Gianluca Miniaci

Gianluca Miniaci


Current Research Project

EPOCHS: Egyptian Periodisation - Object Categories as Historical Signatures

Recurrence or disappearance of object categories across time can reveal social, internal (regionalism) and transnational (ethnicity) changes; material and ritual transformation; different patterns of cultural transmission.

The EPOCHS project aims to provide a basis for new interpretative models of material cultural transmission and social transformation in stratified societies, developing a specific methodology for comparative synthesis at a broad regional level (equivalent to the ‘national’ in modernity). The case-study is Egypt in transition from Middle to Late Bronze Age (1850-1500 BC).

From current collections-database control-lists, the project will pursue two linked tracks, categorisation and periodisation of material cultural products, to identify period ‘signatures’. This framework will be used to analyse

  • synchronic patterns recurrent across different signature object-categories
  • diachronic variations within each

From historical and laboratory analyses of prioritised objects in collections, the interregional relationships of material production and consumption will be charted on the two horizons of (a) endogenous (internal Egyptian regionalism) and (b) exogenous (‘internationalism’, relations between Egyptian and external groups), in order to assess in synthesis the societal impact at local, internal-regional and national levels.

The final phase of the project will address questions of ideology in material cultural products, applying the concept of performativity in order to explore relations between archaeological context/material and ritual/non-ritual practice. The outcomes will create the ground for a new historical synthesis between the evidence-bases for the wide range of relevant archaeological sub-disciplines from archaeometry to philology.


  • Collaboration with the Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France-Palais du Louvre (Paris), CNRS - UMR 8220, Paris
  • Collaboration with Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York for the project “Excavations in the Lower Assasif: Howard Carter and Ambrose Lansing, 1912–16”
  • Member of the scientific board of the journal EVO, Egitto e Vicino Oriente, Pisa
  • Deputy-director and photographer of the Archaeological Mission of the University of Pisa at Dra Abu el-Naga (Thebes/Luxor)
  • Collaboration with the University of Pisa, Dipartimento di Civiltà e Forme del Sapere

Research Directory Records

Educational Background

  • 2011: Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Egyptology, Pisa University on the project “Rosellini Project. The Franco-Tuscan Expedition to Egypt (1828-29) on the web. The study of the unpublished Hieroglyphic Dictionary of Ippolito Rosellini”.
  • 2008-2010: Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Egyptology, Pisa University on the project “The Franco-Tuscan Expedition to Egypt (1828-29): cataloguing the unpublished material, computerising data, processing and studying the relative data of the expedition held in the Biblioteca Universitaria di Pisa”.
  • 2005-2008: PhD in “Oriental Studies: Egypt, the Near and Middle East” at the Department of Scienze Storiche del Mondo Antico, University of Pisa, on “The funerary culture at the end of the Second Intermediate Period: the emergence of the rishi coffin style", supervised by Prof. Dr. Marilina Betrò. Awarded June 2008.
  • 1999-2004: BA/MA Classical Archaeology, University of Pisa, dissertation “The royal necropolis of the 17th dynasty at Dra Abu el-Naga (Thebes west)”, 110/110 with honours. Awarded July 2004.


  • Miniaci, G. Rishi Coffins and the funerary culture of Second Intermediate Period Egypt, GHP Egyptology 17, London 2011 (ISBN 978-1-906137-24-3), 318 pp + 8 cl. pl.
  • Betrò M., Del Vesco P., Miniaci G. (eds.), Seven Seasons at Dra Abu el-Naga. The tomb of Huy (TT 14): preliminary results, Progetti 3, Edizioni Plus, Pisa 2009 (ISBN 978-888492603-6)
  • Catalogue editing in Betrò M. (ed.), Ippolito Rosellini e gli inizi dell’Egittologia. Disegni e manoscritti inediti della Spedizione Franco-Toscana (1828-29) dalla Biblioteca Universitaria di Pisa / Ippolito Rosellini and the Dawn of Egyptology. Original Drawings and Manuscripts of the Franco-Tuscan Expedition to Egypt (1828-29) from the Biblioteca Universitaria di Pisa, Cairo 2010 (ISBN 978-1-906137-26-7)
  • Miniaci G., Russo M. (eds.), La guerra e i suoi riflessi sulle società antiche. Atti del Convegno dei Dottorandi di Orientalistica. Università di Pisa 26-27 giugno 2007, Edizioni ETS, Pisa 2008, 116 pp., 12 pls., (ISBN 978- 884672033-7)

Journal articles

  • Miniaci, G. The “Small Temple of Isis” at Thebes in the sources of the Nineteenth century, in EVO 33 (2011), p. 23-31
  • Miniaci, G. Re-excavating rishi coffins in museums and archives, in EA 39 (Autumn 2011), p. 37-40
  • Miniaci, G. The legacy of the Late Middle Kingdom and the iconography of the rishi coffins, JARCE 46 (2011), p. 49-61
  • Miniaci, G. The canopic box of Khonswmes and the transition from the late Middle Kingdom to the Second Intermediate Period, EVO 33 (2010), p. 17-30
  • Miniaci, G. The incomplete hieroglyphs system at the end of the Middle Kingdom, RdE 61 (2010), p. 113-134
  • Miniaci G., Betrò M., The fragments of rishi coffins from the tomb MIDAN.05 at Dra Abu el-Naga, EVO 32 (2010), p. 9-20, pls. 1-3
  • Miniaci, G. Ippolito Rosellini and the Dawn of Egyptology, in Egyptian Museum Newsletter 7 (2010)
  • Miniaci G., Quirke S., Reconceiving the tomb in the late Middle Kingdom: the burial of the accountant of the Main Enclosure Neferhotep at Dra Abu el-Naga, BIFAO 109 (2009), p. 339-384
  • Miniaci G., Quirke S., Mariette at Dra Abu el-Naga and the tomb of Neferhotep: a mid 13th dynasty rishi coffin (?), EVO 31 (2008), p. 5-25
  • Miniaci G., Grajetzki W., The statue of ‘royal sealer’ and ‘overseer of fields’ Kheperka, Turin Museum Cat. 3064, EVO 30 (2007), p. 69-75
  • Miniaci G. L’origine “sociale” dei sarcofagi rishi: un’analisi archeologica, Aegyptus 87 (2007), p. 105-125
  • Betrò M., Bresciani E., Buongarzone R., Del Vesco P., Miniaci G., Silvano F., Rome in Egypt, EVO 29 (2006), p. 183-186
  • Miniaci G. Un Sobekemsaf a Dra Abu el-Naga, EVO 29 (2006), p. 65-77
  • Miniaci G. La tomba del re Antef Sekhem-Ra Wpmaat a Dra Abu el-Naga, EVO 27 (2004), p. 61-72

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