Supporting Artifacts Database Development

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Launch of the Archeological Database Department (ADD)

The number of the artifacts to be transferred to GEM is more than a hundred thousand. The Archeological Unit of the GEM had been working on creating the artifact database for this number in the basement of the Egyptian Museum. They had already completed the data entry of sixty thousand pieces. The JICA Expert in Database had been providing them technical assistance in the field of maintenance and improvement of the database software. However, mistakes and duplications were found in the entered data due to lack of the rules and procedures of data entry. Besides, the members of the input team had different levels of knowledge of Egyptology and commitment, and the core members finally resigned from the Unit. Having faced such a situation, the Egyptian Ministry of Culture requested JICA to assist in building a system of artifact database creation. As a result of discussion with the Egyptian side, JICA decided to organize the Archaeological Database Department (ADD) to verify and develop the database.

The ADD is a project team of Egyptians set up by JICA, which is seeking the most appropriate system and procedures of database creation by restructuring the database created by the Archeological Unit of the GEM. After JICA’s support ends, the GEM will take over the ADD members as well as the system and complete the database by itself.

Current Work of the ADD

The current work of the ADD is to verify the artifact data entered by the Archeological Unit by examining the artifacts one by one. The ADD members go to the museums and site storerooms, where they identify the artifacts registered in the database, confirm the registration numbers and the sizes and take the photos according to the standard rules. Then, in collaboration with the conservators of the Conservation Unit of the GEM, they pack the examined pieces into wooden boxes and kept the boxes in the area assigned for GEM inside the storerooms. The following are the work steps in the storerooms.

1st. Step: Preparation
2nd. Step: Identification
3rd. Step: Checking Register
4th. Step: Measurement
5th. Step: Photographing the artifacts
6th. Step: Storing the artifacts in GEM boxes
7th. Step: Checking Inventory sheets & Printing out photographs
Recruitment and Training of the ADD staff

Since November, 2008, four managers and twelve young Egyptians who majored in Egyptology have engaged in the ADD work. Before starting the work, an orientation workshop was organized, in which the managers explained to the new staff the work procedures and provided practical training on measurement and photographing. The staff members were very enthusiastic to learn in the workshop being excited about working for this historical project.

Study on Egyptology

The ADD staff members also study on the periodic features of the artifacts and make presentations on what they have studied among themselves. It will help them to produce more accurate data on artifacts.

Topics of Presentations

1 The Function of Stelae & The God Apis

2 Tutankamun, Lotus flower & God Bs

3 Manshiat Ezaat Palette

4 Headrest of Tutankamun

5 The False Door of Katepy

6 Canopic Jars

7 False Door of Tep-em-ankh

8 The Bust of Tutankamun

9 Mekhnty In Irty

10 River Boat of Meket-Ra

11 Funerary Stela of Medja Seshet

12 Magical Stela of Horus

13 The Shabti Box of Djed-Maat-Iw.s-ankh

14 Egyptian Sculpture of the late period

15 Middle Kingdom

16 New Kingdom

17 Old Kingdom

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