Undergraduate ProgramGraduate ProgramCoursesArcaeological ExpeditionsYale Egyptian CollectionsEgyptological Studies at Yale

Archaeological Expeditions

Main map Nadura Yale University has a long history of archaeological work, including participation in the Nubian Salvage Campaign and excavations at the site of Abydos (for the results of this work, see Yale Egyptological Publications). Under the aegis of the Yale Egyptological Institute in Egypt, funded by the William K. and Marilyn M. Simpson Endowment for Egyptology, Yale currently has three archaeological projects in Egypt. The concession of the Theban Desert Road Survey (TDRS)/Yale Toshka Desert Survey (YTDS), both directed by John Coleman Darnell, co-directed by Deborah Darnell, encompasses much of the desert region between the northern edge of the Qena Bend, extending west to Kharga Oasis and south to Dunqul Oasis and the region of Aniba. Within this area, the TDRS/YTDS surveys ancient caravan routes through the Western Desert of Egypt, recording the numerous associated rock inscription sites, habitation areas, way stations, and military structures. The important Persian temple and settlement at Gebel Ghueita in Kharga Oasis is the site of further epigraphic and archaeological work. The Yale Egyptological Institute in Egypt is also involved in the archaeology of Coptic Egypt. In addition to the monastic sites and Coptic remains in the concession of the Theban Desert Road Survey, the Institute supports the work of the Yale Monastic Archaeology Project (YMAP), organized under the executive direction of Stephen J. Davis. YMAP currently sponsors work at two centers of early Christian monasticism: the White Monastery near the town of Sohag, and the Monastery of St. John the Little in the Wadi al-Natrun. The White Monastery project involves excavation and analysis of monastic remains; restoration and conservation of wall paintings; and architectural documentation of the main church, led by Bentley Layton. The Wadi al-Natrun project has conducted excavations of a monastic midden and a large mud-brick residence, as well as archaeological surveys of almost one hundred other structures, including a central church.