Institut français d’archéologie orientale (IFAO)

Areas of Focus:
Address: 37, al-Cheikh Ali Youssef ٍStreet, P.O. Box 11562
Qasr al-Aïny 11441
Phone: + 20 22 79 71 600
Public Hours:
9am - 5:30pm from Sunday to Thursday

Mission Statement

The French Institute for Oriental Archaeology (IFAO) in Cairo is one of the major French research centres abroad and falls under the aegis of the Ministry of Education (National, Higher and Research).


The institute’s mission is to study the successive civilisations of Egypt from prehistory until the modern era. The disciplines involved are archaeology, history, and language studies. The excavation sites of the IFAO cover all eras (prehistory, Pharaonic Egypt, antiquity, the Islamic period) and they are situated throughout Egypt (Nile valley, Delta, oases, Eastern and Western Desert, Sinai and the Red Sea). Research themes may concern a restricted time period or may take the longer view, one part of Egypt or the entire country, the Near East as a region or even in comparative studies between East and West. Research is often multi-disciplinary.


A diverse team of 150 members, both Egyptian and French, facilitates such activities, and in addition to normal staff, technicians and engineers, six academic fellows hold permanent positions within the Institute. Numerous researchers, teachers on research sabbaticals, interns from leading French graduate schools as well as holders of scholarships (doctoral and post-doc) are welcomed for one or two months per year.


Different service departments support these research activities:

A library of roughly 90,000 volumes specialised in the fields of Egyptology, papyrology, Classical, Byzantine, Coptic and Arabic studies.

An archives holding the photographic and scientific records of all the Institute’s excavations since 1971, as well as certain from before that year, plus a map library of some 3000 items belonging to 80 different series.
Laboratories for restoration, material analysis, and C14 dating; specialist units dedicated to ceramology,photography and illustration, topography and IT.

The Institute has its own publishing house with printing press and this service publishes around 30 scholarly works each year.

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