Staff and HDR Seminar Series

Semester 2 2014

Richard Long
PhD Mid Candidature Review Presentation: The Egyptian oases in the Third Intermediate Period.

James Gill and David Garland
Egypt’s Western Oases during the Ptolemaic Period: An examination of Ecology, Agricultural Production and Land Tenure

Sarah Ricketts
MA Confirmation Presentation: Analysis of the Lithic Assemblage from Mut al-Kharab, Dakhleh Oasis.

Jessica Cox
To Europe and back again: An archaeological adventure.

Rebecca Dixon
The Material Corpus from Uronarti and its implications for interaction in Lower Nubia.

Amy Pettman
Dating the Old Kingdom watchposts in Dakhleh Oasis.

Assoc. Prof. Colin Hope
Reading the Kellis Roman-period decorated Cartonages.

Honours Students
Thesis Presentations.

Honours Students
Thesis Presentations.

David Stewart
Just tell us if it’s myth! Thesis conclusions in preparation for submission.

David Garland
Doctoral Pre Submission Seminar: Ptolemaic Economic Policy

Dr Ashten Warfe
Title TBA

Dr Nicola Aravecchia
The church at Amhida.

Iryna Ordynat
MA Confirmation Presentation: Predynastic female figurines in context.



Monash-Warwick debate on ancient Athens

Preparation for the Monash-Warwick debate on ancient Athens can be found at the following link:







Monash-Warwick Alliance: New funding for Taught Masters in Ancient Visual and Material Culture at Warwick

The University of Warwick has announced a new funding scheme for applicants to Taught Masters programmes, aimed at students with particular financial needs (further details below).

The Department of Classics and Ancient History runs a Taught MA programme in Ancient Visual and Material Culture, with additional specialist streams concentrating on Greece and Rome, in which students take one module at the British School at Athens or British School at Rome. For full details please visit
I would be happy to answer any queries about the courses:
The deadline for applications for funding is 16th June 2014, by which date applicants must also have made an application to the University (including references and transcripts). The online form can be found here:

Funding Scheme Details:
The University of Warwick has launched an innovative scholarship scheme totalling £600,000 for postgraduate taught students taking Masters, PG Certificates or PG Diplomas in 2014/15. The scholarship will contribute to course costs and living expenses as part of a Higher Education Council for England (HEFCE) initiative aimed at removing barriers to postgraduate education.
Full details are available here:
Enquiries about the scheme should be sent to:




An Australian Society for the Promotion of Ancient Egyptian Culture


  • To promote public awareness of Egyptian culture from prehistoric times to the advent of Islam
  • To provide individual lectures, courses of lectures and seminars for the public
  • To ensure that all Egyptologists visiting Australia deliver lectures within Victoria (In this we collaborate with the Australian Centre for Egyptology at Macquarie University)
  • To support the teaching of Egyptology at university level
  • To assist in the acquisition of library resources for the teaching of Egyptology
  • Ultimately, to provide a studentship for travel to Egypt
  • To assist, where possible, with financial support for excavation in Egypt

Benefits of Membership

  • Prior notification of all events
  • Priority in booking for any events
  • Discount rates on all activities organised by The Society
  • Discount rates on publications distributed by The Society
  • The Bulletin of the Australian Centre for Egyptology

Membership Details

The membership form can be downloaded here [pdf 25kb]

Direct payments for ESV membership and attendance to special events may be made through Monash ecommerce at

Excavations in Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt

Satellite image of Egypt with Dakhleh oasis marked

The Dakhleh Oasis Project (DOP) is a long-term regional study of the interaction between environmental changes and human activity in the closed area of the Dakhleh Oasis, Western Desert of Egypt, but including the larger area of the Palaeoasis. The study includes all the time since the first incursion of humans in the Middle Pleistocene, perhaps 400,000 years ago, down to the 21st century oasis farmers, and all the human activity and all the changing environmental conditions for which there is evidence within the time period.

To achieve such an assessment, it is necessary to gather data on the modern environment and all past environmental conditions. The environment is seen as one of the most important influences on all human activity. The evidence for this is sought in the geological, geomorphological, the botanical and the faunal records. These data are collected by various field workers, specialists in their particular fields, who ultimately will provide a consensus of the environmental history of the region. The DOP environmentalists to date are Professor R. F. Giegengack, Jr., Dr. Jennifer Smith, Professor C. S. Churcher, Dr. Ursula Thanheiser and Mag. Johannes Walter. Formerly, there have also been Professor J. C. Ritchie and Professor I. A. Brookes.

