Associate Professor
Classics, Ancient History & Egyptology
Telephone: (01792) 513104
Room: Office - 111
First Floor
Keir Hardie Building
Singleton Campus

I am an Associate Professor of Egyptology at Swansea University, and Director of the Ancient Egyptian Demonology Project: Second Millennium BCE (The Leverhulme Trust).

My research focuses on Ancient Egyptian private religious practices, dreams, gender and the archaeology of magic. I am an avid proponent of interdisciplinary research and digital humanities, and collaborate with engineers, artists, glaciologists and computer scientists. An online database of liminal entities as well as 3D visualization is in progress.

Currently I am investigating the role of apotropaic devices such as clay cobra figurines and images of supernatural beings as mechanisms for coping with physical and mental health afflictions Ancient Egyptians believed to have been caused by external demons.

I was elected to Phi Beta Kappa (1987) and am a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (London). TV work includes National Geographic’s The Egyptian Job and Discovery Kids’ Tutenstein.

Areas of Expertise

  • Ancient Egyptian demonology
  • Ancient Egyptian religion
  • childhood
  • private religious practices
  • daily life
  • gender
  • dreams
  • supernatural
  • magic
  • Egyptology

Publications

  1. Daily Life in Ancient Egypt: Reconstructing Lahun. Oxford: Blackwell.
  2. Behind Closed Eyes: Dreams and Nightmares in Ancient Egypt. Swansea: Classical Press of Wales.
  3. Snake Cults and Military Life in New Kingdom Egypt. In Banning, Edward B.; Harrison, Timothy P.; Klassen, Stanley (Ed.), Walls of the Prince: Egyptian Interactions with Southwest Asia in Antiquity. Essays in Honour of John S. Holladay Jr. (pp. 274-291). Brill.
  4. Feet of Fury: Demon Warrior Dancers of the New Kingdom. In Landgráfová, Renata and Mynářová, Jana (Ed.), Rich and Great. Studies in Honour of Anthony J. Spalinger on the Occasion of his 70th Feast of Thoth. (pp. 313-323). Prague: Charles University in Prague.
  5. Demons in the Dark: Nightmares and other Nocturnal Enemies of Ancient Egypt. In Panagiotis Kousoulis (Ed.), Ancient Egyptian Theology and Demonology: Studies on the Boundaries between the Divine and Demonic in Egyptian Magic. (pp. 63-76). Leuven: Peeters.

See more...

Teaching

  • CL-M30 Understanding Ancient Egyptian Culture

    This module will introduce students to selected key theories, methodologies and approaches currently used to further the study of ancient Egyptian culture. Case- studies will be presented based on the expertise of the staff and may vary.

  • CL-M32 Ancient Egyptian Language for Archaeology

    This module introduces the student to the reading and translating of Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic texts and formula commonly found on material remains. Students will have the opportunity to work directly with artefacts in the Egypt Centre.

  • CL-M36 Egyptology Dissertation

    Dissertation module for the MA in Ancient Egyptian Culture.

  • CL-M37 Women and gender in Ancient Egypt

    The study of gender is a relatively recent development in the field of Egyptology. In this module the students will be introduced to modern theories and approaches to issues related to gender in Ancient Egypt and critically engage in a detailed study of the subject.

  • CL-M66 Reading Advanced Egyptian Texts

    The module builds upon the student's ability in the Egyptian language and is dedicated to the in-depth study, translation, criticism, and interpretation of one or more Egyptian texts in the original. Depending in the needs and interests of the students, the texts selected will be drawn from Old, Middle, or Late Egyptian; Demotic; or Coptic.

  • CLD300 Classics, Ancient History, Egyptology Dissertation

    Dissertation module for students doing single honours or joint honours degrees in Classics, Classical Civilisation, Ancient History or Egyptology. The aim is for students to do detailed research, to work on a project for several months and to produce a scholarly study of c. 8000-10000 words. The dissertation topic can be chosen freely, in consultation with a member of academic staff and subject to compatibility with a student's degree scheme and availability of supervisors and library material. This is a chance for students to pursue an area in which they are especially interested, and to deal with it in depth. Students may choose to do museum-based research. There are two preparatory pieces of assessment: an abstract, outline and bibliography, and an analysis of crucial source material and/or secondary literature. Work on the dissertation itself takes up most of the two semesters. Students are expected to do research independently, but there is a series of lectures in the first semester to provide advice on research and scholarly writing, Every student will be assigned a supervisor who will be organising group sessions with his/her supervisees and who will also be available for one-to-one supervision sessions.

  • CLE120 Introduction to Ancient Egyptian History and Civilisation 1

    From the late fourth millennium BCE Egypt was one of the greatest political and military powers in the Near East, forming the one of the earliest examples of a nation state in that region. Not only did it create an enormously successful and long-lived governmental system that lasted in some form down to the establishment of Christianity in the country, but it played a key role in the destinies of neighbouring communities, in particular those of the Upper Nile Valley to the south and Syria-Palestine to the north-east. In addition, Egypt became a complex urban civilisation whose literature, art, and religion continue to be admired today. The relative abundance of surviving data permits a vivid insight into the conceptual and material world of the ancient inhabitants of the Nile Valley. This module thus focus on the political, social, and military history of Egypt from the Predynastic Period until the end of Dynasty 18 (circa 4400-1290 BCE) and introduces students to key aspects of Egyptian civilisation.

