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Mary Anne Murray

  • BA, MSc, PhD
  • Honorary Research Associate, UCL Institute of Archaeology

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

Current Research

  • Director of Archaeological Science for Ancient Egypt Research Associates (AERA) directed by Dr Mark Lehner. While we work in various parts of Egypt, our main projects are currently the excavation of the extensive settlement of the Pyramid builders and the nearby complex of Khentkawes at Giza. As director of the Giza Lab, I’m responsible for the archaeological science, material culture studies and the archaeobotany for the project.
  • Collaboration with Dorian Fuller and Sam Nixon on the archaeobotany of Essouk in Mali, an early Islamic merchant town in the West African Sahel.
  • “Reassessing ancient Egyptian crops, crop husbandry and the agrarian landscape” (2003-2006) - an AHRC Research Fellowship (in collaboration with Peter Ucko). The project 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.
  • 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).
  • Co-organiser (with Dorian Fuller) of the 5th International Workshop for African Archaeobotany at the Institute on 2-5 July 2006.

Educational Background

  • BA - University of Rhode Island
  • MSc - Institute of Archaeology, University College London
  • PhD - Institute of Archaeology, University College London

Publications (from 1990-present)

  • Fuller, D.Q, Murray, M.A. and Nixon, S. (eds.). In prep. The Archaeology of African Plant Use. San Francisco: Left Coast Press.
  • Murray, M.A. Submitted. The plant remains. In M. Lehner and F. Sadarangani (eds). The Royal Administrative Building Excavations. Giza Reports, volume 2. Boston: AERA. 60 page text.
  • Murray, M.A. Submitted. The plant remains. In M. Lehner (ed). The Eastern Town House. Giza Reports, volume 3. Boston: AERA. 60 page text.
  • Nixon, S., Murray, M.A., Fuller, D.Q. Accepted. Plant use at an early Islamic merchant town in the West African Sahel: the archaeobotany of Essouk-Tadmakka, Mali. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany.
  • Murray, M.A. and Wetterstrom, W. 2009. Under the Microscope: 2009 Archaeological Science. AERA Annual Report 2008-2009. AERA: Boston, 25-27.
  • Murray, M.A. and Wetterstrom, W. Archaeological Science 2008. 2009. Giza Plateau Mapping Project Season 2008: Preliminary Report. Giza Occasional Papers 4. (eds Lehner, M., Kamel, M., and Tavares, A). Boston: AERA, 47-8.
  • Murray, M. A. 2008. Questions of continuity: Fodder and fuel use in Bronze Age Egypt. In A. Fairbairn and E. Weiss (eds). From Foragers to Farmers. Oxford: Oxbow Press, pp 254-267.
  • Murray, M. A. and Wetterstrom, W. 2008. Under the microscope: Life stories from the pyramid city unfold. AERA Annual Report 2007-2008. AERA: Boston, 16-20.
  • Murray, M.A. 2007. The botanical remains - Gallery III.4. In Giza Reports: the Giza Plateau Mapping Project. Volume 1. Project History, Survey, Ceramics, and Main Street and Gallery III.4 Operations. (eds by Mark Lehner and Wilma Wetterstrom). Boston: AERA.
  • Murray, M.A. 2007. The botanical remains – Main Street. In Giza Reports: the Giza Plateau Mapping Project. Volume 1. Project History, Survey, Ceramics, and Main Street and Gallery III.4 Operations. ed. by Mark Lehner and Wilma Wetterstrom. Boston: AERA
  • Murray, M. A., D. Q. Fuller and C. Cappeza. 2006. Crop production on the Senegal River in the early first millennium AD: archaeobotanical results from Cubalel. In Fields of change: Progress in African Archaeobotany. (ed. R. Cappers). Groningen Archaeological Studies. Groningen: Barkhuis & Groningen University Library, pp 63-69.
  • Murray, M.A. 2005. Provisions for the pyramid builders: New evidence from the ancient Egyptian site of Giza. Archaeology International 2004/2005, 38-42.
  • Murray, M. A. 2005. Feeding the town: new evidence from the complex of the Giza Pyramid builders General Anthropology Vol. 11, No 1, 1-8.
  • Murray, M. A. 2003. Archaeobotanical remains from the Aceramic Neolithic wells (ca. 9000 BP). In The Colonisation and Settlement of Cyprus: Investigations at Kissonerga-Mylouthkia 1977-1996. Lemba Archaeological Project, Cyprus. Vol. III.1. (ed. E. Peltenburg). Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology LXX (4), pp 59-72.
  • Nesbitt, M., Colledge, S. and Murray M.A. 2003. The organisation and databasing of seed reference collections. Environmental Archaeology 8(1): 77-84.
