Massimiliano Pinarello

An Archaeological Discussion of Writing Practice: Deconstruction of the Ancient Egyptian Scribe

The project looks at the actual ancient Egyptian writing practices obliterated by the reified status of ‘scribe’ and its Egyptological construction as a social category; it aims to deconstruct the category, and to suggest a new perspective that considers historiography, museum displays, and the way that certain objects have been used to fetishize the ‘scribe’ as a distinct class of people in ancient Egyptian society. Using archaeological methods to recontextualise those objects, focusing on the ancient site of Balat-‛Ayn Asīl in Egypt, and comparing the conventional material culture to secondary sources and other archaeological examples outside of Egypt, the project questions one of the most popular assumptions that has been identifying Egyptology and its disciplinary approach since the discipline’s birth.


 Educational background

  • BA, Classics (Archaeological curriculum), Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano, 2007
  • MA, Egyptian Archaeology, UCL, 2009

Petrie Museum Friends Lecture, UCL IoA, London, 9th March 2012. [‘Scribes: once again?...not again!’]

Ink - An exhibition exploring the rich and curious history of ink, UCL North Lodge, London, 3rd November – 11th December 2010. [Live respondent (17th Nov.): Ancient Egyptian scribal material]

The Third British Egyptological Congress - BEC 3, The British Museum, London, 11th – 12th September 2010. [Paper given: Deconstruction of the Ancient Egyptian scribe: a Corpus of Writing Equipment].

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