Regulations for Foreign Archaeological Missions

The Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) has created a new department titled The Department of Foreign Archaeological Missions. This department will standardize the rules and regulations concerning the application and execution of all archaeological work in Egypt. The director or assistant director of a foreign mission will deal solely with this department.

The application process:

1. Three months prior to excavation work, the missionís director is required to submit a list of the expedition team, specifying the nationalities and positions of each member. This application must be written in English, clearly stating the time frame of the excavation season. A survey map showing the location of the requested site should be attached to the application form.

2. With the application, the CVís of every team member must be included. The SCA expects that all team members will be affiliated with a recognized institution. According to the antiquities protection laws, permission will not be given to anyone who is not a professional in the field.

3. The expedition team will not be permitted to start their work until they have received a security clearance, signed a contract with the SCA, and their application has been accepted by the Permanent Committee of Antiquities.

4. An assistant director should be specified for each mission, to act in the absence of the mission director.

5. The SCA has the right to request the details of source of any expeditionís funding at any time.

Additional Requirements for concession applications concerning the West and East Desert or Coastal areas:

1. For missions wanting to pursue work at their current site, four survey maps signed by the director of the mission needs to be submitted to the SCA, three months prior to the following excavation season. The map should use the I to 50,000 scale or I to 25, 000 scale.

2. According to the presidential decree no. 413 of 1998 the following areas are restricted, even for research purposes:
a. The Northern border, from Mersa Wadi Lahmi on the Red Sea Coast to Kom-Ombo.
b. The Southern border, Latitude 22 from the Red Sea Coast to Ashkeet.
c. The Western border, from the eastern shore of Lake Naser, including Kom-Ombo Aswan and el-Mafarq, to Ashkeet on latitude 22.
d. The Eastern border, the Egyptian Red Sea coast.

Security Regulations:

1. Three months prior to excavation work, personal applications for each mission member, including the applicant's full name, date of birth, nationality, passport photocopy, position, institution of affiliation, religion, and five passport photos must be submitted to the SCA. The Department of Foreign Archaeological Missions requires personal applications in order to issue security clearance for each team member.

2. A fee of 10.50 LE for each personal application should be paid to the Department of Security in order to process the security clearance.

3. Sending samples and specimens abroad for analyses is prohibited: samples must be examined in the Research and Maintenance Lab of the SCA or in approved alternative Egyptian labs.

4. Adding additional members to the mission's team after application acceptance is prohibited.

5. For missions wanting to work at a location close to their current site in the West or East Deserts or Coastal regions, eleven survey maps signed by the director of the mission need to be submitted to the SCA three moths prior to the excavation. The maps should use the I to 50,000 scale or the I to 25,000 scale.

Rules for the missions working on sites:

1. No new concession will be given to a current team member wanting to create a new excavation area within the granted site of the mission.

2. The working mission will not be allowed to open new sites anywhere until they publish their current site completely.

3. The mission will be granted only one season per year. The seasonís start and finish dates must be specified in the application. If the mission needs another season within the year, they should request this at the beginning.

4. The SCA prohibits missions to work at more than one site at the same time.

5. In order to renew the contract with the SCA the mission is required to reapply and meet the abovementioned conditions.

6. Working on Thursdays can be granted with permission. However, no restoration or excavation is allowed at the site on Fridays.

7. No concessions will be given to graduate students. Graduate students can obtain permission for study or research on archaeological sites through his or her proposal advisor.

8. No concession will be granted to any expedition director who does not have good experience in the field.

Responsibilities after application approval:

1. After the application has been approved by the Permanent Committee and security clearance has been issued, The Department of Foreign Archaeological Missions will then notify, in writing, the Sector of the Egyptian Antiquities of the SCA and the mission director.

2. The Department of Excavations of the SCA will assign inspectors, who have been trained in recognized field schools, to accompany the mission.

3. Before excavation work, the head of the mission is required to submit two reports confirming the borders of the excavation area both signed by the director of the mission and the inspector.

4. The inspector must send a monthly report on the work progress.

5. The director of the mission must notify the Secretary General of the SCA immediately with any new discoveries. The SCA will suspend the mission's concession if formal notification is neglected.

6. The mission is responsible for providing adequate containers for storing and protecting the artifacts.

7. Transportation of the artifacts from the site to magazines or museums will be at the missionís expense.

8. During the excavation season the security guards working on the site will be paid by the mission. They should, however, be approved by the SCA site director.

9. Employment of recognized expert(s) in conservation and preservation is mandatory.

10. Restoration or site management programs for any archaeological site should be stated in a detailed report and submitted to the Permanent Committee. The conservator may be requested to discuss the methods of restoration or conservation.

11. The inspectorate will oversee all conservation work.

12. A member from the Center of Research and Maintenance of the SCA needs to accompany missions that are working in the field of anthropology and geophysics. The final report of such work should be submitted to the SCA.

13. Every precaution should be taken to protect the monuments during epigraphical work. A copy of all epigraphical work should be submitted to the SCA.

14. Five copies of the missionís preliminary report, written in English, must be submitted to the SCA mmediately after the end of the season prior to the missionís departure.

15. Within three months of the seasonís completion a detailed report, written in either French, German, or English and translated into Arabic, including photographs, charts, and plans must be sent to The Department of Foreign Archaeological Missions.

16. The SCA requests that each mission donates five copies of recently published books, written by the mission regarding tile site, to the Department of Archaeological Missions. They will be distributed to the libraries and the museums of the SCA.

17. Every expedition is responsible for the conservation of artifacts and the restoration of tombs and temples discovered by the expedition. Any expedition that fails to conserve the findings of the previous season will not be allowed to return to their concession until the conservation is complete.

Relationship between the SCA Inspector and the Mission:

1. The SCA will rotate the accompanying Inspectors every season; no mission has the right to request an Inspector for consecutive seasons.

2. The mission is required to pay the SCA either:
a. 1500 LE / month for tile overtime transportation of inspectors who do not live with the expedition.
b. 1000 LE / month for Inspectors who do live with the expedition.

3. The Inspectors are prohibited from accepting any cash rewards or getting involved in any money transactions separate from those stated above.

4. Any problems concerning the behavior of the accompanying Inspector should be reported to the Secretary General of the SCA.

New Policies:

1. For the upcoming ten years, new concessions will not be granted from Giza to Abu-Simbel. Concessions ill only be granted in this area for restoration, preservation, archaeological survey, documentation and epigraphical work.

2. New applications for excavation concessions will be granted only for the Western Desert, Eastern Desert, and the Delta for the next ten years.

3. The SCA requires that the mission publish tile site within five years after work has been completed. The Director and institution backing any mission that does not comply will be denied any future concessions.

4. It is absolutely prohibited for any member of a mission to be involved with dealers of stolen artifacts.
Members of foreign missions are expected to yield any information they have regarding stolen artifacts to the Department of Stolen Artifacts. People who are found by court evidence to be involved with stolen artifacts will be removed from the excavation. If the director is involved, the mission will be terminated.

5. Egypt will not cooperate with any museum or institution that buys stolen artifacts from Egypt.


Checks must be written and hand delivered to the Director of the Director of the Department of Archeological Missions when the contract is signed. Communications with the Department of Foreign Archaeological Missions can be administered via e-mail:
Sea missions@hotmail.corn

Magdy E1-Ghandour
General Director, Foreign and Egyptian Missions Affairs

Dr. Zahi Hawass
Secretary General, SCA