SCA Announces New Regulations for Foreign Missions Working in Egypt

The SCA Announces New Regulations for Foreign Missions Working in Egypt

The Supreme Council for Antiquities (SCA) has created a new division: the Department of Foreign Archaeological Missions, which has standardized the rules and regulations concerning the application for and execution of all archaeological work in Egypt. The directors or assistant directors of foreign missions will deal solely with this new department.

These new rules are, as follows:

The Application Process

1. Three months prior to excavation work, the mission's 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. The CVs of every team member must be included with the application. The SCA expects all team members will be affiliated with a recognized institution. According to the antiquities protection laws, permission will not be granted 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 SCA, and their application has been accepted by the Permanent Committee for 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 details of the source of any expedition's funding at any time.

Requirements for Concession Applications Concerning the West and East Desert or Coastal Areas

1. Missions wanting to pursue work at their current site need to submit to the SCA three months prior to the planned excavation season four survey maps signed by the director of the mission. These maps should use the 1 to 50,000 scale or 1 to 25,000 scale.
2. According to 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 Nasser, including Kom Ombo, Aswan and El Mafarq on latitude 22.
d. The eastern border, the Egyptian Red Sea coast.

Security Regulations

1. Three months prior to excavation work, personal application for each mission member, including the applicant's full name, date of birth, nationality, position, institution of affiliation, religion, passport photocopy, 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 analysis 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 missions team after application acceptance is prohibited.
5. For missions wanting to work at a location close to their current site in the Western or Eastern deserts or coastal regions need to submit to the SCA three months prior to the desired excavation eleven survey maps signed by the director of the mission. The maps should use the 1 to 50,000 scale or the 1 to 25,000 scale.

Rules for Missions Working on Sites

1. No new concessions will be given to a current team member wanting to create a new excavation area with the granted site of the mission.
2. The working missions 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 season's start and finish dates must be specified in the application. If the mission needs another season within the year, this should be requested 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 above conditions.
6. Working on Thursdays can be granted with permission. However, no restoration or excavation is allowed at a 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 advisor's proposal.
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 an application has been approved by the Permanent Committee and security clearances have been issued, the Department of Foreign Archaeological Missions will then notify in writing the Sector of 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 missions.
3. Before excavation work commences, 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 of any new discoveries. The SCA will suspend the mission's concession if formal notification is neglected.
6. The mission is responsible for providing adequate container for storing and protecting excavated artifacts.
7. Transportation of artifacts from a site to magazine or museums will be at the mission's expense.
8. During the excavation season, the security guards working on a site will be paid by the mission. They should, however, be approved by the SCA site director.
9. Employment by a mission 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 SCA 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 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 epigraphic work. A copy of all epigraphic work should be submitted to the SCA.
14. Five copies of the mission's preliminary report, written in English, must be submitted to the SCA immediately after the completion of a season, prior to the mission's departure.
15. Within three months of a season's completion, a detailed report, written either in 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 donate five copies of recently published books, written by the mission regarding the site, to the Department of Foreign Archaeological Missions. These will be distributed to the libraries and 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 its finding of the previous season will not be allowed to return to it concession until the conservation is complete. The 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 requited to pay the SCA either: (a) 1,500 LE/month for the overtime transportation of inspectors who do not live with the expedition; or (b) 1,000 LE/month for inspectors who do live with the expedition.
3. 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 excavation concessions will not be granted from Giza to Abu Simbel. Concessions will only be granted in this area for restoration, preservation, archaeological survey, documentation and epigraphic work.
2. New applications for excavation concessions will be granted during the next ten years only for the Western Desert, Eastern Desert and Delta.
3. The SCA requires that the mission publish its site within five years after the work has been completed. The director and sponsoring institution of a mission which 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. Member of foreign missions are expected to yield any information they have regarding stolen artifacts to the SCA's 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 which buys artifacts stolen from Egypt.

The Department of Foreign Archaeological Missions can be reached by e-mail at: