ASA Restoration Project
(Asa G. Hilliard, III South Asasif Restoration Project)
The ASA Restoration Project was established in 2008 to honor the work of Dr. Asa G. Hilliard, III and support the archeological research of Dr. Elena Pischikova and the South Asasif Conservation Project which she directs.
Dr. Hilliard was an educational psychologist, master teacher, author and historian who was internationally recognized for his outstanding scholarship. Dr. Hilliard conducted primary research on the history of Kemet (ancient Egypt) for over 3 decades. He was a founding member of the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilization (ASCAC) and led thousands of educators and laypersons on annual study tours to Egypt and West Africa.
Dr. Pischikova is an Egyptologist and an authority on Egyptian and Kushite Art of the Late Kingdom (740 - 332 BCE). In 2006, Dr. Pischikova discovered two 25th Dynasty tombs of Kushite nobles, Karakhamun and Karabasken, and the 26th Dynasty tomb of an Egyptian noble named Irtieru. These tombs were found on the west bank of Luxor, Egypt in an area known as South Asasif. Dr. Pischikova's discoveries helped establish a cultural relationship between the Kushite rulers of the 25th Dynasty (740 - 657 BCE) and the pyramid builders of Dynasties 3 - 6 who lived 2000 years earlier. She is one of a small group of Egyptologists who acknowledges that the ancient Egyptians were of African descent and that the Kushites were their descendents and contemporaries.
Anthony Browder was introduced to Dr. Pischikova during the summer of 2008. While touring the excavation sites he immediately recognized the importance of her discoveries and made a commitment to support her work. A decision was made to support the South Asasif Conservation Project and simultaneously honor the memory of Dr. Hilliard who had transitioned while in Egypt the previous year. With the blessing of the Hilliard family the ASA Restoration Project was born.
The ASA Restoration Project has funded the South Asasif excavations for the 2009 and 2010 seasons and coordinated tours for three excavation missions. Our efforts represent the first time in history that African Americans have financed and participated in an Egyptian archeological excavation. Currently we are financing the conservation of the tombs of Karabasken and Irtieru, and excavating, conserving and restoring the tomb of Karakhamun. The 2010 excavation earned us recognition from the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities when we discovered the burial chamber of Karakhamun at the bottom of a 26ft deep burial shaft.
The burial chamber contained the mummified remains of two adults and a child and the ceiling was decorated with numerous astrological scenes and a wonderful depiction of the sky goddess Nut.
We anxiously look forward to the 2011 season when we continue our excavations under ground in Karakhamun's burial chamber, and above ground as we explore the tomb's entrance and 2nd pillared hall. We are encouraged by the incredible progress we've made since 2009 but there is still much more excavating to do and many more discoveries to be found. We are appreciative of all of the physical and financial support we have received and look forward to others continuing to support our efforts.