Institute of Archaeology

Prof Stephen Quirke

Prof Stephen Quirke

Professor of Egyptian Archaeology

Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square

Institute of Archaeology

Joined UCL
1st Feb 1999

Research summary

To move Egyptian Archaeology at UCL beyond traditional archaeological and philological research communities, by opening Egyptology to African and Arab World audiences, as a branch of cultural studies, applying anthropological reception of Gramsci.

To deploy archaeological collections and displays as a forum for debate in global social settings: Petrie Museum as a hub linking Public Archaeology IoA and Public Engagement UCL Museums and Collections.


University of Cambridge
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy |
University College London
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), ATQ09 - Other UK accreditation or qualification in teaching in the higher education sector | 2002
University of Cambridge
First Degree, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) | 1983


Dr Stephen Quirke studied Egyptology at the University of Cambridge from 1980 to 1987, taking as the theme for his doctoral thesis issues of kingship and administration in Egypt during the late Middle Kingdom (about 1850-1700 BC), leading to the 1990 publication The Administration of Egypt in the late Middle Kingdom: the hieratic documents. In 1988-1989  at the Berlin Egyptian Museum he researched the great but fragmentary temple papyrus archive from the pyramid complex of Senusret II near al-Lahun. From 1990 he worked with Mark Collier on the full edition of all papyri from al-Lahun town now preserved at UCL, resulting in the three volumes of UCL Lahun Papyri (2002-6).

From 1989 to 1999 he was a curator in the Department of Egyptian Antiquities at the British Museum, with special responsibility for hieratic manuscripts, notably the extensive collection of Books of the Dead and other funerary papyri. In 1996, with John Taylor, he advised the National Museum of Ireland on selection of items for display in their new Egyptian Gallery. In 1996-1997 he was the sole British Museum curator assigned to the pilot project to develop a multimedia public access system for the collections.

Since 1999 he has been curator at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, in University College London. There his primary duties have been (1) to deliver worldwide access to the 80,000 objects in the collection by means of an Internet database, the first version of which went live in April 2002 at http://www.petrie.ucl.ac.uk, and (2) to prepare for redisplay of the entire collection in new gallery premises safer for the collection and more accessible to UCL and wider publics. He teaches at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL, where he has held the Edwards Chair of Egyptian Archaeology and Philology since 2010.