Stephen Quirke

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Curator and Lecturer, Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology and Institute of Archaeology

The Petrie Museum
Malet Place
University College London
London WC1E 6BT

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+44 (0)20 7679 2882

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My first degree was in Egyptology, with a first year in Archaeology, Anthropology and Sociology, and for my PhD I studied administrative documents of the late Middle Kingdom (1850-1700 BC) in hieratic (the handwritten form of Egyptian hieroglyphs). For a postdoctoral research grant in 1988-9 I studied the temple accounts papyri preserved in the Egyptian Museum, Berlin, from the largest surviving group of Middle Kingdom papyri, from Lahun (Fayum Province, Egypt). My career has been in museums with collections of Egyptian archaeology: first in the British Museum, with responsibility for hieratic papyri (mainly religious), then at UCL; here from 1999-2002 I was curator for the Designated Museum project to digitise the collection and publish it online (available at To complement the online database, I obtained a JISC grant 2000-2003 to provide a learning-support background-information website with VR models (freely available at From 2002-6 I completed study and publication with Dr Mark Collier (University of Liverpool) of the UCL half of the Lahun Papyri, the mixed material from the town. Since 2007 I have been lead for the MLA Subject Specialist Network ACCES (Association of Curators for Collections from Egypt and Sudan: My main current projects are the plans for new museum displays in the Institute for Cultural Heritage to open in 2012, and the delivery of a new object-based Egyptian archaeological theory course for the MA in Egyptian Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology UCL.


  • Egyptology BA and PhD


  • Curator at British Museum 1989-1998
  • Curator and Lecturer at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology and Institute of Archaeology UCL 1999-present

Research interests

  • Literacy and society in archaeological context
  • The social and epistemological impact of museums
  • The role of foreign research communities in contemporary national archaeologies social and political relations within and between research communities inside and outside HEIs
  • Widening HEI participation to diversify the staffing and so the researarch agendas of the archaeological and historical disciplines


  • Quirke,S. (2007). Women of Lahun 1850-1700BC: An Exercise in Historical Archaeology. In Archaeology and Women (Hamilton,S., Whitehouse,R., Wright,K.I. eds.) Walnut Creek, CA, 246-262. ISBN: 978-1-59874-223-7
  • Quirke,S. (2007). 'Book of the Dead Chapter 178': a late Middle Kingdom compilation or excerpts? Chapter 7 in Grallert,S., Grajetzki,W. (ed.) Life and Afterlife in Ancient Egypt during the Middle Kingdom and Second Intermediate Period. London: Golden House Publications, 100-122. ISBN: 9781906137014
  • Quirke, S. 2007 Labour at Lahun. In The archaeology and art of Ancient Egypt Essays in Honor of David B. O'Connor (ed. Z.Hawass and J.Richards) Cairo, 273-288. ISBN: 977-437-241-7
  • Quirke, S. 2007 Interwoven Destinies: Egyptians and English in the Labour of Archaeology, 1880-2007. In British-Egyptian Relations from Suez to the Present Day (eds. N.Brehony and A.El-Desouky), London: 247-273. ISBN: 9780863566851
  • Quirke, S. 2007 The Hyksos in Egypt 1600 BCE : New Rulers without an Administration. In Regime change in the ancient Near East and Egypt From Sargon of Agade to Saddam Hussein (Proceedings of the British Academy 136) (ed. H.Crawford), 123-139. ISBN: 978-0-19-726390-7
  • Quirke, S., Roberts, P., Picton, J., (eds.) 2006, Living Images. Funerary Portraits at the Petrie Museum London. Includes S.Quirke, The Hawara mummy portraits and the periodisation of burial customs, 73-82. ISBN: 978-1-84472-153-5
  • Quirke,S., 2006 In the name of the king: on late Middle Kingdom cylinders.In Czerny,E. et al (ed.) Timelines. Studies in Honour of Manfred Bietak. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 149, Volume 1. Leuven: 263-274. ISBN: 90-429-1730-X
  • Quirke,S., 2006 Translation choices across 5000 years: Egyptian, Greek, Arabic libraries in a land of many languages. in Herman,T. (ed.) . Manchester: 265-283. ISBN: 1-900650-85-1
  • Quirke,S., Collier,M. (2006), The UCL Lahun Papyri: Accounts, British Archaeological Reports International Series 1471 series. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports. ISBN: 1-84171-907-2
  • Ucko,P.J., Quirke,S. (2006). Living Symbols of Ancient Egypt: Introduction. Public Archaeology 5(1), Introduction 5-14; The Petrie Medal 15-25; with D.Sully The past in the present and future: concluding thoughts 58-71. ISSN: 1465-5187
  • Quirke,S. (2005). Review of Die Totentexte des verschollenen Sarges der Königin Mentuhotep aus der 13. Dynastie Ein Textzeuge aus der Übergangszeit von den Sargtexten zum Totenbuch (Studien zum Altägyptischen Totenbuch 8). Geisen,C. Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions 5, 228-238. ISSN: 1569-2116
  • Quirke,S. (2005), Lahun: A Town in Egypt 1800BC and the History of its Landscape, London: Golden House Publications. ISBN: 0955025613.
  • Quirke, S. (2004). ‘Identifying the officials of the Fifteenth Dynasty.’ In Scarabs of the Second Millennium BC from Egypt, Nubia, Crete and the Levant: Chronological and Historical Implications (ed. Manfred Bietak and Ernst Czerny) Vienna, 171-193.
  • Quirke, S. (2004). ‘Reading gender in ancient Egyptian healing papyri.’ In National Healths. Gender, Sexuality and health in a cross-cultural context (eds. M. Worton and N. Wilson-Tagoe) London.
  • Quirke, S. (2004). Egyptian Literature 1800 BC: questions and readings. Golden House Publications, London.
  • Quirke, S. (2004). Titles and bureaux of Egypt 1850-1700 BC. Golden House Publications, London.
  • Quirke, S. with Mark Collier (2004). The UCL Lahun Papyri: religious, literary, medical, legal. British Archaeological Reports, Oxford.
  • Quirke, S. with David O’Connor (eds.) (2003). Edited. Mysterious Lands. UCL Press, London.
  • Quirke, S. (2003). ‘ Two Thirteenth Dynasty heart scarabs’, in Jaarbericht Ex Oriente Lux 37 31-40.
  • Quirke, S. with Mark Collier (2002). The UCL Lahun Papyri: Letters. British Archaeological Reports, Oxford.
  • Quirke, S. (2001). Colour vocabularies in Ancient Egyptian. In Davies, W.V. (ed.), Colour and Painting in ancient Egypt. London: 186-192 with pl.6.1.
  • Quirke, S. (2001). With Robert Morkot, ‘Inventing the Twenty-fifth Dynasty’. In Begegnungen. Antike Kulturen im Niltal. Festgabe für Erika Endesfelder, Karl-Heinz Priese, Walter Friedrich Reineke, Steffen Wenig, Leipzig.
  • Quirke, S, (2001). The Cult of Ra. London: Thames and Hudson.
  • Quirke, S, (1999). The Middle Kingdom Stelae in the State Hermitage. Saint Petersburg and Utrecht: State Hermitage and CCER
  • Quirke, S (ed), (1998). Lahun Studies. SIA Publications