Noran Hamed - 2019 - Complete- University of Southampton PhD Scholar

Being passionate about archaeology since I was nine and having a lifetime dream of being an archaeologist encouraged me to get a BA in Egyptology from Ain Shams University – Cairo in 2008. Then, I received an MA in Cultural Heritage Management from Université Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne in 2015. Later, in 2019, I completed a postgraduate diploma in Maritime Archaeology from Alexandria University. After graduation in 2008, I joined the Archaeological Database Department, established by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in the Grand Egyptian Museum project as an archaeological content specialist until 2012. In 2017, I started an academic career as an Assistant Lecturer at Université Française d’Egypte, where I was also involved as a researcher in several international research projects. In 2022, I joined the Faculty of Archaeology – Ain Shams University’s staff as an Assistant Lecturer.

In August 2019, I was awarded an HFF scholarship to start my doctoral research at the University of Southampton. I combined my experience and study to develop a research topic focusing on heritage preservation and public interpretation of the Red Sea heritage. The maritime archaeological sites along the western coast of the Red Sea in Egypt connected form an important archive of the early maritime activity in this area over several periods from the ancient Egyptian Old Kingdom (c. 2500 B.C.) to modern history. My research, finished in 2023, is concerned with looking into the Red Sea heritage sites together for the first time from a management perspective and exploring the potential of public presentation and interpretation of these sites as a tool for preservation and development by defining the main archaeological resources, their condition and their potential for display. Then, survey how the different stakeholders conceive of their heritage. Finally, it suggests convenient management strategies through comparison with similar case studies to ensure sustainable archaeological heritage management of the heritage resources to achieve better community outreach of the area’s maritime heritage, help involve the local community in the preservation process and raise public awareness to safeguard the Red Sea heritage. The research aims to help promote a new perspective on maritime heritage studies in Egypt and the eastern Mediterranean, considering the complete process of heritage management, not only identification, excavations and analysis, but going beyond to considering the sustainable preservation and public presentation of the heritage resources.

My PhD trip faced several challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic a few months after I started my doctoral candidature. Many cancelled fieldwork plans, lockdowns and travel restrictions, and health problems due to COVID-19 infection all led to many delays in my research timetable. However, I managed to join the French archaeological missions in two sites of my case studies: Wadi Jarf and Ain Sokhna. During this excavation work, I developed more fieldwork skills. Also, I conducted some independent public outreach activities, spreading awareness of the Red Sea heritage sites while collecting my research’s qualitative data, creating a public poster at one of the sites and recommending the creation of a virtual tour for another site, “Berenike” which turned into a project by Dr Mariusz Gwiazda, funded by the HFF and soon to be published. Moreover, I had the chance to disseminate my research through different conferences (NAS Annual Conference 2021, MAGS 2021, IKUWA7, Red Sea Project X and Under the Mediterranean II) and an online public talk (MARE 13). Furthermore, in 2023, I participated in organising the 3rd Annual Congress of the Faculty of Archaeology – Ain Shams University on Rooting Egyptian Maritime Heritage in Cairo, through which I coordinated the first collaboration between the Honor Frost Foundation and Ain Shams University to disseminate research in Egyptian maritime heritage.
Having finished my doctoral trip, I am looking forward to my academic career, during which I hope to extend knowledge about maritime heritage management to younger enthusiasts through university teaching and research projects.

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