All foreign archaeological missions in Egypt work in co-operation with the Ministry of Antiquities and each year the local inspectorate assigns us an inspector who is responsible for making sure that we are all registered with the proper authorities, that we follow the contract that we signed with the Ministry, and to facilitate our work if we run into problems. We have been very fortunate in the inspectors we have been assigned over the past seven seasons, and this year is no exception.
Megahed, Diana, and Walla at the Industrial Site.
Because of new regulations, we now have two inspectors, one senior inspector with more experience, and one junior inspector. Our senior inspector is Megahed Abd El Mougod Mohamed, who received his degree in Egyptology from the University of Sohag. After working at Sharm es-Sheikh on the coast of Sinai for a number of years, he joined the inspectorate of Luxor and is currently assigned to Luxor Temple. In 2010 he participated in the ARCE Field School conducted at Luxor Temple by Mark Lehner, Mohsen Kamel and Ana Tavares, and in 2016 he was a supervisor for a Ministry of Antiquities Field School conducted at Karnak by Yaser Mahmoud Hussein. He has worked with numerous foreign missions including (but not only) the Polish Mission working in tombs on Sheikh Abd el-Qurna cemetery, with Chicago House working at Luxor Temple, with the ARCE Epigraphic Field School in TT 110. He also worked with Angus Graham, who studies harbors and waterways and who introduced Megahed to the Birket Habu, so this is not his first experience at Malqata.
Our junior inspector is Walla Abd el Moged Hussein, who usually works at the Abu Jud Magazine near Karnak. She received her degree from the University of Qena and has been working with the Luxor Inspectorate for nine years. Joining our team brought Walla to Malqata for the first time, but this is not the first excavation she has worked on. Both Walla and Megahed had the good fortune to work on the excavation of the Avenue of Sphinxes that was carried out by Mansour Boraik, former Director of Antiquities in Luxor (and an old friend of Diana’s). Each of them, at different times, had the experience of uncovering a complete sphinx on the avenue, one of which had original paint.
As it happens, both of our inspectors come from the village of Old Karnak, just south of Karnak Temple. This is the first time they have worked together, but Megahed is a friend of Walla’s brother and remembers her when she was a child. Like many Egyptologists, including me, Megahed and Walla developed a love for the culture of ancient Egypt as children and carried it into their adult lives.
Megahed and Walla have both been very involved with our work this season, and we are delighted to have them as part of the team.