Ancient northeast African culture, archaeology, and history; texts and archaeology; political landscapes; the archaeology of individuals; the politics of biography; complex societies (ideologies of power, strategies of materialization, social transformations, political crisis); archaeology of mortuary behavior; the disciplinary history of Egyptology; cultural heritage.
Ph.D. 1992, University of Pennsylvania, Anthropology and Oriental Studies.
B.A. 1981, Northwestern University, Anthropology and French.
1979-80 Université de Paris-IV and l’École du Louvre, special student in
Egyptian art and archaeology (Sweetbriar College Junior Year Abroad).
Professor of Egyptology (2012-present), Department of Near Eastern Studies,
Society and Death in Ancient Egypt: Mortuary Landscapes of the Middle Kingdom. Cambridge
University Press, 2005 (Paperback edition, 2009).
Order, Legitimacy and Wealth in Ancient States. Co-editor with M. Van Buren. Cambridge
University Press, New Directions in Archaeology series, 2000.
ARTICLES AND CHAPTERS IN BOOKS
The myths of Osiris and Kamberap in cross-cultural comparison. Co-author with S. Kirsch. In E.
Frood, A. McDonald, and R. Parkinson (Eds.), Decorum and Experience: Essays in Ancient Culture for John Baines. Griffith Institute, Oxford. Forthcoming 2013.
Spatial and verbal rhetorics of power: constructing late Old Kingdom history. Journal of Egyptian
History 3 (2): 339-366. 2010.
Conservation and documentation in the Middle Cemetery: activities funded by the Antiquities
Endowment Grant. Bulletin of the American Research Center in Egypt 197: 9-16. 2010.
Honoring the ancestors: the Middle Kingdom in the Middle Cemetery. In Z. Hawass and J.
Houser Wegner (Eds.), Millions of Jubilees: Essays in Honor of David P. Silverman, 603-632. Supreme Council of Antiquities Press, Cairo. 2010.
Kingship and legitimation. In W. Wendrich (Ed.), Egyptian Archaeology, 55-84. Blackwell Global
Studies in Archaeology. Blackwell, Cambridge. 2010.
An archaeological biography. In Z. Hawass and J. Richards (Eds.), The Archaeology and Art of
Ancient Egypt: Essays in honor of David B. O’Connor,xxi-xxvi.Supreme Council of Antiquities Press, Cairo, 2007. 2nd edition 2009.
The archaeology of excavations and the role of context. In Z. Hawass and J. Richards (Eds.), The
Archaeology and Art of Ancient Egypt: Essays in honor of David B. O’Connor, 313-319. Supreme Council of Antiquities Press, Cairo. 2007.
The M50 group and the Abydos cemeteries during the Middle Kingdom. In K. Sowada and B. Ockinga
(Eds.), Egyptian Art in the Nicholson Museum, 249-258. Mediterranean Archaeology
Supplementary Volume, Sydney, Australia. 2006.
The loss and rediscovery of the Vizier Iuu at Abydos: magnetic survey in the Middle Cemetery
Co-author with T. Herbich. In E. Czerny (Ed.), Festschrift Manfred Bietak, 141-149. Denkschriften der Gesamtakademie, Vienna. 2005.
The Abydos cemeteries in the late Old Kingdom. In Z. Hawass (Ed.), Egyptology at the Dawn of the Twenty-First Century: Proceedings of the Eighth International Congress of Egyptologists, Cairo, 400-407. American University in Cairo Press, Cairo. 2003.
Text and context in late Old Kingdom Egypt: the archaeology and historiography of Weni the Elder.
Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 39: 75-102. 2002.
Time and memory in ancient Egyptian cemeteries: the dynamic history of ancient sites. Expedition: Magazine of the University of Pennsylvania Museum 44 (3): 16-24. 2002.
Introduction: ideology, wealth, and the comparative study of “civilizations.” Co-author with M.
Van Buren. In J. Richards and M. Van Buren (Eds.), Order, Legitimacy, and Wealth in Ancient
Modified order, responsive legitimacy, redistributed wealth: Egypt, 2260-2040 BC. In J. Richards and M. Van Buren (Eds.), Order, Legitimacy, and Wealth in Ancient States, 36-45. Cambridge University Press, New Directions in Archaeology series. 2000.
Conceptual landscapes in the Egyptian Nile Valley. In W. Ashmore and B. Knapp (Eds.), Archaeologies of Landscape: Contemporary Perspectives, 83-100.London, Blackwell. 1999.
