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Archaeology

Spain’s crowdfunding treasure hunters

Spanish-led Djehuty project successfully launches campaign to finance next excavation season in Egypt

The group responsible for finding the riches from the treasury of Queen Hatshepsut and Pharaoh Tuthmose III recently found themselves broke. The team of Spanish Egyptologists has been excavating the tomb of Djehuty, the treasury supervisor, and other nearby graves at the site of Dra’ Abu el-Naga’ in Luxor, Egypt since 2001. Ironically, the treasure hunters were suffering from lack of funding and were forced to launch a crowdfunding campaign to cover the costs of their next excavation season.

Djehuty Project workers in an underground tomb.
Djehuty Project workers in an underground tomb.

Over 15 years, the Djehuty Project has notched up extraordinary scientific results and its sensational discoveries include the apprentice’s board (a wooden board used for practice writing and drawing), the “White Lady,” the coffin of the archer Iqer, paintings from Djehuty’s burial chamber, seven gold earrings and the exceptional funerary garden found this year.

The campaign appeals “to all those who have scientific curiosity and cultural concerns, who like Egypt and ancient civilizations”

Six sets of objects found at the site are permanently displayed at the Luxor Museum. The results have turned the Djehuty Project into the envy of other national and foreign teams of Egyptologists. But now they need help launching their 17th six-week long excavation campaign, scheduled for January and February 2018.

To that end, the team led by the Madrid-based José Manuel Galán, a prestigious Egyptologist with the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), launched a fundraising campaign recently. The Djehuty Project needed to raise €20,000 to pay the salaries of the more than 100 Egyptian workers involved in the archaeological work, as well as cover the costs of accommodation, equipment maintenance, and restoration and excavation materials. A bank account was especially created for the funds received with accounts publicly maintained on the project’s website. Small symbolic rewards are to be given to those who help finance the project. These gifts include books, calendars, videos and other products.

The campaign appeals “to all those who have scientific curiosity and cultural concerns, who like Egypt and ancient civilizations, who value historical heritage and art, and all who want to contribute to an international cooperation project.” Galán’s team encourages collaboration: “You will be part of the team and our achievements will be yours as well.”

The campaign achieved its €20,000 target on October 15, and so far some €26,000 in funds have been raised, with 40 days of the campaign to go.

English version by Debora Almeida

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