Institute of Archaeology


Archaeology of Egypt and Sudan

The Institute of Archaeology is at the forefront of current archaeological research in the Nile valley, with a number of projects including fieldwork, the study of objects in present-day museum collections and critical research into the history and the present practice of archaeology in Egypt and Sudan (as well as neighbouring regions of Africa and Asia). Researchers at the Institute also have an exceptional track record of applying novel methodologies - derived from diverse areas of the social and historical sciences - to archaeological material from the Nile valley.

UCL's Petrie Museum is a major resource in terms of holding material from almost all periods of Egyptian and Sudanese history, and an important place for studying the development of Egyptian archaeology in the 19th and 20th century and the impact of disciplinary history on contemporary understandings and representations of the past.

The Research Network "Archaeology of Egypt and Sudan" serves to pool this expertise. It also helps its members to multiply their resources through shared research, supervision and teaching - primarily in the new BA "Archaeology of Egypt and Sudan" (starting in 2019) and the revised MA "Archaeology and Heritage of Egypt and the Middle East" (starting in 2018) - as well as numerous cooperations with other archaeological institutions in London, the UK and worldwide.


Seminar - Importance of the non-aquatic environments in the prehistory of the Sahel: case of Shaqadud (Sudan)

Ladislav Varadzin (Institute of Archaeology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague) will give a seminar on 11 June 2024.

Seminar - The Treasure of Queen Ahhotep (1550 BC): Between the emergent Late Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean and the writing of the history of Egyptology

Gianluca Miniaci (University of Pisa, Italy and Honorary Research Fellow, UCL Institute of Archaeology) gave a seminar on 8 February 2024.

Dialogues in the Making – The Collaborative Project of the Mograt Island Archaeological Mission

In 2019, ongoing community work on Mograt island (Sudan) directed by Claudia Naeser continued, with the following components:

  • organizing the reprint of 5000 copies of the bilingual Arabic-English book "Discovering Mograt Island Together" which had been co-created with school children on Mograt in an earlier phase of the project (2016) in Khartoum
  • outreach events in altogether 52 classes in all 14 schools on Mograt island, with altogether 1500 copies of the book being disseminated to students, teachers and other school staff: each kid above the age of 10 on Mograt island now has their own personal copy of the book
  • development of large wall boards based on the content of the book and the feedback collected; printing in Khartoum and installation of these additional educational resources in all 14 schools on Mograt and in 5 schools in the nearby district capital of Abu Hamed
  • production of a short film about the community work [Accessed 2.11.2020]
  • translation of the project website www.mogratarchaeology.com into Arabic 

Research into using replicas in community engagement

In 2019, Amanda Ford Spora, as part of her PhD research and in collaboration with Petrie Museum, Manchester Museum and ThinkSee3D, conducted teen focus groups, using digitally produced replica shabtis of the Napatan and Late Egyptian periods in three schools on Mograt, in Manchester and Numurkah (Australia).

Future activities:
Amanda received funding from UCL Public Engagement for the project "Co-producing a Manga_Zine with teens in East London, using digital replicas of ancient objects"

Egypt's Dispersed Heritage

A 12-month AHRC-funded Follow-on for Impact project led by Alice Stevenson and Heba Abd el-Gawad (https://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=AH%2FS004580%2F1). With 5 UK partner museums (National Museum of Scotland, Horniman Museum, Liverpool World Museum, Petrie Museum, Manchester Museum) and the Egypt Exploration Society we have shared British archaeological collections (archive and objects) as the raw materials for Egyptian artists, performers, education providers to develop critique and commentary on histories of colonial archaeological practice and removal of Egyptian antiquities abroad. Activities have included panel debates, TV appearances, podcasts, workshops for children, training for UK curators (selection of activities below):

