Tell el-Amarna Archaeological Geophysics Project, a joint effort by CAST and the Institute for Field Research


Oct 13, 2012 - Nov 15, 2012


Tell el-Amarna from the Northern cliffs.Use the latest in ground-based remote sensing technologies to reveal the secrets of the sacred city built by Pharaoh Akhenaten for the sun-god. Students will spend five weeks at Tell el-Amarna, Egypt, the once great capital city of Egypt located halfway between Cairo and Luxor where they will explore the well-preserved ruins of this great city and receive hands-on experience using non-invasive archaeological techniques including surface survey and near-surface geophysical prospection. Work will concentrate on the North City, where they will map buried archaeological features using magnetometry and ground-penetrating radar.

In addition to participating in archaeological research, students will benefit from several organized field trips, including tours of Amarna's Royal Tombs and Boundary Stelae, Workmen's Village, and the Amarna Central City -as well as visits to nearby sites including Beni Hassan and Deir el-Bersheh. The project incorporates Egyptian archaeologists and expects students to distance themselves from their preconceptions while exploring the ancient and modern societies that constitute the history of Amarna. This way participation will not only be intellectually rewarding, but may grow into a life-changing experience.

Go to the Institute for Field Research website to learn more about the field school and to enroll. Learn more about the site of Amarna itself and ongoing research there by visiting


Prof. Barry Kemp (bjk2 at is an emeritus Professor of Egyptology at the University of Cambridge (UK), a Research Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at Cambridge, a Fellow of the British Academy, Corresponding Member of the German Archaeological Institute and Corresponding Member of the Archaeological Institute of America. He is Director of the Amarna Project, and has conducted research there, through survey and excavation, since 1977.

Dr. Hans Barnard (MD PhD) (nomads at is Assistant Professor of Archaeological Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles (USA). As an archaeological surveyor and photographer he has worked on sites in Armenia, Chile, Egypt, Iceland, Panama, Sudan and Yemen. He is currently involved in research projects on the archaeology of mobile people, ceramic analysis and the Eastern Deserts in Egypt and Sudan ( With J.W. Eerkens he published "Theory and Practice of Archaeological Residue Analysis" (Oxford, 2007) and with W.Z. Wendrich "The Archaeology of Mobility: Old World and New World Nomadism" (Los Angeles, 2008).

Dr. W. Fredrick Limp is Leica Chair and University Professor of Anthropology, Geosciences and Environmental Dynamics at the University of Arkansas. For nearly two decades he directed the University's Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST). Among his other research at CAST he has developed a range of applications of geomatics to archaeological and cultural heritage research. For more on his work see

Mr. Jason Herrmann (jherrma at is a doctoral candidate in the Environmental Dynamics Program at the University of Arkansas and an affiliate of the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies, University of Arkansas. Jason is currently interested in human adaptation to environmental change and specializes in the use of remote sensing methods in archaeological exploration and has conducted archaeo-geophysical investigations in Syria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Bolivia, and throughout the United States of America.




Students should enroll through the Institute for Field Research. Applicants are expected to submit a completed application form and one letter of recommendation by April 1, 2012.


As part of the archaeological expedition to Amarna, students will stay in the expedition house which is located on the ancient site just outside of the village of El-Hagg Qandil. The expedition house has 20 individual bedrooms, a dining room, a kitchen, a sitting room, two modern showers and outside bathroom facilities. The house is supplied with electricity and running water and there are personal laundry facilities.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided by the expedition and prepared by a cook hired by the project. Students with special dietary needs should indicate so on their applications- this will not influence your acceptance to the program, but rather allow us to plan accordingly.



Prior your trip, we encourage you to visit your doctor for a general check up, inoculations and other preventive measures. Make sure to bring all your prescription medicine so that you have enough for the entire field season. If you have allergies or any other medical concerns, let the director of the project know about them. You should also consider bringing into the field some over-the-counter medications for common illness such as colds, headaches, indigestion, dehydration and diarrhea. For more information, please read the Centers for Disease Control Website.


You can purchase a one-month (+14 day grace period) tourist visa upon arrival in Cairo Airport for an amount of $15. Depending on your itinerary, you might need to extend your visa. This will be done as a group upon arrival in Cairo. Make sure your passport is valid until at least 6 months after the date you are planning to return. For more information, please consult the relevant page of the US State Department.