The American University in Cairo hands over Egyptian artefacts from 1964 Fustat excavation


The American University in Cairo handed to the Ministry of Antiquities a collection of 5000 artifacts that were in its possession since the 1960s.

The American University in Cairo hands over Egyptian artefacts from 1964 Fustat excavation
The American University in Cairo [Credit: Reuters]

Dr. Mahmoud Afifi, Head of the Ancient Egyptian Department explains that these artifacts were unearthed by an excavation mission from the American University in Cairo (AUC) led by late Professor George Scanlon in 1964 at Establ Antar archaeological site in Fustat, Cairo.

According to the Egyptian Antiquities law during that time, which allows the division of the artifacts unearthed in archaeological sites with foreign missions, the AUC succeeded to keep half of its excavated collection.

In 1983, when Egypt Antiquities Law number 117 launched, asserted Dr.Afifi, the Supreme Council of Antiquities at that time has registered these artifacts in its antiquities documents as Egyptian antiquities in the possession of the AUC.

Mahmoud Khalil, Director General of the Antiquities Possession Department said that recently the AUC sent an official letter to the ministry of antiquities asking to hand over the artifacts in its possession to the ministry.

Khalil went on saying that the ministry has immediately assigned an archaeological committee to inspect the collection, packing them and transport them to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat.

The collection consists of a number of clay vessels of different shapes and sizes, ushabti figurines, tombstones and wooden funerary masks from the Graeco-Roman era, lamps from the Islamic period.

The Ministry of Antiquities wishes all antiquities possessors to imitate the AUC and hand to the ministry the collection in their possession because it is not only a part of Egypt’s heritage but for all the humanity.

Source: Ministry of Antiquities [June 13, 2017]