Archive for the ‘Egyptian – Italian Environmental Cooperation Program (EIECP) – Cultural Heritage Project’ Category

Egyptian – Italian Environmental Cooperation Program (EIECP) – Cultural Heritage Project

February 13, 2011

The project, titled: “Enhancement of the organisation and capabilities to preserve Cultural Heritage Assets of Egypt”, started on July 2000 with the purpose of:

 a) Creating an integrated system to support the Egyptian public administration in its efforts to prevent environmental risks and to develop, with a socio-economic approach, the cultural resources of the country.

b) Developing an information model to support analysis and all proposals aimed at reducing the environmental negative impact on the state of preservation the Egyptian archaeological sites. After the collection and analyses of all available data, the information model (referred to at point b) was developed and tested at the North Saqqara site (chosen by the SCA) leading to the drawing up of “North Saqqara site Risk Map“. The project  ended on October 2003.

The project has been so successful that the Egyptian Government has requested to carry on with it, by establishing a technical office entrusted with the management of the archaeological sites exposed to environmental stress. Management of these sites implies interventions and projects, aimed at limiting environmental decay and promoting the development of these areas in their socio-economic context.

Overall objectives of the new project

The project “Institutional support to SCA for environmental monitoring and management of cultural heritage sites: applications to Fayoum oasis and North Saqqara Necropolis” is strengthening the already established  “Technical Office for the Institutional Support to SCA for the Environmental Monitoring and Management of Cultural Heritage Sites (TOEMMAS)”.

In particular, main concern of this office is:

  • To investigate the archaeological sites under environmental stress;
  • To study deterioration aspects caused by the changes of environmental conditions;
  • To analyze hypothesis of socio-economic development in the surrounding areas of the archaeological sites;
  • To reinforce the institutional capacity of the SCA, including preparation of standards and guidelines in the relevant fields, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Environment / EEAA and other concerned institutions;
  • To outline the conservation and management activities to be carried out to optimize the existing resources, with the goal to protect and to develop the Sites.

 Specific objectives

  1. Preparation of a plan for the Management of Saqqara site, with special attention to the conservation of the monuments under environmental stress and to the socio-economic development of the site areas, developed on the grounds of the inner aspects and problems, and  points of view of the archaeological site management expertise. In this context, and on the basis of the results achieved from the studies carried out during the expiring project, it is considered convenient to implement a practical application in Saqqara site.
  2. Preparation of a Risk Map for Fayoum oasis, a management plan for Medinet Madi sites, and to valorize the regional resources of Fayoum Oasis.

A preliminary investigation will be carried out, with special attention to the preservation and the management of Medinet Madi, to be linked with the Protected Area of Wadi El Rayan, and other valuable archaeological sites. The investigation will also cover the landscape, handcraft and natural resources of the area, taking into account all the matters related to archaeological sites, considered under their social and environmental contexts. In consideration of the richness of environmental and cultural elements existing in the Fayoum Oasis, it is deemed necessary to carry out in Fayoum Oasis a practical application relevant to sites aspects and problems and referred to the territorial context. Here, besides the archaeological sites as Medinet Madi, exist significant cultural resources that have to be protected and valorised (handcraft, natural, agricultural aspects, etc.).

The proposal referred to the site will concern also the already established Protected Area of Wadi El Rayan, by which to plan out the necessary integration as visit excursions.

Expected results

  • a) To set up management of the sites, giving special consideration to the sites of Saqqara and Medinet Madi, in Fayoum.

    b) To entrust qualified staff with the management of the sites.

    c) To rationally organize tourist flows, in line with the state of preservation of the structures of the monuments exposed to environmental stress.

    d) To start up an organic plan of intervention for routine and extra-ordinary maintenance, in order to limit environmental decay.

    e) To plan consolidated management of the scientific research in the sites.

    f) To promote socio-economic development in the sampled areas.


  • To carry on with the investigations in Saqqara, involving in the analysis a larger number of structures.
  • To draw up a risk map for the Fayoum oasis.
  • To link the Protected Area of Wadi Rayan (Fayoum) with the ancient town of Medinet Madi.
  • To program the management of the sample sites (Saqqara, Fayoum – Medinet Madi).
  • To carry out a feasibility study to establish visitors’ centres in the archaeological sites.
  • To carry out a feasibility study to set up tour systems in the archaeological areas, supported by new technologies.
  • To carry out a feasibility study to transform the archaeological storehouses into site museums.
  • To carry out a feasibility study to link up Memphis necropolis.
  • To carry on and extend instrumental monitoring in Saqqara.
  • To carry on with investigations on the state of preservation of the Saqqara tombs
  • To intervene on the field to distribute tourist flows and minimize the deterioration of monuments due to anthropic pressure.
  • To train Egyptian homologues in the fields of management and C.A.D., computer graphics and archaeological parks planning.


 The Project is basically a program of Institutional Building (with operational results as well, such as extended monitoring stations, starting up of archeoguides in Saqqara, linking of the ancient town of Medinet Madi to the Wadi el Rayan Protected Area, a risk map for El Fayoum etc.).

Therefore first beneficiaries are the institutions responsible for the preservation of the cultural heritage of the country: S.C.A. (Supreme Council of Antiquities) and, indirectly, EEAA (Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency).

Other beneficiaries are Egypt and the population living in and around Saqqara and Fayoum Oasis. In fact the Project is drawing new attention to Egypt and lead to an increase of the number of visitors and their period of stay, while promoting the socio-economic development of the concerned areas.

Estimated Time to carry out the project: two years.  Starting presumably in June 2004 

Estimated cost of intervention: Euro 4, 245,667

This piece is taken from the website of the Egyptian – Italian Environmental Cooperation Program (EIECP).

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