Baths in Egypt: Workshop in Cairo (Oct. 26, 2010)
Conference/Workshop, Cairo – Org. : Bérangère Redon (Ifao)
SCA (Supreme Council of Antiquities), Ahmed Pacha Kamel Hall
3 El Adel Abu Bakr St., Zamalek, Cairo
Since the fieldworks of Abd el-Mohsen el-Khachab (SCA), who published and excavated many Greek-like baths in the 1940s till the 1970s and proposed a first synthesis on this topic, numerous antique bathing buildings were brought to light in the whole Egyptian territory. Besides, the studies concerning the more recent baths, medieval and modern hammams in particular, have demonstrated their historic and archaeological interest. Their patrimonial value is also in the process of being recognized, as shown by the newly restored mamluk hammam of al-Ashraf located in the heart of Islamic Cairo.
In 2006, the ANR Balnéorient program, led by M.-Fr. Boussac in partnership with Ifao, began the global study on collective bath in the East (Middle East, Egypt and Arabian Peninsula). A first colloquium, held in Alexandria the same year, allowed to review the state of the evidence for Egypt; it was published in 2009 in the Ifao press.
Since, the discoveries of baths in Egypt did not stop, underlining the interest of the study. Ifao also integrated into its researches a program entitled “Antique and Medieval Baths”. In order to report new finds, it seems necessary to organize a meeting focused on archaeological data, which will benefit from experiences of the previous meetings and from exchanges developed, in a wider scale, within the framework of the Balnéorient program.
The first aim of this meeting is to present a new documentation, often unpublished and directly taken from the field, concerning all the periods where collective bath was in use in Egypt, since its introduction by the Greco-Macedonians at the end of the 4th Century BC till the hours of glory of the Arabic hammam. It will gather Egyptians, French and Europeans scholars who will expose the results of their works concerning a particular building in various areas such as Alexandria’s region, Cairo, Upper Egypt or western deserts. A place will also be offered to regional surveys, in order to complete the archaeological atlas of baths in Egypt and to measure the spread of these structures, and therefore the underlain practices on this territory.
The documentary part (presentation of new buildings) will be followed by a collective workshop intended to bring into line the analysis and the presentation of bath buildings, an essential effort for a long-term study. To that purpose, recording, classification and interpretation tools, created within the Balnéorient program and with the help of the Ifao, will be presented.
- 9h-9h10: Sylvie Denoix (Ifao), Conference Welcome
- 9h10-9h20: Marie-Françoise Boussac (Univ. Paris 10), Introduction to the Balnéorient Program
- 9h20-9h30: Bérangère Redon (Ifao), Presentation of the Conference
- 9h30-10h: Introductive lecture: Mansour Boraik (SCA), Two Baths Newly Discovered in Karnak
- 10h-10h30: Karol Myśliwiec (Univ. Warszawa), Les bains ptolémaïques d’Athribis (Tell Atrib)
- 10h30-11h: Break
- 11h-11h30: Wolfgang Müller (Swiss Institut, Cairo), A Hellenistic Bath in Syene
- 11h30-12h: Cornelia Römer (DAIK), The Greek Baths in the Fayum – Who attended them?
- 12h-12h30: Paola Davoli (Univ. Lecce), A New Public Bath in Roman Trimithis (Amheida, Dakhla Oasis)
- 12h30-14h00: Break
- 14h00-14h30: Bérangère Redon (Ifao), Reflexions on the Lack of thermae Buildings in Egypt (1st-2nd c. A.D.)
- 14h30-15h: Aiman Ashmawy Ali (SCA), The Lost Graeco-Roman Baths from Eastern Delta
- 15h-15h30: Roland-Pierre Gayraud (Cnrs), Un bain privé de la fin du Xe siècle trouvé à Istabl `Antar / A Private Bath of the End of the 10th Century Found in Istabl `Antar
- 15h30-16h: Hossam ed-Din Ismail (Univ. Ayn Shams), Islamic Baths in Egypt: A Survey
- 16h-16h30: Break
- 16h30-17h: Thibaud Fournet (Ifpo), Presentation of the Balnéorient architectural database. With the contribution of Ahmed Abd el-Fattah (Graeco-Roman museum of Alexandria) and Merwat Seif ed-Din (Graeco-Roman museum of Alexandria), The example of the Roman and Byzantine Baths of Mareotide