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  • Dr Mary Anne Murray
  • Honorary Research Associate
  • m.murray@ucl.ac.uk
  • UCL Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY UK

Mary Anne Murray

Mary Anne Murray is Director of Archaeological Science for Ancient Egypt Research Associates (AERA), currently excavating the extensive settlement of the Pyramid builders and the nearby complex of Khentkawes at Giza. As director of the Giza lab, Mary Anne is responsible for the archaeological science, material culture studies and archaeobotany for the project.

She also works in collaboration with Dorian Fuller and Sam Nixon on the archaeobotany of Essouk in Mali, an early Islamic merchant town in the West African Sahel.

From 2003 to 2006 she worked in collaboration with Peter Ucko, previous Director of the Institute of Archaeology, on a project entitled “Reassessing ancient Egyptian crops, methods of crop husbandry and the agrarian landscape.” Which aimed to provide a well-integrated reassessment of the diversity, distribution and use of Egyptian crops, methods of crop husbandry and the ancient agrarian landscape through integration of archaeological science and the Egyptological evidence for the ancient perceptions of these subjects.

Her previous work as a field archaeologist and/or archaeobotanist includes projects based in Egypt (Giza, Memphis, Saqqara, Abydos, Valley of the Kings, Aswan), Cyprus (Mylouthkia, Mosphilia, Ayious Savvas, Souskiou-Vathykarkas, Nicosia), Senegal, Mali, Syria, Lebanon, Ecuador, Chile, Liechtenstein, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Caribbean (St. Eustatius, St Martin, Anguilla) and the USA (Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, California, New Mexico, Florida Keys).

Along with Dorian Fuller she co-organised the 5th International Workshop for African Archaeobotany at the Institute in July 2006.


Research Interests

  • Eastern Mediterranean and North African settlement archaeology
  • The settlement of the pyramid builder's on the Giza plateau, Egypt
  • The integration of archaeological data with bioarchaeological, textual, artistic, ethnographic, geomorphological and experimental evidence to investigate ancient agricultural practices and agrarian landscapes of these regions
  • Quantitative methods in archaeobotanical research
  • Agriculture and trade in West Africa
  • The social context and material culture of ancient Egyptian food and wine production and processing
  • Aceramic Neolithic agro-pastoralists in Cyprus and the establishment of a recognised Cypriot Pre-pottery Neolithic B (Cypro-PPNB) phase on the island

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