Marcel and Monica:

Writing about the history of Egyptology


The History of Our Website


Marcel:

After my first visit to Egypt in 1998, I felt the country had won me over. Soon after I started my first website (in Dutch) called, “All about Egypt”. Quite quickly, a couple of things became clear to me: It’s impossible to tell “all” about Egypt’s history: Most Egyptologists have a general knowledge of Egyptian civilization but specialise in certain areas. Since I did not study Egyptology, I lacked most of the background necessary to write an article.

I realized I had to upgrade my knowledge of most, if not all, subjects relating to ancient Egypt if I wanted to publish articles with any scientific merit, and that this would take time. Time that I was more than willing to devote to my greatest passion – the history of ancient Egypt.

After a couple of years (and the start-up of a rather amateur website called kingtut.nl), I met Dutch Egyptologist Huub Pragt. Pragt liked some of the articles on my website but had doubts about others. He convinced me my website had a future so long as I stuck to the facts instead of just writing down everything I heard and/or read. As a result, I decided to change course: I registered a new domain concerned with the ancient name for Egypt (www.kemet.nl). By introducing new scientifically-based articles and removing questionable ones, my website was given a boost. I wanted kemet.nl to become the leading website in the Dutch language for those who wanted to know more about the history and civilization of ancient Egypt.

And it worked like a charm! The site Kemet.nl was visited, quoted and referred to by many. Even school teachers used the information I provided for their classes. The new direction was the result of the considerable time I spent on research, writing and design (on average four hours per day!). But time was not an issue back then, since I was single with only one real hobby — writing about ancient Egypt. Then, in March 2006, everything changed – I met the love of my life, Monica – in Egypt, of all places! As a result, in August of the same year I moved from Valkenswaard (in the south of Holland) to ‘t Veld In the north to be with my Monica! In The Netherlands we say “business comes before the lady”, but in my case Monica comes first! So I began to spend less time on the website, and eventually turned it over to Huub Pragt. I gave Huub the domain kemet.nl as a token of my appreciation for all the help he had given me and in the end the website re-appeared with a new owner, new articles and a new publication team.

But by 2009 I was getting twitchy; I wanted to start something new, but this time it would be a joint project for Monica and myself. Also, I wanted to limit ourselves to three subjects, those which would…

  • appeal to laymen as well as students and experts
  • be interesting to the casual site visitor
  • could be researched and written by someone without a degree in Egyptology.

Finally, we decided upon our subjects:

  1. Excavation Houses in EgyptMany excavation teams working in Egypt have houses where they stay throughout their seasons. Many of these houses are very old and contain the history of the excavations of the adjoining sites. Some of them are completely gone, the only record of their existence the photographs and letters of the inhabitants. We hope to investigate these houses and post everything we can find out about them. Maybe you can help!
  2. Expand Biographies of EgyptologistsAlthough much has been written about Egyptologists, past and present, we would like to add to their biographies by delving into their lives even further. Do you have any information we can add to our website? If so, please let us know.
  3. Search for Early Photographs of Egypt.Ever since photography was invented, it was widely used in Egypt, including on excavations. We want to find early photographs, detect the locations and objects photographed, and show them in their current state.

Epilogue:

After a year of pursuing the above, Marcel and Monica found that researching the history of dig houses took up most, if not all, of our time, so unfortunately the other two subjects fell into abeyance, but are not abandoned. If, in future, we become more organised and have more time available, we hope to continue to pursue these topics.

Marcel and Monica Maessen

‘t Veld, 25th July 2009


And now, on July 4th, 2014, we took the next step:

As of that day, the t3.wy Project has officially become the “t3.wy Foundation for Historical Research in Egyptology

Marcel and Monica Maessen

‘t Veld, 14th July 2014

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