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Department of Archaeology




I conduct research on ancient Egyptian social and economic history, the administrative structure and management practices of the ancient Egyptian state, as well as language and texts (including epigraphy and palaeography), particularly of the earlier periods of Egyptian history (ca. 3000-2000 B.C.)

I am currently engaged in a field project at the pyramid of Sinki in South Abydos in Egypt, which dates to c 2500-2600 B.C. Although I consider myself to be a specialist of the earlier periods of Egyptian history I maintain a special interest, both in my research and teaching, in all phases and scripts of the Egyptian language spanning four millennia.



  • Language and Archaeology of Egypt
  • Analysis of ancient Egyptian society, economy, language and texts (including epigraphy and palaeography), administration, and history.


I am presently involved in the following research projects in:

  • Sinki Pyramid Project (Principal Investigator): ongoing
  • The Old Kingdom Gebelein Papyri (Principal Investigator): ongoing

I am in the process of preparing an extensive study of the Old Kingdom Gebelein papyri, which represent the economic accounts relating mostly to textile production and management in an Egyptian town from ca. 2500 B.C. Notwithstanding the importance of translating the papyri, which I am also carrying out, the objective of this endeavour consists of the examination of the complexities inherent (but not immediately evident) in the management of human and material resources, record keeping and scribal practices in a rural community in third millennium Egypt, as borne out by these ancient documents.

I am also directing a field project at an Old Kingdom step pyramid site in South Abydos, which is among the earliest stone monuments in Egypt (ca. 2500-2600 B.C.) and one of the very few non-funerary pyramids. The project aims to establish the purpose and function of such early royal structures within the broader social and administrative landscape of the time. There is a strong correlation between this and my text-based research in their chronological correspondence and their potential to allow the study of major elements of the system of government of southern Egypt more than 4500 years ago.

Key Publications

Key publications: 


[1] Papazian H.(2013). The Central Administration of the Resources in the Old Kingdom: Departments, Treasures, Granaries and Work Centers. J.C.M. García (ed.), Ancient Egyptian Administration. Leiden: Brill. 41-83.
[2] Papazian H. (2012). Domain of Pharaoh, (Hildesheimer Ägyptologische Beiträge.) Hildesheim: Gerstenberg.
[3] Papazian H.(2010). The Temple of Ptah and Economic Contacts Between Memphite Cult Centers in The Fifth Dynasty. M. Dolińska and H. Beinlich (eds.), 8. Ägyptologische Tempeltagung: Interconnections between temples. Warschau, 22.-25. September 2008. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. 137-153.
[4] Papazian H.(2008). Perspectives on the cult of Pharaoh during the third millennium B.C.: a chronological overview. H. Vymazalová, M. Bárta and H. Altenmüller (eds.), Chronology and Archaeology in Ancient Egypt (The Third Millennium B.C.). Prague: Czech Institute of Egyptology Charles University. 61-80.
Other publications: 


  • 2018 ‘Life and Labour in the Twin Towns: the View from Old Kingdom Gebelein’ in P. Collombert and P. Tallet (eds), Les archives administratives de l'Ancien Empire. État de la question: actes de la table ronde tenue à Paris, 12 et 13 février 2015. Bern: Peter Lang.
  • 2017 ‘Converters in Old Egyptian’ in R. K. Ritner (ed) Essays for the Library of Seshat. Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization 70. Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 233-253.
  • 2015 ‘The State of Egypt in the Eighth Dynasty’, Harvard Egyptological Studies I, 393-428.
  • 2009, Remarks on Oriental Institute ostraca 12296 and 18876 in E. Teeter and J. H. Johnson (ed.), The Life of Meresamun: A Temple Singer in Ancient Egypt, The Oriental Institute Museum Publications, vol. 29, Chicago, pp. 45-6 and 48.



  • 2012, ‘The Edfu Pyramid Project’ (with Grégory Marouard), The Oriental Institute News & Notes, vol. 213, 3-9. Also published in Danish as ‘Edfu-pyramide-projektet,’ Papyrus 32:2 (2012), 24-37.



