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*Egypt Field School (Summer)
Various, Egypt
Program Terms: Summer
Homepage: Click to visit
Budget Sheets Summer
Fact Sheet:
Dig House
 Minimum GPA:
 Class Standing:
2 - Sophomore
 Courses Offered:
Classics and Mediterranean Studies
 Type of Program:
Faculty Led
 Language of Instruction:
 Language Requirement:
0 - none
 Education Abroad Adviser:
Whitney Strickler
 Internship Available:
 Non-Penn State Students:
 Global Programs Scholarships:
Diversity Grant-in-Aid, Grant-in-Aid, Whole World Scholarship
Program Description:
Please Note: This program is not currently accepting applications for Summer 2014 due to the standing travel warning from the US State Department for Egypt. The availability of future semesters will be determined closer to the term in question. If you are interested in discussing alternative programs in the Middle East for  please contact Whitney Strickler, Education Abroad Adviser for the Middle East.

Egypt Dig  

Mendes Expedition, May 26, to June 27, 2014Mendes

The ruin mound of Tel er-Rub'a in northern Egypt marks the site of the ancient city of Mendes, one of the largest cities in the ancient world. The sometime capital of ancient Egypt (fourth century BCE), 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 (ca. 2200 BCE) of nearly 9,000 internments. Occupied from prehistoric times to the present, though largely unencumbered by dwellings, Mendes offers an excellent prospect for excavation with a view to studying ancient urbanism, demographics, burial practices, and trade.

For the past decade, archaeologists and student volunteers have been excavating the site using cutting-edge research discovery and field training techniques. The latter includes digging techniques, recording, planning, photography, analysis of finds, and introduction to the history and archaeology of ancient Egypt. In addition, weekend field trips are led by the director to such neighboring sites as Tanis, the North Sinai, Alexandria, and the pyramid fields.

This program will occupy four consecutive six-day weeks. The participants will be put in charge of various tasks: excavation supervision, recording, registry, pottery sorting, and seriation. From time to time they will also be called upon to assist the technical core staff in such tasks as surveying, human and faunal remains recovery, pottery cleaning and restoration, and photography detail.

Mendes is located approximately 120 miles north of Cairo, 17 miles east of Mansourah, and 40 miles south of the Mediterranean coast. Cairo and Port Said may be reached in two hours of driving. The staff lives in a modern twenty-room field institute building, which was constructed on-site in 1992 and has electricity, running water, and plumbing.

Overnight trips will be taken to the city of Alexandria and to the pyramid fields near Cairo. There will be a day trip to Tanis and the Suez Canal as well.

Education Abroad Credits

All students must register for six credits of CAMS 492 Intermediate Field Methods (6 credits)

Students may not fulfill GHA (General Health and Activity) general education requirements abroad.

Mendes StudentsFaculty

Dr. Donald Redford is the field director of Mendes. He is a professor of classics and ancient Mediterranean studies and history at Penn State. He is a noted expert in ancient Egypt and is the author of several books and numerous articles. He has been featured in series and documentaries on A&E and the History Channel.

Dr. Susan Redford is a faculty lecturer at Penn State. She is the author of numerous articles and The Harem Conspiracy: The Murder of Ramesses III. As director of the Akhenaten Temple Project's Theban Tomb Survey since its inception in 1992, she has mounted annual expeditions to the Valley of the Nobles. She has been featured in documentaries on the National Geographic and Discovery channels. She will be the co director at Mendes


The program is open to all Penn State students and students from other institutions with a minimum 2.5 grade-point average.  Students are encouraged to apply by the February 1, deadline, as enrollment is limited. 

Students must have a passport which is valid until six months after the last day of the program. (or date of return to U.S if student is extending travel)

Program CostsMendes Dig

For information on program costs, please be sure to review the budget sheets listed above.  These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs.  costs vary by program, so please be sure to review this information carefully.  Please note that tuition rates above may vary depending on major and class standing.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Students can request financial aid for the summer semester through the Penn State Office of Student Aid. Penn State students studying through Education Abroad can use most components of their existing financial aid packages toward the cost of study abroad. This may include federal and state grants, VA educational benefits, federal student loans, and University scholarships and grants. Notable exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships. Students can also request financial aid for the summer semester through the Penn State Office of Student Aid.

The University Office of Global Programs also administers a number of grants and scholarships. Eligibility is based on academic excellence and/or financial need. There is also funding available for study abroad programs in diverse locations and for students from diverse backgrounds. In most cases, applicants should have a current year FAFSA on file with the Office of Student Aid. Funding opportunities may also be available through Penn State academic departments. For detailed information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities and application procedures, please see Funding Study Abroad.

For More Information

For more information about this program and education abroad at Penn State, we encourage you to meet with our Peer Advisers. These study abroad returnees can explain program options, give an overview of the education abroad process, as well as provide information about his/her program.  If you're not at University Park, contact your Campus Global Representative.

For more information about this program, please contact Susan Redford in the College of the Liberal Arts.  You may also schedule an appointment with Whitney Strickler, the education abroad adviser for this program.

For the inside scoop on life in a foreign country, be sure to check out the GeoBlogs of Penn State students currently studying abroad.


Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.