Can tourists visit Wadi el-Hudi?
Unfortunately, no. Wadi el-Hudi is located in a military zone and our team needs to get a series of very elaborate permissions from the military and police to do our work. In time, however, we hope to make three-dimensional models of some of the inscriptions, artifacts, and settlements in the desert so that people can tour the monuments virtually.
Where can you go to see objects from Wadi el-Hudi?
Fortunately, many inscribed stelae from Wadi el-Hudi can be visited at museums in Egypt. The most famous Stela of Horus (WH143) will be on view at the new Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza. Three other stelae are also located at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. About 40 stelae are housed in the Aswan Museum on Elephantine Island, currently under renovation. We hope that when the renovation is completed, several stelae from Wadi el-Hudi will be placed on display. A list of the stelae in Cairo and Aswan appears in Ashraf Sadek’s translation of the inscriptions (see our publications’ page).
What happens to artifacts after we find them?
The Wadi el-Hudi Expedition works hand-in-hand with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities. A ministry appointed inspector travels with us daily to the archaeological sites and supervises all of our work. When we find artifacts that need to be studied further, conserved, or protected, those artifacts are transported to the official government magazine in Aswan. Then we continue our study of the objects in the magazine. We have also arranged with the Ministry to transfer some scientific samples to labs in Egypt for analysis, like that of the Institut français d’archéologie orientale (IFAO) in Cairo. All objects—including even broken pieces of pottery and soil samples—remain in Egypt under the official oversight and control of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.
When are we going to Egypt again?
In Jan 2021, we hope to carry out a small socially distancing ceramic and stone conservation season. We are hoping to return to the field in Fall 2021 (post COVID) to complete the photogrammetric survey and mapping of all standing monuments. We also plan to bring in specialists who can study our finds that have been excavated in previous seasons. Our specialists would examine paleobotanical and faunal remains, worked stone, charcoal remains, and geological samples. Our ceramics-analysis team will continue to analyze and draw the pottery that we collected in previous seasons as well as to conduct further petrographic analysis of the ceramics.
Every donation, whether large or small, allows us to do more work in Egypt. See our donations page for more information.
Is it safe to work in Egypt?
As an official archaeological mission working in Egypt, we work directly with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities who sends security guards with our team into the desert. We commute daily from Aswan, which is a beautiful town and major tourist destination also protected by the Egyptian military. Our team takes all of the necessary precautions to stay safe in Egypt, and we have been rewarded with happy and productive seasons. If you want to visit Egypt, we urge you to go as part of a tour group. You will be very safe and see wonders that will change your life.
How can you help?
There are two very effective means of helping the work of the Wadi el-Hudi Expedition.
First, I urge you to donate to the project. Your donation is tax deductible. Whether it is $20, $10/month, or $1000, every little bit helps and goes directly to support our work in Egypt. The entire Wadi el-Hudi team donates its time and labor to the project. We do not take stipends for our work. The majority of our budget for each season is spent in Egypt on buying food and supplies, hiring workers, renting 4×4 vehicles to travel into the desert, and renting apartments. The majority of our budget helps financially to support the people of modern Egypt. Every little bit counts. If you give $20, we can hire a worker for 8 hours of labor, with pay well above the local minimum wage. If you give $70 we can rent a 4×4 vehicle to take our team into the desert for a day. We are a small, frugal, no frills team, which means that your contribution will make a difference.
Second, we are looking for a handful of volunteers to work for the Wadi el-Hudi project from home. Processing data from an archaeological excavation is labor intensive, and we have dozens of tasks that could be done by meticulous and dedicated volunteers on their own time, such as transcribing handwritten notebooks, tagging photos, or digitizing drawings. If you live in the San Bernardino area, other tasks are also available. If you are interested in volunteering, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.