Deir el-Gebrawi


The Photographic Archive contains about 1500 images related to different Egyptian archaeological sites.

The difficulty of consulting the photographic documentation and the renewed need to obtain information and ideas for research, led the Egyptian Museum to undertake a reflection on the study and conservation of the materials in question. A number of needs emerged from this, including the digitization of the entire archive, which was carried out for a small quantity as early as 2010, and the identification of the subjects depicted. The project that was launched in September 2018, immediately focused on scanning the material, starting with the Photographic Paper Collection, then continuing with the Photographic Plate Collection and finally the Slides.


Following the completion of digitising the Photographic Plate Collection in 2019, the part of the collection relating to the archaeological work carried out by the Museum in Egypt since 1903 (consisting of more than 1500 plates), was examined as a case study. For this uniform set (which includes 11 different locations) the aim was to correctly identify the areas depicted and where possible, indicate the date and the author. An attempt to then connect the individual images to each other was made, on the basis of the little archival data in the Museum’s possession, and through the use of significant reference points. This method was undertaken as the numbering system applied to the plates over time was no longer a reliable feature.

It was therefore possible to give the photographs geographical context relating to where the archaeological research was carried out. The identification of the scientific team members in the photographs (often different for each archaeological season) or of the excavation’s state of progress often enabled to position the photographs on a timeline. The digital scans were placed in virtual geographic folders and subfolders according to the detailed subject represented. The photographic material was then subdivided according to the following locations

·         Abydos
·         Ashmunein
·         Assiut
·         Aswan
·         Deir el-Gebrawi
·         Helopolis
·         Gebelein
·         Giza
·         Hammamiya
·         Qau el-Kebir
·         Theban Area