FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
1/1/2007: HISTORIC DISCOVERY IN EGYPT: THE LOST ARABIC EXCAVATION DIARIES
In January, 2006, descendants from the family of the Harvard-MFA Expedition's Egyptian reises (Arabic for "foremen") were located in Cairo. They had preserved 72 Arabic language expedition diary books, of which about 42 concern the Harvard-MFA Expedition's work at Giza. Permission to obtain these books was granted by the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) in October 2006. The Giza Archives Project staff is grateful to Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the SCA, and to Mr. Hassan Diraz and his family for preserving the books of his father (Mohamed Said Diraz) and grandfather (Said Ahmed Said Diraz) over 65 years.
The 72 diary volumes were shipped to the MFA in late November, 2006. During 2007-2008, the Project staff will scan them, translate them, and add them, both in Arabic (page scans) and English transcription to the Giza database. They will ultimately be accessible online in much the same fashion as their counterpart English-language expedition diaries.
72 Arabic Expedition diaries obtained in Cairo and now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (PDM_CIMG6565)
Giza Archives Project staff member Meghan Place working with Arabic diaries (PDM_CIMG6553)
Sample Arabic diary page from 1935 describing tombs in Cemetery G 6000 (PDM_CIMG6546)