skip to content

Department of Archaeology



My research focuses on diachronic changes in the Ancient Egyptian justice system from the Old Kingdom to the Middle Kingdom (c.2700-1700BCE). I study the evolution of specific legal concepts and institutions as evidenced by changes in the titles of officials and legal documents from different time periods. In addition to this, I seek to draw attention to the possibility of legal pluralism in ancient Egypt, highlighting the multi-faceted nature of justice on both formal and informal levels. I also have an interest in the possibility of certain judicial and punitive concepts entering Egypt from the Mesopotamian world in the later 2nd millennium BCE.

Born in France and raised in the UK, I studied Archaeology & Anthropology at Selwyn College, Cambridge (2011-2014). I specialised in Ancient Near Eastern history with a focus on the Egyptian and Akkadian languages. After graduating with a starred first, I became a Benefactors’ Research Scholar at St. John’s College, Cambridge, where I began my ongoing work on Ancient Egyptian courts, law enforcement and conceptions of justice. In 2015, I moved to Robinson College, Cambridge as a Lewis-AHRC Research Scholar and this is where I completed my PhD (2019). In 2017, I was an AHRC IPS Doctoral Research Fellow at the Library of Congress, where I focused on the wider place of Egyptian justice in African and Near Eastern legal thought.

My first postdoctoral position was as a Bye Fellow in Egyptology at Selwyn College, Cambridge (2018-2019), which came alongside a role as Teaching Associate in Egyptian Language at the Department of Archaeology. In 2019, I was elected Lady Wallis Budge Junior Research Fellow in Egyptology at Christ's College, Cambridge, and also became a Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, where for two years I ran the Egyptian World Seminar Series. In 2021, I became PI on the AHRC-funded research project, The Development of Early Constitutional Thought, which looks at normative modes of government in Egypt and the Ancient Near East in the period 2600-1100BCE. In addition to this, I am a member of the Cambridge Language Sciences Interdisciplinary Research Centre.

Alongside my research, I have a strong commitment to teaching and have served as an Affiliated Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology. I have extensive experience of teaching Egyptian language, covering Old, Middle and Late Egyptian, and have also taught Babylonian at intermediate and advanced level. While my present role is focussed mostly on research, I continue to deliver regular Middle Egyptian tutorials to undergraduate and postgraduate students across a range of Cambridge Colleges.


  • Ancient Egyptian courts, law enforcement, and conceptions of justice
  • Justice systems in Africa and the Ancient Near East
  • Legal pluralism and panlegalism, especially in pre-modern cultures
  • History of Egyptology, with particular references to Russia and the USSR

Key Publications

Key publications: 

Loktionov, A. "Egyptian Oracles and the Afterlife". In Marlow, H., K. Pollmann & H. van Noorden (eds.) Eschatology in Antiquity. Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge, 2021: 49-62.

Loktionov, A. "Detecting Conceptual Resilience: the Ancient Egyptian Notion of Judicial Sd̠m ('hearing') over 1500 years', Archaeological Review from Cambridge 36(1): Resilience & Archaeology, 2021: 175-191.

Loktionov, A. & C. Schmidhuber. "Luminous Oils and Waters of Wisdom: Shedding New Light on Oil Divination". In de Graef, K. & A. Goddeeris (eds.) Law and (Dis)Order in the Ancient Near East: Proceedings of the 59th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale Held at Ghent, Belgium, 14-19 July 2013. University Park, PA: Penn State University Press (Eisenbrauns), 2021: 169-176.

Loktionov, A. "The First 'Lawyers'? Judicial Offices, Administration and Legal Pluralism in Ancient Egypt, c.2500-1800BCE". In Cavanagh, E. (ed.) Empire and Legal Thought: Ideas and Institutions from Antiquity to Modernity. Leiden: Brill (Studies in the History of International Law 41/16), 2020: 36-68.

Loktionov, A. "The Development of the Justice System in Ancient Egypt from the Old to the Middle Kingdom". Cambridge: Apollo - University of Cambridge Repository, 2019:

Loktionov, A. "Tortured, Banished, Forgotten (and frequently Ripped Off)? Experience of Ancient Egyptian Criminal Judgment and its Consequences through the 2nd Millennium BCE". In Kilroe, L. (ed.) Invisible Archaeologies: Hidden Aspects of Daily Life in Ancient Egypt and Nubia. Oxford: Archaeopress, 2019: 6-16.

