The Czech Institute of Egyptology at Charles University’s Faculty of Arts is launching a new trademark to designate products and technologies able to tackle “extreme conditions” found at the institute’s archaeological concession in Abusir, Egypt and expeditions in Sudan.
The institute explained this week that the trademark would cover everything from technical equipment to clothing and footwear; entitled Proven in the Desert, the trademark should prove synonymous with excellent performance in very tough conditions.
For many of us, Egypt remains a sought holiday destination, a place to kick back by the sea while sipping on a cold beverage and watch the waves roll in. But that’s maybe not the first thing that comes to mind for Czech archaeologists, who spend roughly three months at a time, twice a year, working in extremely dry, dusty and stifling conditions – under the hot sun and within archaeological sites.
Czech archaeologists at Abusir famously uncovered a necropolis that can be tough to work in, to put it mildly. Veronika Dulíková of the Czech Institute of Egyptology points out that some burial chambers and shafts lie as deep as 20 metres below ground - and that’s not all:
"In the areas where Czech archaeologists work in Egypt, it is often more than 45 °C in the shade. In the spring, there are frequent sandstorms. Demanding conditions also exist in the shafts and burial chambers in which we work. Apart from the cramped space… we are also struggling with 100% air humidity and the absence of natural ventilation.”
Firms themselves have seen the potential in testing products in extreme conditions since the start of Czech archaeological digs in Egypt in the early 1960s, testing, for example canned meat products. In recent years, archaeologists tested footwear and clothing as well as ventilation systems. Coming up with a brand trademark was the next logical step and last October Charles University applied to register Proven in the Desert together with its Centre for Knowledge and Technology Transfer, a process that was completed in July, 2019.
Scientists and specialists at Abusir include Czech Egyptologists, archaeologists, conservationists, anthropologists, photographers and others, all of whom are prepared to test products in daily use in local conditions. Only those products that truly excel in the field will receive the “Proven in the Desert” designation - a guarantee of quality that consumers will come to recognize..
By Jan Velinger and Marcela Uhlíková
Additional material: The Czech Institute of Egyptology
Photographs: Archive of the Czech Institute of Egyptology
Date: 14. 8. 2019