The archaeological site today known as Helwan 1 Ezbet el-Walda was first explored during the 1930s by the Swede H. Larsen who excavated and published half a dozen tombs (Larsen 1940a, 1940b). However, most evidence of this vast Early Dynastic necropolis was uncovered by the Egyptian archaeologist Z. Saad between 1942 and 1954, Over at least 12 seasons of excavations he uncovered more than 10.000 graves which he dated to the First and Second Dynasty (Saad 1942-1969). More archaeological activities took place during the 1960s and 70s by the Egyptian Antiquities Organisation (el-Banna 1990, Adeeb 1991), but the site remained largely unexplored until 1997 when the Australian Center for Egyptology at Macquarie University in Sydney resumed investigations. This new work has been carried out over five seasons thus far and has not only confirmed the importance of this site for the history and material culture of the Early Dynastic Period in general and the region of Memphis in particular, but it has also demonstrated the urgency of archaeological excavation as Helwan's significant remains are threatened by the urban sprawl of modern Cairo.
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|Published - 2003