Kate Liszka, Cal State San Bernardino associate professor of history and the Benson and Pamela Harer Fellow in Egyptology, was awarded a Charles Harris Excavation Grant from the American Society for Oriental Research for archaeological work at Wadi el-Hudi, Egypt. This grant will help to fund a small, socially distanced, and safely executed archaeological season in January 2021.

Since 2014, the Wadi el-Hudi Expedition, directed by Liszka, has been working in Egypt’s Eastern Desert to document exceptionally well-preserved ancient fortified settlements attached to gold and amethyst mines from the Middle Kingdom (c. 2000-1700 BCE) and early Roman Period (c. 50 BCE to 200 CE). 

In 2019, several CSUSB students participated in the archaeological work in Egypt, and the hope is for more CSUSB students to receive hands-on archaeological training in Egypt once it is safe to travel again. Other students are actively integrated into the post-field processing of this archaeological data at CSUSB in programs that teach students through faculty research. The CSUSB community can learn more about this research in several classes taught on campus or by visiting the Wadi el-Hudi website.

Wadi el-Hudi, Egypt
Wadi el-Hudi, Egypt

This coming season, the team in Egypt will focus on ceramic analysis and finalize the pottery corpus in order to complete a monograph on the Middle Kingdom pottery at Wadi el-Hudi that incorporates multi-disciplinary perspectives, including scientific analysis of clay. They will also bring a stone conservator to write an initial report to facilitate the conservation and reassembling of important stelae and statues from Wadi el-Hudi. 

All of this work helps to answer questions about the lived experience of laborers and administrators at the ancient mines. For example, what did the ancient workers and administrators eat?  Where did they get their water? How were they supplied by the government in Egypt?

The team is very excited to receive the Harris Excavation Grant to help with their coming work.

This coming season, the team in Egypt will focus on ceramic analysis.