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Department of Archaeology



I am originally from Brazil, where I completed a BA in Ancient History and an MPhil in Archaeology before I moved to Cambridge to pursue a PhD in Egyptian and Sudanese archaeology as a Cambridge Trust Scholar at Emmanuel College. Prior to returning to Cambridge as a Teaching Associate in Egyptian Archaeology, I spent two years in Germany working as a ERC postdoctoral fellow and teaching at LMU Munich.


My research primarily focuses on the material culture of Egypt and Sudan. Most of my work concentrates on New Kingdom funerary material, though I have also worked with earlier and later Egyptian and Nubian material, both from cemeteries and settlements. My research has a strong theoretical focus. I am especially interested in postcolonial theory, decolonial theory, colonisation through objects, social stratification and power, relations of production, consumption patterns, and how inequalities determine the expression of identities through material culture.

My recent projects include residue analysis of 18th Dynasty canopic jars and kohl containers from Lower Nubia. Analyses of these objects are progressively revealing local patterns of use of Egyptian funerary objects imported to Nubia during the New Kingdom colonial period. I am currently preparing this research for publication and expanding upon  its results to carry out further analysis of samples from Upper Nubia. I am also expanding my previous kohl project into a larger comparative analysis of Kerma Period/New Kingdom kohl containers from Nubia, aiming to understand how these objects were conceived and used locally before and during the Egyptian colonisation of Nubia. I am also currently exploring the application of digital methodologies to Egyptian and Nubian New Kingdom material. All these projects are essentially collaborative, which is something I greatly enjoy.

I am currently co-directing, with Ikhlas Abdellatif, a research project on the 18th Dynasty tomb of Djehutyhotep, chief of Tehkhet (Debeira, Lower Nubia). Due to the flooding of Lower Nubia, the tomb chapel has been relocated from Debeira and reassembled in the courtyard of the Sudan National Museum in Khartoum. The project aims to (1) document the tomb's architectural and artistic features in Khartoum using state-of-the-art techniques, in conjunction with legacy data from excavations in the 1950s; (2) record and study the burial assemblages from the tomb, including scientific analyses; (3) produce a 3D reconstruction of the monument and its archaeological contexts; (4) disseminate knowledge on Djehutyhotep and promote community-led activities towards decolonisation. The project will result in the first all-encompassing publication of this important tomb.

I am Assistant Director of the Sanam Temple Project in north Sudan. At Sanam, I have previously excavated and am currently investigating a Napatan Period faience production workshop located at the rear of the main stone temple. The products of this workshop probably ended up in mortuary contexts of the Napatan Period. I am currently planning, with Kathryn Howley, director of the project, new excavation in the production areas of the temple to determine the full extent of activity carried out at the site.

I am also engaged in fieldwork in Luxor, Egypt, where I have excavated in a series of tombs ranging from the Old Kingdom to the late New Kingdom. These tombs  were reused from the Third Intermediate Period to the Ptolemaic Period. In Egypt, I have also worked at the Great Aten Temple and one of the non-elite cemeteries in Akhenaten's capital, modern-day Amarna. Other fieldwork in Sudan include excavations at a large Kerma cemetery in Ginis East, which served a relatively wealthy provincial community within the Kerma empire of the Middle Bronze Age. I am currently writing up preliminary analises of material from this cemetery for publication and will be contributing later to its final publication.

I am currently in the process of publishing my PhD research, which consists of a fresh interpretation of the role of foreign objects in local contexts in New Kingdom colonial Nubia.


  • Dr Kate Spence (Cambridge)
  • Dr Ikhlas Abdellatif (National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums of Sudan)
  • Dr Kathyn Howley (NYU)
  • Prof Julia Budka (LMU Munich)
  • Dr Kate Fulcher
  • Prof Jonas Bergquist (Uppsala University)
  • Ludmila Werkström (Gustavianum Museum, Uppsala University)
  • Emma Hocker (Gustavianum Museum, Uppsala University)
  • Dr Leonardo Impett (Cambridge Digital Humanities)
  • Dr Claudia Rodrigues-Carvalho (The National Museum, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro)
  • Prof Violeta Pereyra (University of Buenos Aires)
  • Dr Oliva Menozzi (University of Chieti and Pescara)
  • Dr Carl Walsh (Barnes Foundation)
  • Dr Manuela Lehmann
  • Dr Frederik Rademaker (British Museum)
  • Prof Marcos Martinón Torres (Cambridge)
  • Caterina Zaggia (Cambridge)


Key Publications

Key publications: 

Some of my publications can be found at

Lemos, R., K. Fulcher, I. Abdellatif, L. Werkström and E. Hocker (under review). Reshaping Egyptian mortuary religion in colonized Nubia? Organic characterization of ritual unguents from mortuary contexts of the New Kingdom colonial period (c. 1550–1070 BCE).

Lemos, R. (forthcoming) Beyond cultural entanglements: Experiencing the New Kingdom colonization of Nubia 'from below', In New Perspectives on Ancient Nubia, ed S. Ashby and A. Brody. Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press.

