For those ever-curious about hidden chambers inside the Great Pyramid, the wait won’t be much longer. Zahi Hawass plans his next steps for July 2009. Click here for more.

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George A. Reisner (1867-1942), photographed on June 26, 1933.

George A. Reisner (1867-1942), photographed on June 26, 1933.

Although our Giza Archives work focuses on one archaeological site alone, it’s worth remembering that George A. Reisner dug no less than 23 sites up and down the Nile, in Egypt and Nubia (ancient Sudan). From 1908 to 1910 he even directed excavations at Samaria on behalf of Harvard University. A new Web site at Harvard showcases this work, along with many other expeditions around the world. Called “Expeditions & Discoveries: Sponsored Exploration and Scientific Discovery in the Modern Age,” it is an excellent example of assembling long inaccessible documentation online for all the world to study. The new collection offers important—often unique—historical resources for students of anthropology, archaeology, astronomy, botany, geography, geology, medicine, oceanography, and zoology. The collection includes digitized copies of more than 250,000 pages from 700 books and serials, as well as 50,000 pages from Harvard’s manuscript collections, more than 1,200 photographs, 200 maps, 21 atlases, and numerous drawings and prints.

Distinguished guests visit the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston all the time, but on Monday, May 4, we were especially fortunate to welcome Dr. Wafaa el-Saddiq, Director of the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, and her husband, Mr. Asmi el-Rabbat. After showing her award-winning documentary film, “Unlocking Pharaoh’s Cellar,” about the fabulous storage basement at the Museum, Dr. El-Saddiq joined us in the Giza offices to discuss collaboration between our two institutions.

Half of the Giza objects discovered by the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition went to Cairo, while the other half came to Boston, as per a formal excavation contract with the Egyptian Antiquities Service (now Supreme Council of Antiquities). So it is only fitting to reunite this collection “virtually” on our Giza Web site, as well as add all the other Giza objects in the Cairo Museum from German/Austrian, Italian, and Egyptian expeditions.

Wafaa el Saddiq, Peter Manuelian, and Asmi el Rabbat at the Giza Archives, MFA Boston.

Wafaa el Saddiq, Peter Manuelian, and Asmi el Rabbat at the Giza Archives, MFA Boston.

For me personally, it was a privilege to welcome back a colleague whom I have known since we both worked together at Giza in the summer of 1977. We look forward to fruitful collaboration in order to make our spectacular Giza collections more accessible to the world community.

The world famous Egyptian Museum, Cairo welcomes well over 1 million visitors per year.

The world-famous Egyptian Museum, Cairo welcomes well over 1 million visitors per year.