The Antinoupolis Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to recovering and preserving the ancient City of Antinous through archaeology, conservation and education. The Foundation funds certain specific archaeological field projects at Antinoupolis conducted by the Istituto Papirologico "G. Vitelli" of the University of Florence, Italy under the direction of Dr. Rosario Pintaudi and with the cooperation of the Egyptian Ministry of State for Antiquities. We were incorporated as a charity in January of 2011 and are based in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Our board of directors meets each summer to evaluate the previous year's work and to review and approve the plan for the coming year. We produce a yearly newsletter, "The Antinoupolis Oracle," and we contribute the findings from our funded projects to the University of Florence's publication series.
In January of 2012 we began our first work at the site: a geophysical survey of selected areas around the city to pinpoint archaeological remains to prioritize and direct future work. Our geophysical survey stretched through four years, and the results have provided sufficient (and exciting!) information to direct our archaeological efforts for many years to come. The first work we undertook as a result of the geophysical survey was a sample excavation of the cemetery we suspected (and have found to be) the cemetery of some of the first settlers of Antinoupolis in the mid-late second century AD. This work was undertaken on a salvage basis since the villagers of el Sheikh Abada continue to bulldoze the ancient cemetery and construct plots for a new, modern cemetery atop the old. The results of three season's excavation in this (as we have termed) "North Roman Necropolis" have provided the material for a monograph which is in production now and will be part of the expedition's publication series. More recently we have turned our attention to the monumental architecture of the central city, and in two excavation campaigns we have located a truly massive (approximately 200 meters in length, width unknown) precinct of Roman - likely Hadrianic - architecture including limestone and granite elements in the pharaonic Egyptian and classical styles. After two seasons, we are still at the beginning of our understanding of this complex. But we look forward to sharing the results with you here as we continue to excavate and study its remains.
James B. Heidel, President, The Antinoupolis Foundation
Mr. Heidel created the Foundation in 2011 to sponsor specific archaeological projects at Antinoupolis as part of the University of Florence, Italy archaeological expedition. As a member of this expedition he has a blast doing everything from pottery reconstruction and object photography to reconstruction drawings of architectural fragments and assemblies. In his role as Foundation president, he supervises expedition projects the Foundation funds. He has an MArch from the University of Virginia, and his day job is architect / epigraphic artist for the University of Chicago's archaeological expedition to Luxor, Egypt known as Chicago House.
Fathy Awad, Archaeologist
Mr. Awad was born and raised in the village of el Sheikh Abada adjacent to the site of Antinoupolis. Archaeology has been a fascination since childhood, and after training as an archaeologist with the Giza Archaeological Field School under Dr. Mohsen el Kamal and Dr. Mark Lehner, Mr. Awad joined the University of Florence expedition at Antinoupolis. He also excavates with the German archaeological mission at Tuna el Gebel.
Hamada Kellawy, Archaeologist
Mr. Kellawy is from Deir el Mawas, one of the villages at the famous ancient site of Tel el Amarna and also grew up with a strong archaeological interest. After training at the Giza Archaeological Field School under Dr. Mohsen el Kamal and Dr. Mark Lehner, Mr. Kellawy worked as archaeologist in the Valley of the Kings and at the Ptolemaic site of Akoris with the Japanese expedition. Currently he works as archeologist with the University of Florence expedition at Antinoupolis.