Margaret Serpico

Curator of Virtual Exhibitions and Resources, Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

Margaret Serpico is the Egyptology subject specialist for 3D Petrie. She is responsible for interactive concepts, story boarding, written and visual content, and user interaction (UX) design. She works with Giancarlo Amati on interactive development and delivery. In the 3D model production chain, she is responsible for object selection, 3D model quality review and approval. Margaret has also developed and carried out evaluations of interactives. 

Margaret is also Honorary Research Associate at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL.

Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology
Malet Place

+44 (0)20 7679 2884
margaret.serpico (at) (please replace (at) with @ )

3D Petrie Research Interests

  • The potential of 3D in museums and cultural heritage
  • The development of a procedures for creating 3D resources and exhibitions
  • User experience (UX) of interactives and 3D exhibitions
  • Quality control of 3D models
  • Digital documentation and archiving of objects and 3D models

Subject Specialist research interests

  • The reception of 3D and digital assets in Egyptology
  • Mediterranean trade, transport of organic natural products
  • Reactivation of smaller Egyptology collections in the UK
  • Petrie and British School of Archaeology excavations in Egypt
  • Tracing the distribution of Petrie and BSAE excavated objects

Currently she is actively involved with the 3DPetrie project at the UCL Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology.


1986 - 1996. Ph.D, Department of Egyptology, University College London.

Thesis entitled Mediterranean Resins in New Kingdom Egypt: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Trade and Usage.

Past Projects

Petrie Museum

April 2004 - August 2004. Virtual Curator, Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL, Malet Place, London. Funded by JISC. Project to explore remote virtual 3D handling of objects.

Oct 2002 – April 2004. Curator, Collections of Virtual Egypt and Sudan, Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL, London. Funded by the Designation Challenge Fund and the Arts and Humanities Research Board. Reactivation of four collections in the southeast of England (Bexhill Museum, Buckinghamshire County Museum, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Ipswich Museum). Documented and digitized collections, created the Accessing Virtual Egypt website and helped develop exhibition plans.

Aug 2005 - Mar 2006. Co-ordinator, Egyptology Specialist Network, Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL, London. Funded by Renaissance and the Designation Challenge Fund. Established the Egyptology Subject Specialist Network, ACCES (The Association for Curators of Collections from Egypt and Sudan), created entries for approximately 200 ancient Egyptian collections in the UK on the MLA Cornucopia website, mapped those collections and undertook and e-published a survey of their current state.

Consultancy Projects

Margaret has worked as a consultant for a number of UK museum collections. This has involved developing permanent and temporary exhibitions and collection reviews.

Field work in Egypt

1989 - 1992, 1994, 1997- 9, 2005 and continuing off-site research. Amarna Expedition (Egypt Exploration Society). Canaanite Amphorae Project (1997-9, 2005); Organic Residue Study (1989-99, 2005); Stone Shrine Project (1989-2); Small Finds Registrar (1989).

1988, 1992, 1993, 1997. Memphis Expedition (Egypt Exploration Society), Canaanite Amphorae Project (1992-3, 1997); Excavator, Small Finds Registrar (1988).

1980. Naukratis Expedition (American Research Center in Egypt). Excavator and Epigrapher.


Serpico, M. (article in press for 2014). “Re-excavating Egypt: Unlocking the Potential in Ancient Egyptian Collections in the UK”. 

Hosseininaveh, A., Serpico, M., Robson, S, Hess, M. V. M., Boehm, J, Pridden, I, & Amati, G. (2012). Automatic Image selection in Photogrammetric Multi-view Stereo methods. Eurographics. European Association for Computer Graphics, doi:10.2312/VAST/VAST12/009-016

Serpico, M., with an Appendix by Stern, B. (2011). “The Contents of Jars in Hatshepsut’s Foundation Deposit at Deir el-Bahri and their Significance for Trade”, in D. Aston, B. Bader, C. Gallorini, P. Nicholson, and S. Buckingham (eds), Under the Potter’s Tree: Studies on Ancient Egypt Presented to Janine Bourriau on the Occasion of her 70th Birthday, Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 204. Peeters, Leuven, 843- 885.

Serpico, M. (2010). “Post-firing polychrome painted decoration on pottery at Amarna: the evidence from recent excavations”, in S. Ikram and A. Dodson (eds), Beyond the Horizon: Studies in Egyptian Art, Archaeology and History in Honour of Barry J. Kemp, vol. 2. Supreme Council of Antiquities, Cairo, 478–97.

Serpico, M. (2009). “The Griffith family and the formation of the ancient Egyptian collection at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery”, in J. Bourriau, D. Magee, and S. Quirke (eds), Sitting beside Lepsius: studies dedicated to Jaromir Malek at the Griffith Institute, Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 185. Peeters: Leuven, 491-514.

Serpico, M. (2008). “The future of ancient Egyptian and Sudanese archaeological collections in the UK: Forming Plans for the Association for Curators of Collections from Egypt and Sudan (ACCES)”, The Museum Archaeologist 31, 67-74.

Serpico, M. (2008). “Review of the Egyptology Collection at Salford Museum and Art Gallery” in What’s in Store: Collections Review in the North West (Renaissance North West: Manchester), 13-15.

Serpico, M. (2008). “Introduction”, “Gurob” and “Sedment” chapters in J. Picton and I. Pridden (eds), Unseen Images: Unpublished Photographs in the Petrie Museum. Vol. I, Gurob, Sedment and Tarkhan. Golden House Publications, London, 1-10, 17-98, 99-180.

Stern, B., Heron, C., Tellefsen, T. and Serpico, M. (2008). “New investigations into the Uluburun resin cargo”, Journal of Archaeological Science 35, 2188-2203.

