Conservation of Coptic paintings and inscriptions decorating the caves of the Hamâm Farâun site (Sinai, Egypt)

Programme start: 2010

CICRP: Jean-Marc Vallet

Partnership(s): Leiden University, University of Amsterdam, Supreme Council of Antiquities

The purpose of the Hamâm Farâun project is to take an inventory of and preserve all the decorated caves discovered on this site since 2004. They are decorated with Coptic paintings, symbols and inscriptions dating to the 7th century AD.

They are situated on the edge of the Red Sea, in a hydrothermal context resulting in the circulation of saline solutions in the limestone fractures in the form of liquid or vapor. These solutions, particularly rich in sulfates, circulate at temperatures above 40°C (air temperature taken at the back of a cave).

The programme must also establish a protocol for their conservation.