Ancient Egyptian mortuary practice and the study of socio-economic differentiation. In J. Lustig (Ed.),
Anthropology and Egyptology: A Developing Dialogue, 33-42. Monographs in Mediterranean Archaeology, Sheffield Press. 1998.
Preserving Eternity: Modern Goals, Ancient Intentions. Egyptian Funerary Artifacts at the Kelsey
Museum of Archaeology. Co-editor with T. G. Wilfong. Kelsey Museum of Archaeology. 1995.
Director, University of Michigan Middle Cemetery Project, Abydos, Egypt, late Old
Kingdom provincial mortuary and political landscape. 1995-present.
Topographic survey and architectural/ceramic analysis, November-December 1995,
Excavation Supervisor, Pennsylvania-Yale Expedition Early Dynastic Project, Abydos, Egypt, 1986.
Excavation Supervisor, University of Toronto Expedition to East Karnak, Luxor, Egypt, 1985.
Excavation Supervisor, British Mission to Tel el-Amarna, Egypt, 1985.
Epigrapher, Pennsylvania-Yale Expedition to Abydos, Egypt, 1985.
Student, Northwestern Archaeological Field School, Kampsville, Illinois, 1983.
Scheduled exhibitions in planning:
“Unearthing Dendera: life and death in the ancient Egyptian provinces.” Date TBD (As part of Mellon Foundation Collection Sharing Project initiated through University of Pennsylvania Museum (consortium includes Michael C. Carlos Museum/Emory University, Barnes Foundation, Dumbarton Oaks, Princeton Art Museum, Winterthur, Kelsey Museum). Spring 2011-present.
“Discovery: excavating the ancient world.” Meader Special Exhibition Gallery, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology; Curator. August-November 2013.
“Life and death in the Pyramid Age: the Emory Old Kingdom mummy.” Michael C.
Carlos Museum, Emory University. Consultant. September-December 2011.
Participant in podcast: “The Emory Old Kingdom mummy,” http://carlos.emory.edu/podcasts
Fisher Fund of the Michigan Community Foundation, $120,000 (2001-present); for Abydos Middle
Cemetery Project research.
American Research Center in Egypt Antiquities Endowment Fund, $21,952; for Abydos Middle
Cemetery Project 2009.
National Geographic Society, $20,000 for Abydos Middle Cemetery Project. 2001.
SELECTED CONFERENCES AND INVITED LECTURES
“Life writing within landscapes of power and myth: Weni the Elder at Abydos.” Invited paper at
international conference “Ancient Egyptian Biographies: Form, Contexts, Functions.” Basel,
Switzerland 14-17 May 2014.
“Myth, politics, and biography in the ancient Egyptian Nile Valley.” Ellen Maria Gorrissen Lecture,
American Academy in Berlin, April 2014.
“Die narrativen Strukturen des politischen Gedächtnisses im alten Ägypten.” Head to Head
event with Prof. Gerald Moers, University of Vienna. Literaturhaus Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany, March 2014.
“Learning in Museums.” Joint lecture with Suzanne Davis, Kelsey Museum Conservator. Cultural
Program of The Grand Egyptian Museum, Cairo. April 2012.
“Writing ancient lives: people, politics, and piety in the Egyptian Nile Valley.” Trinity College,
“Abydos: l’archéologie d’un paysage politique.” Musée du Louvre, Paris, February 2010.
“After Amarna: Tutantkhamen, Horemheb, and ancient Egyptian responses to political crisis.”
DeYoung Museum, San Francisco, November 2009.
“The biography of people and places: constructing late Old Kingdom history.” Invited paper at
workshop “In search of Egypt’s past: problems and perspectives of the historiography of ancient Egypt,” University of British Columbia, Vancouver, April 2008.
“Politics and provinces.” Brinkley Lecture on Ancient Greece and Egypt, College of William and
Mary, October 2007.
Co-Organizer, Third German American Frontiers of Humanities Symposium, “The Making of
Memory: Space · Performance · Appropriation;” Co-chair, Egypt session: “Colonial Origins, Post-colonial Realities: the study of Egypt past and present.” Sponsored by the American Philosophical Society, U.S.A., and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany. Philadelphia, 12-15 October 2006.
Macquarie University, Sydney; Monash University, Melbourne; Western Australia Museum, Perth;
Presbyterian Ladies College, Perth: “Society in Middle Kingdom art;” “A landscape of people, politics, and piety: Abydos in the Old and Middle Kingdoms;” “The lost tomb of Weni the Elder;” “Women archaeologists in the Middle East;” “Fieldwork in the Middle East: method, theory, and politics”
“Individuals, time and memory.” Invited lecture, Annual Sackler Conference of the British Museum, July 11-12, 2002.