Published online by Cambridge University Press: 15 May 2015
The Egypt Exploration Society's Survey of Memphis was begun in 1982, the aim being to provide a full documentation for the past study of a much-neglected national capital of the ancient near east: indeed, as the authors of this article remark, ‘A history of ancient Egypt which omitted Memphis would be like a history of ancient Italy which omitted Rome’. The programme of investigation is being undertaken in the face of encroaching agricultural and residential development, and an ever-rising water table. Excavation may be regarded as auxiliary to broader survey and environmental questions. The authors are Professor Harry Smith, Edwards Professor of Egyptology, who has worked in Egypt for the last 30 years, including the groundwork for the Unesco-backed Nubian survey in the 1960s; and David Jeffreys (Research Assistant at UCL) who has worked for 16 years on sites in the UK, Egypt, Syria and Jordan.