  • CLE121 Introduction to Ancient Egyptian History and Civilisation 2

    This module provides an overview of Egyptian history and civilisation from the beginning of Dynasty 19 until the Graeco-Roman Period (circa 1290 BCE-395 CE). It provides an essential foundation of knowledge for students pursuing an Egyptology degree scheme as well as an introduction to an ancient civilisation for nonspecialists.

  • CLE122 Ancient Egyptian Language for Archaeology (1st year)

    This module introduces the student to the reading and translating of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic texts and formula commonly found on material remains. Students will have the opportunity to work directly with artefacts in the Egypt Centre.

  • CLE223 Ancient Egyptian Religious Beliefs and Practices (Year 2)

    This module will provide an overview of Ancient Egyptian religious beliefs and practices. Students will explore the intellectual thought as well as the manifestation of those beliefs in the practices of the royal, elite, and non-elite of Ancient Egypt. The students will also learn how to overcome the particular problems inherent in studying an ancient civilisation with no living witnesses.

  • CLE230 Egyptomania: The reception of ancient Egypt from Antiquity to the present day

    The civilization of pharaonic Egypt has captivated the West from the time of the Greeks and Romans to the present day, impacting visual art and design, literature, cinema, music, architecture, advertising and popular culture, and even modern political movements and race relations. This module will examine the transmission, reception, and reinterpretation of ancient Egypt in a wide variety of media and cultural expressions in the West and elsewhere.

  • CLE231 Ancient Egyptian Language for Archaeology (2nd year)

    This module introduces the student to the reading and translating of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic texts and formula commonly found on material remains. Students will have the opportunity to work directly with artefacts in the Egypt Centre.

  • CLE302 Private Life in Ancient Egypt

    This module will focus on non-royal daily life in Ancient Egypt based on material remains and texts (in translation). This will not be a diachronic study, but rather a concentrated case-study of a single site and time period. This semester we will focus on the lives and religion of the people of Late Middle Kingdom Lahun within the context of current archaeological and gender theory. The classes will be conducted as seminars, rather than lectures, allowing students to engage with the primary evidence (including objects from the Egypt Centre) as closely as possible, to discuss the interpretive issues that arise and to present plausible reconstructions.

  • CLE327 Egyptian Collection Practicum

    Competition for paid museum work is substantial and unfortunately without prior experience students are unlikely to gain paid work in a museum. This 4-week session provides practical experience for students on site. Additionally, through working in an actual museum environment students will understand the philosophies behind museum work as well as some of types of work which are available. This module is useful for students pursuing careers in archaeology, museums, heritage studies, data analysis, and those wishing to pursue post-graduate work in Egyptology.

  • CLE333 Egyptian Language: Reading Advanced Texts

    This module builds upon the student's ability in the Egyptian language and is dedicated to the in-depth study, translation, criticism, interpretation of one or more Egyptian texts in the original. Depending on the needs and interests of the students, the texts selected will be drawn from Old, Middle or Late Egyptian; Demonic; or Coptic.

  • CLE339 Sex and Gender in Ancient Egypt

    The study of gender is a relatively recent development in the field of Egyptology. In this module the students will be introduced to modern theories and approaches to issues related to gender and to sexuality. We will critically engage in a detailed study of the roles of and attitudes toward marginalized groups in Ancient Egypt through the surviving evidence.

  • HIHD00 Heritage Dissertation (Practice-Based)

    This module affords students the opportunity to complete their MA in Heritage by undertaking a practical heritage project. The project, worth 67% of the marks, may be undertaken independently, or via a placement with a heritage project or organisation. It will be accompanied by a reflective commentary worth 33% of the marks.

  • HIHD01 Heritage Dissertation (Written)

    Students produce a dissertation on a heritage topic, chosen and developed in conjunction with their supervisor in line with the standard College MA requirements.

Supervision

  • A Study of Royal Female Power and Political Influence in Ancient Egypt: Contextualizing Queenship in the Twelfth Dynasty (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Kenneth Griffin
  • Female religious practitioners of Old and Middle Kingdom Egypt. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Troy Sagrillo
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Troy Sagrillo
  • 'Diegetic Lists in the Early Egyptian ''''Book of the Dead.'''' A Contextual Analysis of Demonic Entities in Private Second Millennium Manuscripts' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Martina Minas-Nerpel

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2001 Present Associate Professor of Egyptology Swansea University
2000 2000 Research Associate; Lecturer University of California
1998 1999 Teaching Fellow University of California
1995 1999 Teaching Assistant University of California
1995 2001 Instructional Technology Consultant University of California
1995 1995 Tutor, College Tutorials (Athletics) University of California
1993 Present Graduate Student Researcher University of California
1986 1988 Assistant to Director Treganza Anthropology Museum

Key Grants and Projects

Research Groups

  • CODAH

    Centre on Digital Arts and Humanities at Swansea University

  • GENCAS

    The Centre for Research into Gender and Culture in Society