I work at the intersection of Egyptology and archaeology in the first millennium BC. My research interest lies in the interaction between the Egyptian temples, military, and people, with non-Egyptian political and economic parties.
I received my doctorate in archaeology from Oxford University (2014), where I was part of the Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology. I studied Egyptology at Leiden University (2008) with a specialization in Greco-Roman Egypt.
For my doctorate I looked at the assemblage of lead objects from Thonis-Heracleion. This town, now underwater, was once at the mouth of the Canopic branch of the Nile on the Mediterranean coast. It was a customs office for the Egyptian empire (and for a time also the Persian empire) and merchants from Greece and the Levantine coast frequented it. The excavations have yielded an exceptional diversity of material (until 6th March 2016 in Paris: http://www.exposition-osiris.com/; from May 2016 in the British Museum http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/exhibitions/sunken_cities.aspx). I dated the lead objects on the basis of limited parallels (in other materials) around the Mediterranean and argued that the use of lead was much broader and more widespread in Egypt than previously assumed.
I have been involved with fieldwork at Thonis-Heracleion since 2008. Previously I was assistant epigrapher with the Dakhleh Oasis project at Ain Birbiyeh and with the Amheida project (2006-2008), after being trained in epigraphy by the Dutch team working in the New Kingdom necropolis in Saqqara (2005).
At Oxford I taught tutorials and lectures on Egyptian history and civilization and Egyptian art and architecture. I also taught Middle Egyptian for two years at the Egypt Exploration Society in London.
Long-distance trade, monetization, marketplaces, and sanctuaries in the fourth century BC: Negotiating change in Egypt during the Achaemenid-Hellenistic transition
My project in Berlin takes my work on the lead weights from Thonis-Heracleion as a point of departure to focus on long-distance trade in the Eastern Mediterranean, using archaeological evidence to offer a comprehensive perspective that is lost in studies that concentrate on local trade activities. The aim is also to highlight the maritime networks that had been in place at least since the Late Bronze Age, evolving with the changing political landscapes in the first millennium BC. The term ‘Achaemenid–Hellenistic transition’ is intended to draw attention away from a more Hellenocentric narrative, broadly emphasizing the role of the Persian Empire, including Egypt and Anatolia, as a vital player in the patterns and dynamics of long-distance trade that continued into the Hellenistic period.
The economy of the fourth century BC is little studied, but it forms a crucial link between the Egyptian Saite dynasty, the Greek world, the Persian Empire, and the subsequent Hellenistic world. Thonis-Heracleion, a port and customs post on the Egyptian Mediterranean coast from the late seventh century onward, has a good archaeological context and thus acts as a crucial case study for understanding the economic processes involved in maritime long-distance trade. This city experienced its heyday during the fourth and third centuries BC, and its submerged archaeological remains permit detailed contextual analysis. By using the archaeological record, including weights and ingots, and contextual analysis such as spatial distributions, to complement the narrative derived from Demotic documents, I propose to track any changes in areas of exchange (marketplaces and sanctuaries) as indictors of essential mechanisms of trade interaction: finding equivalences across different weight systems for exchange and the ways in which this space was controlled.
I am preparing the weights from Thonis-Heracleion for publication in the Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology Monograph Series.
Together with Sanda Heinz (Dartmouth) I am also working on publishing the archive of Harry Smith and Sue Davies on the Caches of the Sacred Animal Necropolis of North Saqqara held at the Egypt Exploration Society in London.
2013 E. M. van der Wilt and J. Martínez Jiménez (eds), Tough Times: The Archaeology of Crisis and Recovery. Proceedings of the Graduate Archaeology at Oxford conferences in 2010 and 2011. BAR Series no. 2478. Oxford, Archaeopress.
[accepted, awaiting publication] Ten lead buckets from Thonis-Heracleion: Dating and ritual practice British Museum Studies for Ancient Egypt and Sudan.
2015 The weights in Thonis-Heracleion: an overview of the corpus and the implications of their spatial distribution for questions about trade and exchange. In: Heracleion in Context—Studies in the topography and material culture of Egypt's North-Western Delta, D.J. Robinson and F. Goddio (eds). Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology Monograph 8. Oxford.
2014 Large lead containers from Egypt: Metal storage vessels? In: Anatolica XL: 219-231.
2010 Lead Weights and Ingots from Heracleion-Thonis: An Illustration of Egyptian Trade Relations with the Aegean. In: Commerce and Economy in Ancient Egypt: Proceedings of the Third International Congress for Young Egyptologists 25-27 September 2009, Budapest, A. Hudecz and M. Petrik (eds). Oxford, Archaeopress.
2010 Bibliotheca Orientalis LXVII 1/2: 68-70; review of M. Cody, Egyptian Art. Selected Writings of Bernard V. Bothmer. Oxford University Press, 2004.
2009 Bibliotheca Orientalis LXVI 1/2: 119-22; review of - G. Hölbl, Altägypten im Römischen Reich. Der römische Pharao und seine Tempel III. Heiligtümer und religiöses Leben in den ägyptischen Wüsten und Oasen. Philipp von Zabern, 2005.
2006 Bibliotheca Orientalis LXIII 1/2 (2006): 92-95; review of G. Hölbl, Altägypten im Römischen Reich. Der römische Pharao und seine Tempel II. Die Tempel des römischen Nubien. Philipp von Zabern, 2004.