Serpico, M. (2006). Past, Present and Future: An Overview of Egyptian Collections in the UK. Report available as a download from:

Serpico, M. (2004), “Natural Product Technology in New Kingdom Egypt”, in J. Bourriau and J. Phillips (eds), Invention and Innovation. The social context of technological change 2: Egypt and the Near East 1650-1150 BC. Oxbow Books, Oxford, 96-120.

Serpico M. (2004). “Salvaging the Past: Analysis of First Dynasty Jar Contents in the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology”, in S. Hendrickx, R. Friedman, K. Ciałowicz, and M. Chłodnicki (eds), Egypt at Its Origins. Studies in Memory of Barbara Adams. Proceedings of the International Conference ‘Origin of the State. Predynastic and Early Dynastic Egypt’, Kraków, 28th August – 1st September 2002. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 138. Peeters, Leuven, 1009-1026.

Serpico, M. (2004), “Petrie’s objects reunited’, in Friends of the Petrie Museum Magazine (Issue 28), Spring, 4.

Serpico, M. (2004). Accessing Virtual Egypt website: (

Smith, L, Bourriau, J., Goren, Y., Hughes, M. and Serpico, M. (2004). “The Provenance of Canaanite Amphorae found at Memphis and Amarna in the New Kingdom: results 2000 – 2002”, in J. Bourriau and J. Phillips (eds), Invention and Innovation. The Social Context of Technological Change 2: Egypt and the Near East 1650-1150 BC. Oxbow Books, Oxford, 55-77.

Serpico, M. (2003). “Quantifying Resin Trade in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Late Bronze Age”, in R. Laffineur (ed.), Metron. Measuring the Aegean Bronze Age. Proceedings of the 9th International Aegean Conference, Yale University 18-21 April, 2002. Annales d’archéologie égéenne de l’Université de Liège, 224-230.

Serpico, M., Bourriau, J., Smith, L., Goren, Y., Stern, B. and Heron, C. (2003). “Commodities and Containers: A Project to Study Canaanite Amphorae Imported into Egypt during the New Kingdom”, in M. Bietak (ed.), The Synchronisation of Civilisations in the Eastern Mediterranean in the Second Millennium BC II. Proceedings of the SCIEM2000 Euro-Conference, Haindorf, May 2001. Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien, 365-375.

Stern, B., Heron, C., Corr, L., Serpico, M., and Bourriau J. (2003). “Compositional Variations in Aged and Heated Pistacia resin found in Late Bronze Age Canaanite Amphorae and Bowls from Amarna, Egypt”, Archaeometry 45(3), 457-469.

Serpico, Margaret and White, Raymond (2001). “The Identification and Use of Varnishes on New Kingdom Funerary Equipment”, in W.V. Davies (ed.), Colour and Painting in Ancient Egypt. British Museum Press, London, 33-42.

Bourriau, J., Smith, L., and Serpico, M., (2001). “The provenance of Canaanite amphorae found at Memphis and Amarna in the New Kingdom,” in A. Shortland (ed.), The Social Context of Technological Change: Egypt and the Near East 1650-1150 BC. Oxbow Books, Oxford, 113-46.

Serpico, M. and White, R. (2000a). “The Botanical Identity and Transport of Incense during the Egyptian New Kingdom”, Antiquity 74(286), 884-97.

Serpico, M. and White, R. (2000b). “Chapter 17: Oil, Fat and Wax”, in P. Nicholson and I. Shaw (eds), Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technologies. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 390-429.

Serpico, M. and White, R. (2000c). “Appendix 9: Analysis of the Contents of Wavy-handled Jars”, in J.C. Payne, Catalogue of the Predynastic Egyptian Collection in the Ashmolean Museum, Revised edition. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 302-3.

Serpico, M. with a contribution by White, R. (2000a). “Chapter 18: Resin, Pitch and Bitumen”, in P. Nicholson and I. Shaw (eds), Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technologies, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 430-74.

Serpico, M. (2000b). “Oils and Fats”, in D.B. Redford (ed.), The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press, New York, 583-586.

Serpico, M. (2000c). Review of Lise Manniche, Sacred Luxuries: Fragrance, Aromatherapy and Cosmetics in Ancient Egypt, Egyptian Archaeology 17, 43.

Newman, R., and Serpico, M. (2000). “Chapter 19: Adhesives”, in P. Nicholson and I. Shaw (eds), Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technologies. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 475-94.

Stern, B., Heron, C.P., Serpico, M. and Bourriau, J. (2000). “A comparison of methods for establishing fatty acid concentration gradients across potsherds: a case study using Late Bronze Age Canaanite amphorae”, Archaeometry 42(2), 399-414.

Smith, L., Bourriau, J., and Serpico, M., (2000) “The provenance of Late Bronze Age transport amphorae found in Egypt”, Internet Archaeologist 9.

Serpico, M. (1999). “New Kingdom Canaanite Amphorae Fragments from Buhen”, in A. Leahy and J. Tait (eds), Studies on Ancient Egypt in Honour of H. S. Smith, Occasional Publications 13. Egypt Exploration Society, London, 267-72.

Serpico, M. and White, R. (1998). “Chemical Analysis of Coniferous Resins from Ancient Egypt using Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS)”, in C. Eyre (ed.), Proceedings of the Seventh International Congress of Egyptology, Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 82. Peeters, Leuven, 1037-48.

Serpico, M. and White, R. (1996). “A Report on the Analysis of the Contents of a Cache of Jars from the Tomb of Djer”, in A.J. Spencer (ed.), Aspects of Early Egypt. British Museum Press, London, 128-39.

Page last modified on 06 mar 14 16:11 by Mona Hess