Following nine months of delay, an American-Egyptian mission responsible for lowering ground water at archaeological sites in Luxor resumed its work today. The project aims to decrease the subterranean water level that has affected the foundation stones of five temples in Luxor: Karnak and Luxor temples on the east bank, and Seti I, the Ramessium, and Merneptah and Haremhab on the west bank.

Today, to mark the resumption, the secretary generalof the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Amine, U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson, Governor of Luxor Ezzat Saad, and the head of the National Authority for Drinking Water and Sanitation Mohamed Mohsen inaugurated the project.

The project, which was established in 2007 at a cost of LE50 million and is funded by USAID, aims at reducing the subterranean water under these temples by channelling it into a huge reservoir connected to the main Luxor city drainage system.

Amine told Ahram Online that this reservoir will be able to gather 1,100 cubic metres of water every hour. He added that archaeologists will monitor the structural integrity of these temples in order to restore any damage that could have occurred to any of the temples’ blocks.

Collaborative work between the Council and USAID started in 1993, when almost 70 archaeological projects were conducted in different fields of excavation, restoration and training for curators.