The main project of the Czech Institute of Egyptology is currently Project Progres Q11 “Complexity and resilience. Ancient Egyptian civilisation in multidisciplinary and multicultural perspective”, lead by Prof. Miroslav Bárta.
The Progres-Project is a continuation of the previous Prvouk-Project, assigned to the Czech Insitute of Egyptology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University, which it will further develop and markedly enhance with new paths of research. The project focuses on the area of the north-eastern Africa (today Egypt and Sudan), also taking into account the surrounding areas in Africa and Asia. The time span of the project covers the period from 6000 BC until 640 AD.
Three pillars form the basis of the project: 1. analytical research and education of young researchers in the institute in Prague, 2. primary research and protection of antiquities on archaeological concessions in Egypt and the Sudan, and 3. intensive interdisciplinary cooperation in theoretical as well as practical aspects of the research, including social, natural and technical sciences.
Within this general frame the team will focus above all on processes associated with the rise and decline of various social structures, such as the Old, Middle and New Kingdoms, Late, Ptolemaic and Roman Period, as well as the Kerma and Meroitic cultures. The manners of formation, climax and decline of these structures constitute phenomena that have been even in international context insufficiently studied. The resilience of social systems, their ability to cope and adapt to internal dynamics and to external critical factors is a subject for study with interesting perspectives, which moreover has a strong potential for a comparative study of civilisations.
One of the task of this project will be to analyse the subjects and manners of changes within individual sub-systems and how that complexity transforms over time. Our basic goal includes the characterisation and detailed discussion of the complexity of the sub-systems (e.g. on the basis of artefacts, religion, economy, administration, social patterns, etc.).
The practical aspects of the project on the archaeological concessions in Egypt and the Sudan, especially in Abusir, will consist of projects with a specific focus, which will allow to better document phenomena that put the studied processes into motion. It will include above all the interdisciplinary exploration of funeral as well as settlement objects, written evidence, architecture, ecofacts, etc. The longterm activities of the archaeological missions in Egypt and the Sudan will include not only the excavations but also the conservation and restoration of objects and monuments on the sites, their protection, site-management and preservation of the world cultural heritage for future generations.