The activities of humans within these environmental settings must be investigated by a wide range of expertise. The settling and development of cultural evolution within the oasis area, the expansion into and from other Saharan regions and, of course, connections with the Nile Valley are all of interest. These studies are performed by geoarchaeologists, Old Stone Age African specialists, Holocene-Neolithic archaeologists, historical periods specialists – Pharaonic, Ptolemaic-Roman-Christian archaeologists, Islamic archaeologists; by physical anthropologists, and by linguists.

So far, no social or cultural anthropologists have participated in the DOP. These investigators include Professor M. R. Kleindienst, Dr. M. M. A. McDonald, Dr. C. A. Hope, Professor A. J. Mills, Professor F. Leemhuis, Dr. O. E. Kaper, Professor R. S. Bagnall, Professor J. E. Molto, Professor M. Woidich, Professor K. A. Worp, Professor I. Gardner, and a great number of field assistants and experts brought into the project to study specific specialized aspects of our finds.

Dakhleh Oasis view
Dakhleh Oasis

To understand both the cultural evolution and the environmental changes and their interdependence properly, the oasis has to be studied in great local detail, as well as in a much wider context of northeastern Africa. The general trends, both cultural and natural, throughout the Sahara, and Nile Valley and the eastern and central Sahara as well as locally in the oasis itself must be understood to place the Dakhleh Oasis in its proper setting. Because the Dakhleh Oasis is both an isolated unit and a microcosm of much wider trends, the study is important.

No such large oasis area of the eastern Sahara has yet been so broadly examined and in such great detail. What occurs in the Dakhleh Oasis, will in all probability also occur in other places, with local variations. For example, because of human interference and natural destruction, early adaptation in the Nile Valley is imperfectly understood. The Dakhleh Oasis is isolated but not too distant from the Nile, is subject to many of the same but a much less complex group of influences, and the DOP will be able to shed light on such a problem area.

Through an understanding of the cultural development in the oasis, and in the variety of ways people have had to adapt and accomodate themselves to their changing world, and also how they have influenced or created change in their world, it should become easier to understand the present-day problems of life in an hyper-arid environment, with fertile soils but with a finite water supply. Past solutions and mistakes and results can often better inform mankind. This in turn will inform development agencies for future planning and programs in such regions.

General view of Qasr
General view of Qasr, Egypt

 The Dakhleh Oasis lies some 800 km SSE of Cairo, surrounded by the wastes of the eastern Sahara, centered at 25o 30’N and 29o 07’E. The oasis is some 80 km west to east and 25 km maximum wide. The population (in 2002) is about 75,000. The local economy is based in agriculture, and there are no known mineral or other viable resources.

The capital is at Mut, which has been the main town since at least the Eighteenth Dynasty, about 1,500 BCE. Before then, the site of ‘Ain Asil at Balat in eastern Dakhleh had been the seat of the government, since 2,500 BCE, and before that the less settled Neolithic and earlier populations inhabited the area. The Dakhleh Oasis has had a continuity of settlement for about the last 8,000 years but only since 2,500 BCE has it been politically tied to the Nile region. Climatic trends and events that can be discerned in most of the eastern Sahara are also seen at Dakhleh.

The first European traveller to ‘discover’ the Dakhleh Oasis was Sir Archibald Edmonstone, in 1819. He was followed by several other early travellers, but it was not until 1908 that the first egyptologist, Herbert Winlock visited the oasis and noted its monuments in a systematic manner. Only in the 1950s was any real interest taken, first by Dr. Ahmed Fakhry, and in the late 1970s an expedition of the Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale and the Dakhleh Oasis Project each began detailed studies in the oasis.

The Dakhleh Oasis Project has been conducting this wide study since 1978, supported by a number of universities and organizations. Among these have been Monash University, The University of Durham, the University of Toronto, Columbia University, The Royal Ontario Museum, the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities, the American Research Centre in Egypt, the Egyptology Society of Victoria, The Dakhleh Trust, as well as the many institutions of the various participating scholars which support individuals. Support for the DOP is governmental, institutional, corporate and individual and is invited at all times.

