI necropolis (2 vols + 1 CD).
- Guide tour in the site during the excavation period and explanation of the work carried out and financed (does not include trip to Cairo)
The rewards must be collected in the M.A.N by appointment or sent by post to postage due. We will get in touch with the patrons to specify the details.
We are a multidisciplinary team formed in different universities in the country and abroad.
M. Carmen Pérez Die
M. Antonia Moreno Cifuentes
Antonio Guio Gómez
Antonio Gómez Laguna
Lucía Díaz-Iglesias Llanos
José Ramón Pérez-Accino
Juan Medina Herrero
Juan Antonio Belmonte Avilés
José Javier Martínez García
Esther de Vega García
María Fernanda Pascual
Salvador Ramírez Berenguer
Sayed Ali Ahmed
To what we will allocate your contributions
The 2018 budget can be broken down into:
I - TRANSPORTS AND DISPLACEMENTS.
Flights will be book with Egypt Air. The price of the ticket fluctuates a lot and sometimes it is difficult to find the cheapest one. We estimate approximately 600 euros per person, but this may vary. As for travel in Egypt it is necessary to rent a van for the Spanish team. We must take into account that we live in Beni Suef and that every day we move to Ehnasya to work. They are 40 kilometers per day. The van stays with us all day in case of any problem so that we can have a fast and efficient means of transport.
II - PERSONAL IN EGYPT.
In this section it is contemplated the payment to the operators who work in the excavation: around 90-100 pounds daily, during 4 weeks. It is necessary to add the Social Security that consists of 12% of the total of the salary received by each worker; 3 inspectors, each, plus two other assistant inspectors who must be incorporated this year into the team in accordance with the instructions of the Supreme Council of Antiquities; the surveillance of the deposit and the Spanish warehouse; the security of the Spanish team, one in charge of the maintenance of the warehouse in Ensaya, a Spanish Arabic translator and intermediary between the Spanish Mission and the Antiquities Service.
III - INSURANCE, VISA AND MATERIAL FUNGIBLE.
Medical insurance for the components of the equipment, normally with Europassistance, Mapfre or the most economical that covers the possible contingencies. Entry visas and consumables and tools for excavation, restoration material, etc. pendrives for video broadcasting.
IV - LEASE OF SERVICES.
Payment to the different professionals involved in the excavation: draftsmen, archaeologists, photographers, restorers, etc.
V - ACCOMMODATION AND MAINTENANCE OF THE SPANISH TEAM.
In Beni Suef, where we sleep, we have breakfast and dinner. The meals are made on site, since the work schedule is from 7 in the morning to 6 in the afternoon.
VI - MAINTENANCE OF THE HEADQUARTERS IN EHNASYA.
The mission has a small warehouse in the excavation that consists of a work room, a drawing and restoration room, a small warehouse for the items that are found during the excavation and a small room for the guards. It is necessary to pay for electricity, water and maintenance of this official site annually.
VII - RESTORATION AND RENT OF MACHINERY.
The machines (shovels and tractors) will be rented for the extraction of slag heaps around the Temple of Heryshef.
VIII - Translations into Arabic and English.
And possible contingencies and contingencies that may arise.
If we can exceed 5000 €, this would allow us to increase the professional team, hire a greater number of operators and excavate and study a larger area within the excavation, to influence the knowledge of Heracleópolis, the capital of Egypt during the dynasties IX and X, around 2,000 BC, and one of the most important cities of Ancient Egypt.
Other benefactor partners of the 2018 campaign: Palarq Foundation and Spanish Association of Egyptology.
The project will be carried out in the months of October or November.
The delivery of the rewards in December or January 2019.
Rewards must be collected at the M.A.N by appointment or sent by post to postage due in the case of books. We will get in touch with the patrons to finalize the details once the crowdfunding campaign is over.
Relevant links for the campaign::