  • 2009, Review of Peter Der Manuelian, Slab Stelae of the Giza Necropolis. Publications of the Pennsylvania-Yale Expedition to Egypt 7, in JNES, vol. 68, no. 1, pp. 59-60.
  • 2006, Review of Jean Leclant, Les textes de la pyramide de Pépy Ier, in JNES, vol. 65, no. 2, p. 159.
  • 2005, Review of Dilwyn Jones, An Index of Ancient Egyptian Titles, Epithets and Phrases of the Old Kingdom, 2 vols., in JNES, vol. 64, no. 3, pp. 206-207.
  • 2005, Review of Regina Hölzl, Reliefs und Inschriftensteine des Alten Reiches II. Corpus Antiquitatum Aegyptiacarum, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Ägyptisch-Orientalische Sammlung, Lieferung 21, in JNES, vol. 64, no. 2, pp. 115-116.


Theses / dissertations

2020 (No publication date)

  • Watt, K., 2020 (No publication date). A Sign of the Times: Administration, Agency of officials and Monumental architecture in Eighteenth Dynasty Egypt
  • Book chapters

    2017 (No publication date)

  • Papazian, H., 2017 (No publication date). Converters in Old Egyptian
  • Papazian, H., 2017 (No publication date). Life and Labour in the Twin Towns: the View from Old Kingdom Gebelein
  • 2016

  • Papazian, H., 2016. Converters in Old Egyptian
  • 2015

  • Papazian, H., 2015. 10 The State of Egypt in the Eighth Dynasty
    Doi: 10.1163/9789004301894_011
  • 2013

  • Papazian, H., 2013. The Central Administration of the Resources in the Old Kingdom: Departments, Treasures, Granaries and Work Centers
  • 2010

  • Papazian, H., 2010. The Temple of Ptah and Economic Contacts Between Memphite Cult Centers in The Fifth Dynasty
  • 2008

  • Papazian, H., 2008. Perspectives on the cult of Pharaoh during the third millennium B.C.: a chronological overview
  • Books


  • Papazian, H., 2012. Domain of Pharaoh
  • Teaching and Supervisions


    I am involved in the teaching of the following courses:

    As Co-ordinator:

    • Paper E1 Egyptian Language I
    • Paper E2/ARC37 Middle Egyptian Texts
    • Paper E3/ARC38 Old and Late Egyptian Texts
    • Paper E4 Coptic (from 2019-2020)
    • G13 Introduction to Egyptian Language (equivalent to E1)
    • G14 Advanced Egyptian Language (equivalent to E2)
    • G15 Coptic (equivalent to E4)
    • G16 Demotic
    • G20 Special Topics in Egyptology

    I also contribute lectures to A1 World Archaeology and A10 Archaeological Theory and Practice I, and have also lectured for A3, ARC 7, and ARC19

    Research supervision: 

    I currently supervise students investigating a range of topics related to the development of the ancient Egyptian justice system, and the administration of Egypt in Dynasty 18. Previously, one of my PhD students analysed the childhood experience in Deir el-Medina (in western Thebes).

    I am interested in supervising students who wish to study for an MPhil or a PhD in the following topics:

    • Ancient Egyptian Society and Economy
    • History and historiography of Egypt
    • Epigraphy and Palaeography


    Current students


    Past students

    • Benjamin Hinson

    Other Professional Activities

    Rethinking Complexity Research Cluster (RCRC)

    Job Titles

    Herbert Thompson Associate Professor of Egyptology
    *On leave in the 2023-2024 academic year and not accepting MPhil and PhD students*

    General Info

    Not available for consultancy
    Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
    Material Culture
    Art and Iconography
    Epigraphy & Paleography
    Egyptology and Egyptian Language

    Contact Details

    Department of Archaeology
    Downing Street
    hp363 [at]
    01223 (3)39290


    Person keywords: 
    Egypt and Sudan
    Material Culture
    Rethinking Complexity
    Geographical areas: 
    Egypt and Sudan
    Periods of interest: 
    Copper/Bronze Age
    Other Historical