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Kent R. Weeks


The study of Egyptology has produced many luminary scholars since its beginning in the early nineteenth century. From the linguistic genius of Jeans-Francois Champollin to the colorful exploits of Howard Carter, Egyptologists have given modern Westerners a plethora of information on ancient Egyptian history and how the ancient Egyptian lived. In recent years in the United States, Kent Weeks has proven to be on the vanguard of Egyptology, finding important tombs and leading a mapping project of the west bank of Thebes.

Weeks is originally from Washington where he obtained his Masters Degree from the University of Washington in 1965. He then went on to work on archeological digs in the Middle East before receiving his Ph.D. in Egyptology from Yale University in 1970. Weeks then went on to work at several universities before taking the post of Professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo in 1988, which he holds to this day. 

In 1978, Weeks began his project of mapping the Theban West Bank, appropriately calling it the Theban Mapping Project.  New (and old) methods have been used in the project such as photographs from hot air balloons and ground based advanced photography techniques.

The project is continuous and has produced a wealth of archeological information and helped to generate interest in the general field of Egyptology among the public. One of the largest finds of the project has been the rediscovery of Valley of the Kings number five (KV5).

KV5 revealed the tombs of the sons of Ramses II. The discovery of KV5 has helped Weeks and his team uncover mummies, jewelry, and other artifacts that have helped advance Egyptology into the twenty first century. Weeks wrote a book entitled The Lost Tomb, published in 1998, that details many of the findings of KV5. Weeks continues to be active in the field of Egyptology, dividing his time on the Theban Mapping Project with speaking engagements at universities around the United States.

As the study of Egyptology evolves and moves into the twenty first century Dr. Kent Weeks will no doubt be one of the leaders in its study. Today students learn the names of Champollin, Carter, and Belzoni as being pioneers in Egyptology; tomorrows students may well learn the name of Weeks as a great innovator in the field.





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Written by Students in an Introduction to Anthropology Class, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Minnesota

Edited by Marcy L. Voelker, 2007

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