Prof. John Ray
Sir Herbert Thompson Professor of Egyptology
John Ray is Herbert Thompson Professor of Egyptology in the University of Cambridge, where he has been since 1977. This post specialises in the later stages of the Egyptian language, including Coptic. He is also a Fellow of Selwyn College Cambridge. He previously held posts in the Department of Egyptian Antiquities in the British Museum, and in the University of Birmingham.
His publications have concentrated on the Achaemenid and Hellenistic periods of Egyptian history, in particular on the publication of texts in demotic Egyptian. A volume of unique texts in this script, The Archive of Hor, has been published by the Egypt Exploration Society. He was also instrumental in the decipherment of the Carian language from Asia Minor, and is a regular reviewer on historical and literary themes for the Times Literary Supplement. Until the end of 1999 he was a Committee Member of the Egypt Exploration Society.
His latest volumes, Demotic, Hieroglyphic and Greek Inscriptions from the Sacred Animal Necropolis, North Saqqara and Demotic Ostraca from North Saqqara, are in the process of being published by the Egypt Exploration Society. He is also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and a Fellow of the British Academy. He is currently working on a volume of dream-texts from Hellenistic Egypt.
A semi-popular work, Reflections of Osiris. Lives from Ancient Egypt, was published by Profile Books in the winter of 2001. A second book, The Rosetta Stone and the rebirth of Ancient Egypt, has also been published by Profile.
In the United States, John Ray has been a visiting Professor at the University of Chicago and at Yale. He has also lectured widely in Europe and North America.