Egypt participates in 13th Congress of Egyptology in the Netherlands

Nevine El-Aref , Monday 7 Aug 2023

More than 850 scholars, archaeologists, heritage experts, Egyptologists, and students from 32 countries, including Egypt, have converged on Leiden, the Netherlands, to take part in the International Congress of Egyptology (ICE), held from 6 to 11 August.

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The ICE is meant to share knowledge on Egyptology and discuss ways to uncover the secrets of the ancient Egyptian civilization.

Egypt is represented at the 13th ICE with an official delegation from the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) headed by SCA Secretary-General Mostafa Waziry, who was a keynote speaker in the opening session.

In a visual presentation, Waziry reviewed the latest achievements in discoveries and restoration works carried out by the SCA in previous years as well as the efforts carried out to develop the services provided to visitors in an attempt to enhance the visitors’ experience in archaeological sites and museums. He also showed Egypt’s efforts to recover antiquities that were stolen and illegally smuggled out of the country.

Waziry pointed out that 240 foreign archaeological missions from 25 countries are working in Egypt alongside Egyptians.

Hisham El-Leithy, head of the Central Administration for the Documentation of Antiquities, said that the ICE is held under the theme “The future of ancient Egypt,” to reflect current scholarships and open a dialogue on Egyptology in a wider sense. 

A collection of 400 scientific topics, research papers and poster presentations are being presented during the ICE’s 13th session. These cover several topics, including climate and climate change in antiquity, digital Egyptology, Egyptology and interdisciplinary research, Egyptology and museology, Egyptology and the dissemination of research, historiography of Egyptology, illegal trade in ancient Egyptian artefacts, inclusion and diversity in Egyptology, international reception of ancient Egypt, and protecting ancient Egyptian heritage.

The 13th ICE is foremost a platform to present the latest research in Egyptology, being the showcase of present-day and future research within its many branches. Ideally, presentations will establish a clear link with one of the above congress themes. The organising committee proposes to also discuss the above themes in separate panel discussions in open dialogue.
 
The ICE, one of the world's most important scientific conferences in the field of Egyptology, is held every four years to discuss the latest in Egyptological research. Egypt hosted the 12th round in November 2019, as well as the first round in 1976, the fifth in 1988, and the eighth in 2000.

In his capacity as a president of the 12th ICE, Khaled El-Enany, former minister of tourism and antiquities, delivered a speech entitled “Looking back to the 12th ICE,” at the opening ceremony, reminding the audiences with this very successful round. 

El-Enany also talked about the two volumes of the proceedings of the 12th ICE published by the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology (IFAO) in collaboration with the SCA. 

The two-volume publication presents a selection of 137 contributions encompassing the themes of the congress. El-Enany thanked all the staff who worked to organise the 12th ICE and those who edited and published the proceedings edited by Burt Kasparian and professor Ola El-Aguizy and introduced by El-Enany.

During the 12th ICE, Egyptologists from 30 countries presented 369 papers covering nine themes: archaeology (current methods and fieldwork); art and architecture; site management, conservation and preservation; history; views on the Egyptian past; language, literature and texts; archaeological science and technology; museums and collections; religious thoughts; society and life in ancient Egypt.
El-Aguizy, professor of Egyptology at the Faculty of Archaeology, Cairo University, talked about the history of Egyptology.

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