Cairo Branch

Projects: Geographical Overview

History of the Cairo Branch

Austria’s archaeological activity in Egypt represents a long tradition which dates back to the work of Hermann Junker and the rescue excavations in Nubia, at Sayala. This tradition necessitated a stable base, active all year round, in Cairo. The next step was the establishment of a scientific Secretariat at the Austrian Cultural Institute in Cairo, later the Cultural Department of the Austrian Embassy in Cairo. In 1971, Manfred Bietak was instructed to build up Austria’s own archaeological research institute in Egypt; until that time, such research was carried out under the auspices of the Institute for Egyptology and African Affairs of the University of Vienna. In 1973, this new research institute was affiliated to the OeAI and thereby achieved official status in Austria. The close attachment to the Austrian Embassy has continued to the present day.



Projects of the Cairo Branch

The main project is the excavation of Tell el-Dab‘a in the Eastern Nile Delta, c. 120 km northeast of Cairo (1966–2009 director Manfred Bietak, since 2010 Irene Forstner-Müller).


Another project are the activities in Asasif/Luxor. New projects of the Cairo branch are being initiated from 2011 in Hisn el-Bab, in Sudan and together with the Head Office Vienna in Syene/Elephantine. Other projects of and involvements by the OeAI are at Qasr Ibrim and Amarna.




Irene Forstner-Müller