Dr Rachael Sparks
Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
Institute of Archaeology
- Joined UCL
- 1st Oct 2005
Recent conference papers
Transforming Canaan: The Material Culture of Contact, 7th ICAANE 2010, Institute of Archaeology UCL.
Abstract: The material culture of the MB Levant undergoes a number of transformations, not the least of which involves the introduction of new forms of cultural expression. Many of these had their origin in Egyptian culture, encouraged by contacts made through trade and other means, including Canaanite settlement in the eastern Delta. This paper explores the influence Egyptian culture had on that of the southern Levant, and how these influences were selectively adopted and adapted by consumers. It focuses particularly on whether the ways in which certain object types common to both cultures are interpreted and utilised in a culturally specific fashion, including scarabs and cosmetic vessels, and how this process changes over the course of the Bronze Age. This will lead to a better understanding of how object choice may be used to construct and mediate group identity.
Rewriting the Script: Decoding the Textual Experience in the Bronze Age Levant. Writing as Material Practice, Institute of Archaeology, UCL, 16th May 2009.
Object Handling in the Classroom: Strategies for Success. Object-based Learning in Higher Education, UCL, 2nd April 2009.
Contextualising Scarab and Seal Use in the Bronze Age Levant. The Ancient Levant, Institute of Archaeology UCL, 17th May 2008
Institute of Archaeology Courses
Course co-ordinator ARCL1011 Texts in Archaeology; guest lecturer in ARCL 2027: Interpreting Archaeological Data; G120B: Approaches to Artefact Studies; G148: Collections Management and Care; G202 Mediterranean World: G155: Issues in the Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East.
Area of specialism: the archaeology of the Bronze and Iron Age Levant; interactions between Egypt and the Levant; material culture studies; ancient identities; object-based learning.
- University College London
- PGCert, Learning and Teaching | 2009
- University of Sydney
- PhD, Archaeology | 1999
- University of Sydney
- BA Hons, Archaeology | 1990
BiographyOriginally from Australia, Dr Sparks did her doctorate at the University of Sydney on the stone vessel industries of the Bronze Age Levant. Since completing her doctorate in 1998, she has worked in the UK as Curator of the Petrie Palestinian Collection (UCL), and on the South Sudanese ethnographic collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford.
In 2005 she moved back to London to take up the post of Keeper of Collections and lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL. Since that time she has curated a major exhibition on
Flinders Petrie's work in British Mandate Palastine at the Brunei Gallery, and created the A.G. Leventis Gallery of Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean on the ground floor of the Institute of Archaeology.
Dr Sparks has also worked as object registrar and excavator on a number of sites in the Middle East, including Pella, Teleilat Ghassul, Petra and Gharandal. Her main research
interests are the archaeology of the Mandate period, cultural interaction between Egypt and the Levant, and Canaanite material culture.