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Management plan for the World Heritage Site of Memphis and its Necropolis
Work scope : Management Plan

Year : 2023
Giza Governorate, Egypt

Memphis and its Necropolis - The Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur, represents one of the most unique sites on both local and international levels. The cultural significance of the site stems from three key features:

Tangible Cultural Heritage: Memphis and its Necropolis is a World Heritage Property that was inscribed as a cultural site in (1979), under the criterion (i)(iii)(vi). The property covers an area of 163.5852 square kilometers. It includes many significant attributes such as:

  • The archaeological site of “Manf” or Memphis, Egypt’s historic capital. It contains many archaeological sites, such as the remains of temples, palaces, workshops, and shipyards. The site also includes the remains of residential areas and other sites reflecting the various aspects of Egyptian city life. Memphis is currently included within the current village of Mit Rahina, and so many of its attributes may be hidden under the current settlement.

 

  • The Memphis Necropolis contains several archaeological sites, including rock tombs, mud-brick mastabas, temples, and pyramids that compose funerary complexes along the sections of the necropolis in Giza plateau, Zawyet El Aryan, Abu Ghurab, Abusir, Saqqara, and Dahshur; these sections reflect the continuity of the necropolis through Egypt’s history from the Old Kingdom era to the Coptic civilization era. 

 

  • Other historical monuments such as the remains of the Apa Jeremiah monastery, dig-houses that date back to the early age of excavations in the 19th century, and many significant architectural structures that belong to the early 20th century.

Intangible cultural heritage associated with property and its direct setting, which is represented in: 

  • Date palm, knowledge, skills, traditions, and practices inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2022.
  • Handmade weaving in Upper Egypt, inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (in Need of Urgent Safeguarding) in 2020.
  • Social practices, and ceremonies (horse dancing, wooding, celebrations and gatherings in Dahshur).

Significant Natural environment: represented in the natural elements contained in the property such as the Topography of the desert plateau, The remains of Lake Abu Sir, and Date Palm Fields.

World Heritage Property is protected on a national level under the law of Antiquities (No 117/ Year1983). It is managed primarily by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MOTA). Many other governmental institutions, private sector bodies, NGOs, and local communities represent the key stakeholders of the property. Other significant features within the direct setting of the property such as intangible heritage and natural environment are managed separately by other governmental institutions.

The management Plan's Intellectual approach

The management plan for Memphis and its Necropolis adopts a comprehensive methodology concerning the strategies, principles, guidelines, and standards governing the plan. Yet, it deals with each component of the site with a specific for its characteristics, preservation, management, and development requirements, considering the integration between those requirements and plan priorities.

Our methodology for developing a management plan is based on:

  • Recognition and protection of both outstanding universal and national values.
  • Integrating cultural and natural heritage protection in a broader development framework, taking into consideration all the standards and governing legislation, foremost of which is the World Heritage Convention.
  • Integrating sustainable development goals into the site management plans through achieving the balance between cultural, economic, social, and environmental demands. 
  • Adopting Historic Urban Landscape methodology, through a comprehensive approach that combines the goals of urban & socio-economic development with heritage conservation. This approach considers the urban heritage as an asset for the social, cultural, and economic development of cities to conserve the human environment with all its tangible and intangible aspects.

Memphis and its Necropolis Management plan is intended to represent the site as an open record of history, extending over periods of the ancient Egyptian civilization. its key objective is to enhance the property’s potential contribution to the national and international sustainable development vision through preserving its cultural heritage values on local national and international levels, protecting the natural environment, and supporting the fulfillment of urban, social, and economic development needs.

The management plan is designed to achieve its objectives through: 

Balanced Representation of Values through the Development of a holistic vision reflecting the aspirations of the community and its values as well as providing a strategic approach for the conservation of the cultural and natural heritage of the World Heritage Site.

Comprehensive Identification of the property’s Significant layers of cultural and natural values and attributes with its wider context including notably the site’s topography, geomorphology, hydrology and natural features, its built environment, both historic and contemporary, its infrastructures above and below ground, its open spaces and gardens, its land use patterns and spatial organization, perceptions, and visual relationships, as well as all other elements of the urban structure. It also includes social and cultural practices and values, economic processes, and the intangible dimensions of heritage as related to diversity and identity. 

Sustainability Enhancement through the integration of heritage conservation goals and those of social and economic development taking into consideration: 

  • Social inclusion and active participation
  • Environmental protection
  • The preservation of the human environment quality, 
  • Enhancing the productive and sustainable use of urban spaces
  • Recognizing their dynamic character 
  • Promoting social and functional diversity.

The Vision

“Memphis and its Necropolis, A complete record of history, urbanization, and creativity of ancient Egypt’s capital, from its beginnings to the Middle Ages, offers both the visitor and resident the experience of rediscovering the successive layers of the past, contributes effectively to the development of the present and establishes a future with an authentic identity for people and place.

The plan aims to raise the efficiency of efforts to manage and preserve the site and work on defining, preserving, and displaying the site’s outstanding universal values, local cultural and natural values, and planning for integration between these efforts and the requirements of sustainable development locally and internationally. The management plan provides frameworks, guidelines, and procedures to help concerned parties understand and protect the site and its universal and local values to preserve and sustainably develop the site as an integrated whole and not as separate areas.

Project components:

The management plan development process included

  • Conducting baseline studies including National value assessment, Heritage attributes identification, condition assessment, management effectiveness assessment, and needs analysis.
  • Developing a comprehensive management plan strategies.
  • Developing conservation, sustainable development, management, and governance executive policies.
  • Development of Action Plan, and Monitoring Plan.