I am a specialist in the archaeology of ancient Egypt and Nubia. I am particularly interested in using material culture to explore broader cultural aspects, for example, colonial relations, shifting perceptions of the dead, or the relationship of material cultural boundaries to social groups within the Egyptian Nile Valley. My research draws on fieldwork projects in Egypt and the Sudan. I am an assistant director of the University of Michigan Abydos Middle Cemetery Project and I co-direct with Laurel Bestock (Brown University) the Uronarti Regional Archaeological Project. The focus of the latter work is the wonderful Middle Kingdom fortress on the island of Uronarti. I look forward to involving Swansea University students in both projects in the future.

I did my undergraduate and postgraduate at Macquarie University in Sydney and got my PhD in 2008 for a thesis completed as a guest at the Freie University in Berlin. Prior to my appointment at Swansea, I taught at Sydney University, Macquarie University, Monash University and the University of Vienna. Most recently, I was a post-doctoral researcher at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. I am currently completing a monograph based on that research titled Material Culture and Society: Abydos Assemblages from the Late Middle Kingdom until the Early New Kingdom. I also drink coffee.

Areas of Expertise

  • Archaeology
  • Egyptian Archaeology and Material Culture
  • Ancient Sudan
  • The Archaeology of Ancient Colonies

Publications

  1. Serving the Dead: Some Thoughts on Changes in Cultic Deposits at Abydos from the Late Old Kingdom to the Early Middle Kingdom. In Abydos: The Sacred Land at the Western Horizon. Leuven: Peeters.
  2. Between Egypt and Kerma: A Strange Tulip-Beaker from Mirgissa. In Studies on Ancient Egypt in Honour of Colin A. Hope. Leuven: Peeters.
  3. Middle Kingdom Fortresses in Nubia (Middle Kingdom and Second Intermediate Period). In Handbook of Ancient Nubia. De Gruyter.
  4. The Late Middle Kingdom in the Cemeteries at Mirgissa: Pottery and Relative Chronology. In
  5. Umm el-Qaab. Nachuntersuchungen im frühzeitlichen Königsfriedhof. 25./26./27. Vorbericht. Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Abteilung Kairo 73, 15-104.

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Teaching

  • 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.

  • CLE214 Introduction to Egyptian Archaeology

    The module forms an introduction to material culture studies based on examples from Egyptology, particularly objects from the University's Egypt Centre. It will explore the diversity of methodologies and debates concerning Egyptian archaeology. In doing so, it will introduce students to aspects of anthropological and archaeological theory, as well as the relationship between theory, field work, and the resulting interpretations.

  • CLE220 Egyptian Art and Architecture

    The art and architecture of ancient Egypt is rich and complex, reflecting the culture and beliefs of those who created it. This module focuses on the general characteristics of Egyptian visual arts, and traces the changes in both form and function from the Predynastic to the Roman Period.

  • CLE328 Six Feet Under: Funerary Culture of Ancient Egypt

    This module introduces students to the key elements and concepts of ancient Egyptian funerary beliefs as seen in the material culture. The course is structured thematically, covering all periods of Ancient Egyptian history and areas connected with funerary beliefs. The coursework will be based on artefacts in the Egypt Centre Swansea enriched by the many comparative examples of material culture talked about in lectures and seminars. Most of the objects in Egyptological collections are from funerary contexts and understanding them is crucial to our understanding of Ancient Egyptian history and civilization.