Loktionov, A. "A Revolution in Egyptology, or an Egyptology of the Revolution? Changing Perspectives on Ancient Egypt in Russia". In Navratilova, H, T. Gertzen, A. Dodson & A. Bednarski (eds.) Towards a History of Egyptology: Proceedings of the Egyptological Section of the 8th ESHS Conference in London, 2018. Münster: Zaphon, 2019: 157-170.

Loktionov, A. "Commentary: Desert shaped by people, or people shaped by desert? Reflections of an Egyptologist", Archaeological Review from Cambridge 34(1): Desert Archaeology, 2019: 20-27.

Loktionov, A. "May my nose and ears be cut off: Practical and "supra-practical" Aspects of Mutilation in the Egyptian New Kingdom", Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 60(3), 2017: 263-291.

Loktionov, A. "An 'Egyptianising' Underworld Judging an Assyrian Prince? New Perspectives on VAT 10057", Journal of Ancient Near Eastern History 3(1), 2017: 39-56.

Loktionov, A. "Thoughts towards a new hypothesis for understanding the legal text in OI 12073", Göttinger Miszellen 253(3), 2017: 89-96.

Loktionov, A. "Of pilgrims and poets, prisoners and politics: the story of Egyptology in Russia". In Langer, C. (ed.) Global Egyptology: Negotiation in the Production of Knowledges on Ancient Egypt in Global Contexts. London: Golden House Press, 2017: 129-145.

Loktionov, A. "Importing the law? Possible elements of the Mesopotamian legal tradition in New Kingdom Egypt", BAF Online: Proceedings of the Berner Altorientalisches Forum, 2016:

Loktionov, A. "Convicting 'Great Criminals': A New Look at Punishment in the Turin Judicial Papyrus", Égypte Nilotique et Méditerranéenne 8, 2015: 103-111.

Loktionov, A. "Kušû: Crocodile after all?", Nouvelles Assyriologiques Brèves et Utilitaires 2014(4), 2014: 164-167.

Other publications: 

Loktionov, A. "Review: Structures of Power: Law and Gender across the Ancient Near East and Beyond. Chicago Oriental Institute Seminars 12 (ed. I. Peled)", Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 24, 2019: 78-81.

Blick, A. & A. Loktionov, "Promoting democracy in an ancient state: the case of Egypt", History and Policy 30th Oct, 2017.

Loktionov, A. "Exploring African Law and Ancient Egypt", Library of Congress Insights Blog 10th Aug, 2017.

Turello, D., W. Hall, A. Loktionov & J. Lingel. "Emoji, texting and social media: how do they impact language?", Library of Congress Insights Blog 15th Jun, 2017.

Loktionov, A. "Ramesses II, victor of Kadesh: a kindred spirit of Trump?", The Guardian: Notes and Theories 5th Dec, 2016. 

Loktionov, A. "Divining Destiny in Rural Armenia", Research Horizons 25, 2014: 34-35.

Teaching and Supervisions


I am/have been involved in the teaching of the following course(s):

  • Paper G13 (Graduate): Introduction to Middle Egyptian
  • Paper G14 (Graduate): Advanced Middle Egyptian
  • Paper A5/E1 (Undergraduate): Introduction to Middle Egyptian
  • Paper ARC37/E2 (Undergraduate): Advanced Middle Egyptian
  • Paper ARC38 (Undergraduate): Old & Late Egyptian
  • Paper ARC18 (Undergraduate): Society and Settlement in Ancient Egypt
  • Paper M4 (Undergraduate): Intermediate Babylonian
  • Paper M5 (Undergraduate): Advanced Babylonian
Research supervision: 

My PhD was supervised by Dr Hratch Papazian

Other Professional Activities

  • Principal Investigator, Development of Early Constitutional Thought
  • AHRC IPS Doctoral Research Fellow, Library of Congress (Feb-Aug 2017)
  • Lord Lewis-AHRC Research Scholar, Robinson College (2015-2018)
  • Honorary Vice-Chancellor's Award, St. John's College (2014-2015)
  • Thomas Young Medal for Outstanding Distinction in Oriental Archaeology, University of Cambridge (2014)

Job Titles

Lady Wallis Budge Junior Research Fellow, Christ's College
Fellow, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

General Info

Not available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Assyriology and Mesopotamian Languages
Epigraphy & Paleography
Egyptology and Egyptian Language

Contact Details


Person keywords: 
Textual Analyses
The Near East
Assyriology and Mesopotamian Archaeology
Rethinking Complexity
Geographical areas: 
Egypt and Sudan
Mesopotamia and the Near East
Periods of interest: 
Copper/Bronze Age