Many people contributed to the appearance of this volume. First should be recognized Mrs. Phoebe Apperson Hearst whose patronage of the young Egyptologist George Andrew Reisner enabled the excavations at this site, and many others, to occur. George Reisner and Arthur Mace, the principal excavators at Naga ed-Deir, were among the early practitioners of scientific method in the field of Egyptian archaeology. Without their meticulous labor in the field, both in terms of excavation and recording, we would not have been able to reconstruct and analyze their work in this volume. The remainder of our archaeological forebearers are the Egyptian, American, and British team members who worked these two cemeteries at Naga ed-Deir, N 2000 and N 2500. Many of their names are lost to us, but their efforts to preserve and record this material make them our partner contributors to this volume. We should also recognize those whose material this book publishes: the ancient people of Naga ed-Deir whose cultural practices have, millennia later, enriched our lives.
Among the living, this project owes its existence to Ben Porter, Director of The Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, who suggested that I assemble a team to publish some of the Naga ed-Deir material. Such an enormous project could not have been accomplished without the help of the wonderful staff at the Hearst Museum, including Michael Black, Katie Fleming, Leslie Freund, Natasha Johnson, Rafael Magdaleno, Adam Nilsen, Sharyn O’Keefe, Paolo Pellegatti, Martina Smith, and Linda Waterfield. Chris Hoffman of UC Berkeley organized the 3D imaging of artifacts, which can be viewed in the museum galleries. All artifacts from the Hearst Museum collection published here can also be viewed in greater detail and with color photos in the online portal (https://portal.hearstmuseum.berkeley.edu/). Information can also be found online on Open Context (https://doi.org/10.6078/M75D8PZX).
The tireless efforts of Joan Knudsen, Nancy Corbin, and Bob Bussey in reconstructing Reisner’s photographic record is one of the great accomplishments of archival work. Their painstaking work matched artifacts in the Hearst Museum collection to artifacts portrayed in photographs staged by the original excavators’ and taken in the field. I especially thank Joan for her incredible generosity in sharing her photographic database with me so that I could easily locate the images relevant to these cemeteries. This publication would have been far less robust without those photographs. Carol Redmount provided an enormous amount of help at a critical time in the project’s trajectory. Preston Staley’s work preserving Reisner’s notes at the Hearst Museum was of invaluable assistance to this project. It is a shame that he was not around when this project was in full swing at the Hearst Museum, because it would have been fun to collaborate.
At the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, great thanks goes to Susan Allen, Larry Berman, Denise Doxey, and Rita Freed for their assistance and support in publishing the materials from Naga ed-Deir that are in that collection, as well as their help navigating the intricacies of the records stored in their archive. Also in that regard, Peter Der Manuelian and Ed Brovarski, with their vast troves of knowledge about George Reisner, his work, and the site of Naga ed-Deir, were always ready to lend an ear to my latest conundrum.
Friends old and new contributed to this book in many ways. In this project’s formative days, Renee Friedman and Peter Lacovara both provided critical start-up and planning assistance. The Coptic inscription over the monastery door gave me an opportunity to enlist the help of my old friend Jennifer Westerfeld who shared her expertise by reviewing the copy of the Coptic text in Mace’s unpublished manuscript. Amr Shahat helped me understand some of Mace’s field Arabic. Ayman Damarany’s care and effort in taking site photographs has greatly enhanced this publication. Natasha Ayers gave me critical guidance on the ceramics catalogue and looked over those drawings. I really appreciate the time she spent improving the presentation of ceramics in this volume. Without Jolanda Bos’s advice and instruction, the analysis of the beads and pendants would not have been possible. I thank her for her friendship and for sharing her expansive knowledge with me. Eric Kansa and Sarah Kansa are wonderful people to work with, and I am so happy to have gotten to know them through this project. Students at UC Berkeley who contributed to this project include Lindsay Howard, Kea Johnston, Andrea Miloslavic, Brooke Norton, Alexandra Perkins, and Jocelyn Simlick. Andrea and Jocelyn worked tirelessly with me on all manner of things, including beads, wrappings, museum display cases, maps, and reams and reams of documentation: paper, photographic, and electronic. They never complained about any of the work despite the fact that the beads were always their favorites. They are both boss.
At Brill, Katie Chin, Erika Mandarino, and Carina van den Hoven are a pleasure to work with. Peter Der Manuelian’s vision for an Egyptological series with a broad focus is much appreciated. Finally, I most heartily thank The Shelby White and Leon Levy Program for Archaeological Publication without whose generous support this book and the accompanying digital material would not exist. For this project, they are the omega to Mrs. Hearst’s alpha, and their commitment to the publication of archaeological material is a true gift to the world.