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German-Egyptian Master study course “Environmental Archaeology”

The experiences of the Cologne field research in the Western Desert of Egypt, which began in 1980, led in 2012, in cooperation with Prof. Tarek Tawfik (Cairo University), to an English-language, modular Master’s programme, which is being carried out under the title „Environmental Archaeology“ in collaboration between the Universities of Cologne and Cairo. The project is currently funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The focus of this study programme is on environmental sciences and prehistory and aims to contribute to a sustainable, structure-building improvement of the archaeological sciences in Egypt, which are predominantly oriented towards monumental studies and written sources. By focussing on the close connections between climate, landscape and cultural development, students should gain a new historical picture of the multifaceted and complex landscape and environment of Egypt and its preservation.

This Master’s programme trains the next generation of academics in a fruitful mixture and intensive interdisciplinary dialogue of methods and approaches from the humanities and natural sciences, qualifying them both for extended work in archaeological practice in Egypt and for interdisciplinary cooperation outside academia (e.g., in tourism or the media). Particular emphasis is placed on source-critical research and practical experience in the field and laboratory work, with participation in archaeological excavations and geographical field placements forming a special focus.

In the meantime, two classes of 8 to 10 students each have successfully completed the four semesters of the “Environmental Archaeology” programme. The current third class, with 6 female and 4 male students, is about to graduate.

DAAD project: Master study course „Environmental Archaeology“

Applicant: Dr. Karin Kindermann