  • Public panel debate at the NMS in Feb 2019 hosted by Samira Ahmed. Available as podcast (https://www.nms.ac.uk/collections-research/our-research/current-research...)
  • Produced 12 comics in Egyptian Arabic for social media linked to museum collections and colonial histories.
  • Led 5 online seminars on the topic for Everyday Orientalism, Egypt Exploration Society and presented project at ACHS 2020
  • Produced three podcasts on the project (two for Sushma Jansari’s Wonder House, one for Digital Hammurabi)
  • Submitted one academic paper to major journal (in review) and one article for Egyptian Archaeology (for March 2021)


  • Developed and transformed Horniman Museum’s Egypt education resources, advising and expanding handling their collection to include modern references to Egypt and co-developed lesson plans
  • Egyptian commentary on collections has been incorporated into NMS database with development of web resources in Egyptian Arabic, the first time the Museum has had foreign language collections information – increasing accessibility of collections for Egyptians
  • Comics have been incorporated into postgraduate teaching at the University of Cambridge, into museum gallery text panels at the Petrie Museum and into new designs for Manchester Museum Egyptian galleries
  • Abd el-Gawad invited to do a guest editorial of Egyptian Archaeology for EES, and advise on EES collection policy
  • Abd el-Gawad invited onto Egyptian state TV, Channel 2 ‘Youth Live’ for a 20-minute segment on the project

Future activities:

  • Two workshops pairing children in UK with community schools in Egypt through the Horniman Museum education department (Feb 2021)
  • A special edition of graphic comic El3oba devoted to the project (2021)
  • Delivery of a performance-based storytelling (wonderbox) programme – (2021)
  • Launch of OA booklet in Egyptian Arabic summarising Stevenson’s Scattered Finds findings and including discourses developed through project
  • Workshop in UK with Egyptian artists, museum curators and scholars working in the MENA region broadly to discuss creative approaches to decolonisation

Separate to the EDH project, Alice Stevenson co-organised the launch of the 100 Histories of 100 Worlds in 100 Objects project at the University of Kingston, Jamaica with Mirjam Brusius in Dec 2019, critiquing the use of the Egyptian human mummified remains featured by Neil MacGregor in the BM’s History of the World in 100 Objects. This project is now a web-based resource: https://100histories100worlds.org/.  

