Meet the Team:

John & Maria are currently carrying out archaeological works at the vast New Kingdom necropolis of Gebel el-Silsila, south of Luxor on the River Nile, which includes fascinating historical sites such as a large family cemetery & the recently rediscovered Temple of Kheny. They started the Gebel el-Silsila Project in 2012, the only Swedish-led archaeological mission in Egypt, spanning over 30 square km2 & 10,000 years of human activity & involving a team of more than 100 people. John & Maria are the founding trustees for the Friends of Silsila, a charitable organization that aims to continue to support & fund archaeological expeditions to this historical site.

Dr. Maria Nilsson

Having known her goal in life since childhood, Swedish Archaeologist & Egyptologist Dr. Maria Nilsson is a researcher by heart: she lives & breathes archaeology & research & she is truly passionate about her work, her team & her family. Maria shares her life’s passion with her husband & research partner, John Ward, who live with their family in Sweden & Egypt. Maria has made numerous appearances on international TV, radio & print media to spread the word about their team’s many exciting finds at Gebel el-Silsila, where she currently serves as Mission Director. Maria has also been a National Geographic Explorer since 2015 & an Explorers Club Fellow since 2018.

John Ward

John Ward is a British archaeologist with over a decade’s experience living & working in Egypt with his wife, Swedish archaeologist Dr. Maria Nilsson. Since 2012, John has served as Assistant Director of the extensive archaeological dig site of Gebel el-Silsila. John is a familiar face in the world of media, having recently appeared with Maria on National Geographic’s “Egypt’s Treasure Guardians” as well as the Travel Channel’s “Expedition Unknown” & the Science Channel’s “Unearthed”. John is also a National Geographic Explorer & an Explorers Club Fellow.