  • Peltenburg, E., Croft, P., Jackson, A., McCartney, C., and Murray, M.A. 2002. Well established colonists: Mylouthkia 1 and the Cypro-Pre-Pottery Neolithic B. In The Earliest Prehistory of Cyprus: From Colonization to Exploitation (ed. S. Swiny). Boston: ASOR 61-94.
  • Wetterstrom, W., and Murray, M.A. 2001. Ancient Egyptian agriculture. In The Oxford Encyclopaedia of Ancient Egypt (Chief ed. D. B. Redford). New York: Oxford University Press, 37-44.
  • Peltenburg, E., Colledge, S., Croft, P., Jackson, A., McCartney, C., and Murray, M. A. 2001. Neolithic dispersals from the Levantine Corridor: A Mediterranean perspective. Levant 33: 35-64.
  • Murray, M. A. 2000. Cereal production and processing. In Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology. (eds. P. Nicholson and I. Shaw). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp 505-536.
  • Murray, M. A. 2000. Fruits, vegetables, pulses and condiments. In Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology. (eds. P. Nicholson and I. Shaw). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 609-655.
  • Murray, M. A. 2000. Viticulture and wine production. In Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology. (eds. P. Nicholson and I. Shaw). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp 577-608.
  • Peltenburg, E., Colledge, S., Croft, P., Jackson, A., McCartney, C., and Murray, M. A. 2000. Agro-pastoralist colonisation of Cyprus in the 10th millennium BP: initial assessments. Antiquity 74(286): 844-853.
  • Rupp, D., Murray, M. A., Reese, D.S. 2000. Prastio-Agios Savvas tis Karonis Monastery (Pafos District, Cyprus): Tentative conclusions and 1992-1995 ecofact analysis. Echos du Monde Classique/Classical Views 44 (19): 255-300.
  • Murray, M. A. 1999. Wine production and consumption in ancient Egypt. In The Exploitation of Plant Resources in Ancient Africa. (ed. M. van der Veen). New York: Plenum Press, pp 149-69.
  • Williams, T. (ed.) with Monk, M., Murray, M.A. and Rackham, J. 1999. Preliminary results of the environmental sampling at the Souks excavation (BEY006) Beirut. Berytus XLIII: 211-220.
  • Murray, M. A. 1998. Archaeobotanical remains. In Excavations at Kissonerga-Mosphilia, 1979-1992. Vol. II.1A (Part 1). Lemba Archaeological Project, Cyprus. (ed. E. Peltenburg). Jonsered: Paul Åström, pp. 215-223.
  • Murray, M. A. 1998. Archaeobotanical remains: Discussion. In Excavations at Kissonerga-Mosphilia, 1979-1992. Vol. II.1B (Part 2). Lemba Archaeological Project, Cyprus. (ed. E. Peltenburg). Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh, pp. 317-37.
  • Murray, M. A. 1996. Archaeobotanical remains, 1995. In Jerablus-Tahtani, Syria 1995: Preliminary Report by E. Peltenburg, D. Bolger, S. Campbell, M. A. Murray and R. Tipping. Levant XXVIII: 20-1.
  • Murray, M. A. 1995. Archaeobotanical remains, Jerablus-Tahtani, 1994 - Tomb 302. In Jerablus-Tahtani, Syria, 1992-4: Preliminary Report by E. Peltenburg, S. Campbell, P. Croft, D. Lunt, M. A. Murray and M.E. Watts. Levant XXVII: 24-5.
  • Croft, P. and Murray, M.A. 1994. Research Report: Analysis of the Organic Remains from the Chalcolithic Settlement at Kissonerga-Mosphilia, Cyprus. Levant XXVI (1994): 233.
  • Murray, M. A. 1994. Rich Refuse from Memphis. Egyptian Archaeology 4: 34-5.
  • Murray, M. A. 1993 Recent archaeobotanical research at the site of ancient Memphis. In Biological Anthropology and the Study of Ancient Egypt. (eds. V. Davies and R. Walker). London: British Museum Press, pp 165-8.
  • Giddy, L., and Jeffreys, D. 1993. “Memphis 1992” with a contribution “Archaeobotany” by Murray, M. A. Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 79: 12.
  • Giddy, L. and Jeffreys, D.1992. “Memphis 1991” with a contribution “Archaeobotany” by Murray, M. A. Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 78: 6.
  • Murray, M. A. 1991. The plant remains. In A Ceremonial Area at Kissonerga. Lemba Archaeological Project. Vol. II.2. (ed. E. Peltenburg). Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology. Vol. LXX: 72.
  • Giddy, L., and Jeffreys, D. 1991. “Memphis 1990” with a contribution “Archaeobotany” by Murray, M. A. Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 77: 5.
  • Giddy, L., Jeffreys, D. and Málek, J. 1990. “Memphis 1989” with a contribution “Archaeobotany” by Murray, M. A. Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 76: 14.

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