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The Mendes Expedition

Location: Tel er-Rub'a , Mansourah, Egypt

May 25, 2018 to June 30, 2018

Application Deadline: 
Saturday, January 20, 2018

Deadline Type: 
Exact date

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



The Pennsylvania State University Canadian Institute in Egypt

Project Director:

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

Project Description

The ruin mound of Tel er-Rub'a marks the site of the ancient city of Mendes, one of the largest cities of the Ancient Near East. 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 of nearly 9,000 internments. Occupied from prehistoric times through the Roman era, Mendes offers an excellent prospect for excavation with a view to studying urbanism, demographics, burial practices, and trade.

Our excavations began in 1990, and since that time annual seasons of excavation have resulted in an intensive exploration of the norther half of the tell. We have been able to identify and uncover many monumental constructions and features of the site, including the royal necropolis, harbor, sacred ram hypogeum, main temple, Libyan palace area, Old Kingdom necropolis, and Ptolemaic enclosure wall.

Excavations in the 2016 field season will concentrate on  Old Kingdom domestic levels, and investigation and full uncovery of a Late Period temple new discovered in the 2015 field campaign.





Period(s) of Occupation: Predynastic through Roman Period

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 4 weeks

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

The on-site accommodation is the Mendes dig-house and field institute, located at the northwest corner of the site within walking distance of the area of excavation. It comprises a 20 room structure, built in 1993, which can house 18 persons. The bedrooms are spacious, easily accommodating three individuals each.

Three meals a day, soft drinks and bottled water are provided by the expedition. The expedition engages a cook, house-boy, cleaning woman, and house guards. Food is bought in town and western-style meals are prepared by a full-time cook employed by the expedition.

US $4,000 for 4 week session

Academic Credit

Number of credits offered: none


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

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