Last week we started a short series on Czech Egyptology, probably the best-known branch of Czech archaeology. Jaromir Krejci of the Czech Institute of Egyptology took us to Abusir, one of the most important archaeological sites in Egypt, where the Czech expedition has been working since 1960. To be able to excavate at the site, the Czech Egyptologists need their concession renewed every year. But also vital for the Czech experts is good cooperation with locals who assist in the excavations.
"We have very good relations with the locals. I think it is a very interesting thing. For more than forty years, we have been cooperating with one family of "reisin", ("reis" in Arabic means a foreman), which is very important. With these reisin we are like one family and I can say that, for example, these reisin from the family of el-Kereti are the best in the Pyramid region. Also we have good relations with the officials of the Supreme Council of Antiquities and also with other local, with fellahin, which is very important."
Egyptologist Jaromir Krejci also says the Czech Republic's mission in Egypt has an important place among other foreign expeditions.
"It is because of the nature of the finds which are really very important. I think that for example for the 5th dynasty, which is part of the Old Kingdom, Abusir which was a burial place of the kings, was the most important place in Egypt in those times. So it is very important because of this. We are also trying in the last period, to use modern techniques and I think, or it seems, that the other colleagues are interested also in these achievements and programmes."
Next time we'll be talking about some of the most significant finds Czech Egyptologists have unearthed in Abusir.