Related outputs

  • Ford Spora, A. 2018. Transferring Authenticity to Replica Ancient Egyptian Objects with Visitors in the Petrie Museum. https://pqdtopen.proquest.com/pubnum/13855682.html.
  • Barron, A., D. Q Fuller, C. Stevens, L. Champion, F. Winchell and T. Denham 2020. Snapshots in time: MicroCT scanning of pottery sherds determines early domestication of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) in East Africa, Journal of Archaeological Science 123: 105259. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2020.105259
  • Fuller, D. Q and L. Lucas 2020. Savanna on the Nile: Long-term agricultural diversification and intensification in Nubia. In: Emberling, G. and B. B. Williams (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Nubia. OUP, Oxford.
  • Varadzin, L., L. Varadzinová, D. Q Fuller and H. M. Hamdeen 2019. Unknown hafir at Jebel Shaqadud: New evidence on water management in central Sudan, Der Antike Sudan 30: 111–116.
  • Brass, M., D. Q Fuller, K. MacDonald, C. Stevens, A. Adam, I. Kozieradzka-Ogunmakin, R. Abdallah, O. Alawad, A. Abdalla, I. Vella Gregory, J. Wellings, F. Hassan and A. Abdelrahman 2019. New findings on the significance of Jebel Moya in the eastern Sahel, Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa 54(4). DOI: 10.1080/0067270X.2019.1691845
  • Smith, O., W. Nicholson, L. Kistler, E. Mace, A. Clapham, P. Rose, C. Stevens, R. Ware, S. Samavedam, G. Barker, D. Jordan, D. Q Fuller and R. G. Allaby 2019. A domestication history of dynamic adaptation and genomic deterioration in Sorghum,  Nature Plants 5: 369–379.
  • Garnett, A. 2020. ‘Ceramic Study’, in Stevens, A., ‘The North Cliffs Cemetery at Amarna’, Egyptian Archaeology 56:  7.
  • Garnett, A. 2020. ‘Sudan and the Petrie Museum: Histories of Display, Scholarship and Engagement’, Archaeology International 22, 1: 66-71. http://doi.org/10.5334/ai-400.
  • Garnett, A. 2019. ‘Reconstructing Fragments of Life Stories: Flinders Petrie, Freud and Egypt’, in Leonard, M., (ed.), Freud and Egypt: Between Oedipus and the Sphinx. Freud Museum London, London: 25-30.
  • Garnett, A. 2019. ‘The Stone Village Ceramic Assemblage’, in Stevens, A., ‘Tell el-Amarna, Autumn 2017 and Spring 2018’, Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 104.2: 23.
  • Garnett, A. 2018. The Stone Village ceramic assemblage. In: Kemp, B. , Tell el-Amarna, spring 2017, Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 102: 14.
  • Martin, C. 2019. Demotic Papyri in the Ashmolean Museum. In: Zauzich, K.-Th. (ed.), Akten der 8. Internationalen Konferenz für Demotische Studien, Würzburg 27.– 30. August 2002. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden: 119–130.
  • Martin, C. 2019. A Persian estate in Egypt: Early Demotic papyri in the British Museum. In: Naether, F. (ed.), New Approaches in Demotic Studies. Acts of the 13th International Conference of Demotic Studies, Leipzig, September 4-8, 2017. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde: 171–190.
  • Martin, C. 2018. Demotic Letters from the Sacred Animal Necropolis of North Saqqara: The Final Instalment (7–20)”, with H.S. Smith and S. Davies. In:  Donker van Heel, K., F.A.J. Hoogendijk and C.J. Martin (eds), Hieratic, Demotic and Greek Studies and Text Editions. Of Making Many Books There Is No End: Festschrift in Honour of Sven P. Vleeming. Papyrologica Lugduno-Batava 34. Brill, Leiden:  123–147
  • Martin, C. 2018. Legal and administrative texts from Tebtunis in the Carlsberg Collection. In: Lippert, S., I. Guermeur and M.-P. Chaufray (eds.), Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on the Fayyum. Montpellier: 75–88.
  • Näser, C. 2020. Past, present, future. The archaeology of Nubia. In: Emberling, G. and B. B. Williams (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Nubia. OUP, Oxford.
  • Näser, C. and Gemma Tully 2019. Dialogues in the making: Collaborative archaeology in Sudan, Journal of Community Archaeology & Heritage 6:3: 155-171.
  • Näser, C. 2019. Exploring attitudes towards the archaeological past: Two case studies from majority Muslim communities in the Nile valley, Journal of Social Archaeology 19:3: 379-402.
  • Quirke, S. 2018. Languages of artists: closed and open channels. In: Miniaci, G., J. C. Moreno García, S. Quirke, A. Stauder (eds.), The Arts of Making in Ancient Egypt. Voices, images, and objects of material producers 2000-1550 BC. Sidestone Press, Leiden: 175-196.
  • Stevenson, A. 2020. The archival record of Petrie’s 1894–95 excavations in the Predynastic cemetery at Naqada. In: Stevenson, A. and J. van Wetering (eds). The Many Histories of Naqada. Archaeology and Heritage in a Region of Upper Egypt. Golden House Publications, London: 11–56.
  • Stevenson, A. and J. van Wetering (eds) 2020. The Many Histories of Naqada. Archaeology and Heritage in a Region of Upper Egypt. Golden House Publications, London.
  • Stevenson, A. 2019. Scattered Finds: Archaeology, Egyptology and Museums.  UCL Press, London.


  • Qatar-Sudan Archaeological Project/Nubian Archaeological Development Organisation
  • Egypt Exploration Society - Amarna Stone Village
  • Egypt Exploration Society - Shalfak
  • Patrons' Award, Egypt Exploration Society to fund the replicas that were used during the research on Mograt (Sudan) and donated to the Sudan Antiquities Service to be used for further engagement
  • UCL Public Engagement
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council – Egypt’s Dispersed Heritage
  • DCMS Wolfson Foundation Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund – ‘Petrie and Edwards: Gateway to the World of Egyptology’