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The Mendes Expedition

Location: Tel er-ruba (ancient site of Mendes, Egypt

June 21, 2017 to July 23, 2017

Session dates: 

Application Deadline: 
Saturday, December 10, 2016
Sunday, December 18, 2016

Deadline Type: 
Exact date

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



Canadian Institute in Egypt American Archaeology Abroad

Project Director:

Prof. Donald and Dr. Susan Redford, Penn State University

Project Description

The ruin mound of Tel er-Rub'a in northern Egypt marks the site of the ancient city of Mendes, one of the largest cities in the ancient world. The sometime capital of ancient Egypt (fourth century B.C.E.), Mendes was a major trading center in contact with the eastern Mediterranean, Greece, and Rome. A riverine harbor is still in evidence, and the site boasts a temple to the Ram-god and a cemetery (ca. 2200 B.C.E.) of nearly 9,000 internments. Occupied from prehistoric times to the present, though largely unencumbered by dwellings, Mendes offers an excellent prospect for excavation with a view to studying ancient urbanism, demographics, burial practices, and trade. For the past decade, archaeologists and students have been excavating the site using cutting-edge research discovery and field training techniques. The latter includes digging techniques, recording, planning, photography, analysis of finds, and introduction to the history and archaeology of ancient Egypt. In addition, weekend field trips are led by the director to such neighboring sites as Tanis, the North Sinai, Alexandria, and the pyramid fields. This program will occupy four consecutive six-day weeks. The participants will be put in charge of various tasks: excavation supervision, recording, registry, pottery sorting, and seriation. From time to time they will also be called upon to assist the technical core staff in such tasks as surveying, human and faunal remains recovery, pottery cleaning and restoration, and photography detail. Mendes is located approximately 120 miles north of Cairo, 17 miles east of Mansourah, and 40 miles south of the Mediterranean coast. Important: Students are accepted as field school participants. The field school at Mendes is operated under the aegis of the Canadian Institute in Egypt, The American Archaeology Abroad, Mansourah University and MUST University in Cairo. For information on the application process email Dr. Susan Redford ( 

Period(s) of Occupation: Archaic through Ptolemaic

Archaelogical Excavations at Mendes; fieldwork opportunity in Egypt

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 4 weeks

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

Team members live in a twenty-room field institute building, which was constructed on-site in 1992 and has electricity, running water, and plumbing. Three meals a day are provided on-site.

Total program cost: US$4,000 + airfare. Covers meals and accommodation on site; also travel accommodation and meals for 3 field trips: one day trip to Tanis; 1 overnight to the Pyramid fields; 1 overnight to Alexandria.

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
possible credit from student's home university for 'independent study'.
Number of credits offered: none


Contact Information
Dr. Susan Redford
Dept. of Classics & Ancient Mediterranean Studies
University Park
Recommended Bibliography: 

Donald B. Redford, City of the Ram-man (Princeton University Press, 2010)