Lemos, R. (2023) Can we decolonise the ancient past? Bridging postcolonial and decolonial theory in Sudanese and Nubian archaeology. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 33 (1): 19–37,

Lemos, R. (2021) Heart scarabs and other heart-related objects in New Kingdom Nubia. Sudan & Nubia 25: 252–269.

Lemos, R. and J. Budka (2021) Alternatives to colonization and marginal identities in New Kingdom colonial Nubia (1550–1070 BCE). World Archaeology 53 (3): 401–418.

Lemos, R. (2020) Material culture and colonization in ancient Nubia: Evidence from the New Kingdom cemeteries. In Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology, ed. C. Smith. New York: Springer.

Lemos, R., P. von Seehausen, M. di Giovanni, M. Giobbe, O. Menozzi and A. Brancaglion. (2017) Entangled temporalities in the Theban necropolis: A materiality and heritage approach to the excavation of Theban Tomb 187. Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 5 (2): 178–197.

Other publications: 


Lemos, R. (forthcoming) Connections to the south: Africa beyond the Mediterranean coastal zone, In Handbook of the Archaeology of Ancient Mediterranean Religions, ed. Caitlín Eilís Barrett. London: Routledge.

Di Giovanni, M., C. Santarelli, R. Lemos (2022) Analisi strutturale e studio dei riutilizzi nelle tombe tebane 187 e -348-. In Archaeologiae Una storia al plural: Studi in memoria di Sara Santoro (Reports, Excavations and Studies of the Archaeological Unit of the University G. d’Annunzio of Chieti-Pescara 2), eds. S. Antonelli, V. La Salvia, M. C. Mancini, O. Menozzi, M. Moderato, M. C. Somma, 281–288. Oxford: Archaeopress.

Lemos, R. (2021) (Archaeology of) Religion in New Kingdom Nubia. Database of Religious History, University of British Columbia,

Auenmüller, J. and R. Lemos (2021) The shabti of Khnummose – Insights into 18th Dynasty colonial society in Nubia. In Tomb 26 on Sai Island: A New Kingdom elite tomb and its relevance for Sai and beyond, ed. J. Budka. Leiden: Sidestone Press.

Carniel, V. and R. Lemos (2021) A preliminary note on the shabti corpus from the tomb complex of Neferhotep (TT49, TT362 and TT363). In O. Menozzi's Funerary uses and reuses of Theban rock-cut architecture [...]. Frankfurter elektronische Rundschau zur Altertumskunde 44,

Lemos, R. and S. Tipper (2021) Sudanese and Nubian archaeology: Scholarship past and present. In Current Perspectives in Sudanese and Nubian Archaeology – A collection of papers presented at the 2018 Sudan Studies Research Conference, Cambridge, eds. R. Lemos and S. Tipper, 1–12. Oxford: Archaeopress.

Lemos, R. (2020) A new fragment from the Amarna Royal Tomb. Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 106 (1-2): 249–256.

Lemos, R. (2018) Materiality and cultural reproduction in non-elite cemeteries. In Perspectives on Materiality in Ancient Egypt: Agency, cultural reproduction and change, eds. É. Maynart, C. Velloza and R. Lemos, 24–34. Oxford: Archaeopress.

Teaching and Supervisions


I teach the Egyptian archaeology papers for the Archaeology and Egyptology Tripos and MPhil in Archaeology and Egyptology. This year I am teaching the following courses:

A3 Introduction to the cultures of Egypt and Mesopotamia

A27 Settlement and society in ancient Egypt

G11 Historical Archaeology of Ancient Egypt I

I am also involved in:

A10 Archaeological Theory and Practice I

AS9 Archaeological Materials and Technology

A25 Mesopotamian Archaeology I: prehistory and early states

Research supervision: 

At Cambridge I supervise and examine undergraduate and MA students in Egyptian archaeology.

Other Professional Activities

I am this year's organiser of the Egyptian World Seminar Series (

I maintain strong academic connections to my home country. I am a Honorary Research Fellow at the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro). There I contribute to research projects in Egyptian and Sudanese archaeology at the museum's Department of Anthropology. I am also co-supervising three PhD projects and one MPhil project focusing on Egyptian and Nubian material in Brazil.

I am also a research associate (freier Mitarbeiter) of the ERC DiverseNile project (LMU Munich), investigating a large Kerma cemetery I excavated in Ginis East, north Sudan.

I am a member of the Code of Ethics and Heritage and Community Engagement working parties of the International Society for Nubian Studies. I am also a member of the Sudan Archaeological Research Society, the International Association of Egyptologists and the Society of Africanist Archaeologists.

I am a managing editor of Dotawo: A Journal of Nubian Studies (

Job Titles

Teaching Associate in Egyptian Archaeology

General Info

Available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Material Culture
Artefact Analysis & Technology
Archaeological Theory
Egyptology and Egyptian Language

Contact Details

rdsl3 [at]


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