The results of the DOP fieldwork are published as quickly as possible, in order that they enter the public domain without delay. The Bibliography of titles generated by the Project members is complete and is also found in this website. It will give the reader access to all our research and reporting.

Anthony J. Mills
Dakhleh Oasis Project

Annual Reports

Ain Birbiyeh Temple Project

Ain Gazzareen

DOP Prehistory Group

Qasr Dakhleh Project

Please Note: to view these reports (.pdf format) you will require Adobe Reader® 6.0 or higher installed on your computer. This software is freely available at the Adobe Reader® website. Alternative formats (i.e. Microsoft Word® (.doc) or printed hardcopy) will be made available if required. Please contact Colin Hope to enquire and arrange if necessary.


Excavation Sponsors


The Dakhleh Oasis Project is sponsored by:

  • The American Research Center in Egypt
  • The Dakhleh Trust
  • The Egyptology Society of Victoria
  • The Royal Ontario Museum
  • The Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities
  • The University of Durham


The investigators of Ismant el-Kharab are grateful to the following institutions, associations and individuals for their support:

  • Monash University
  • The Australian Research Council
  • The Egyptology Society of Victoria
  • Prof. Roger Bagnall, Columbia University
  • Eric and Rosemary Cromby


You too can help further this work! By becomming an ESV member your membership contributes to each field season and assists students of Monash University to participate in excavations.


 Find out more:

About the excavations at the Dakhleh Oasis :



Welcome to Ismant el-Kharab, Ancient Kellis

The site of ancient Kellis, modern-day Ismant el-Kharab, is located in the Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt.

The name Kellis is attested in documentary material from the site, which also reveals that the village once belonged to the Mothite nome.

The ancient settlement is denoted by numerous mud-brick structures and a dominant temple complex, and the main phases of occupation at the site are dated from the early Roman to late Roman Period (i.e., 1st-2nd to 4th-5th centuries CE). Kellis covers an area of approximately one square kilometer and is bounded upon its northwest and southeast by dried up wadis(water courses).

For more information see the field work Website


Deir Abu Metta and Muzawwaqa, Dakhleh Oasis

deir-abu-mettaArchaeological investigation of these early Christian sites commenced on 27th December 2007 and ended 5th January 2008. They were directed by Dr. Gillian E. Bowen of Monash University.

The first report on the fieldwork conducted in 2008 (submitted to the Supreme Council of Antiquities) is presented here:

A second field season at the settlement of Deir Abu Metta took place between 24th December 2009 and 6th January 2010. The earliest phase of occupation of the settlement is dated to the 4th century CE, while the church is probably 5th century and was operational into the 6th century.

For reports of other investigations in Dakhleh Oasis please see the Annual Reports provided on the Dakhleh Oasis Project web post.



Excavations at Mut el-Kharab, Dakhleh Oasis

mut-el-kharabExcavation Reports and Articles:

Report on the 2013 excavations

Report on the excavations in 2011 and study of ostraka in 2012

Reproduced from BACE 20, 2009 by C. A. Hope, G. E. Bowen, J. Cox, W. Dolling, J. Milner and A. Pettman – courtesy of the Editor of BACE and the Australian Centre for Egyptology:

Reproduced from BACE 19, 2008 by C. A. Hope, G. E. Bowen, W. Dolling, E. Healey, J. Milner and O. E. Kaper – courtesy of the Editor of BACE and the Australian Centre for Egyptology:

Report on the 2008 Monash excavations (submitted to the Supreme Council of Antiquities):

Reproduced from The Artefact 26, 2003 by C. A. Hope – courtesy of the Editor of The Artefact and the President of theArchaeological and Anthropological Society of Victoria:

Reproduced from The Artefact 24, 2001 by C. A. Hope – courtesy of the Editor of The Artefact and the President of the Archaeological and Anthropological Society of Victoria:

For other reports on the excavations at Mut el-Kharab please see the Annual Reports section on the Dakhleh Oasis Project web post.



NYU Excavations at Amheida in Egypt’s Dakhleh Oasis

??????????The Amheida project was started at Columbia University in 2001. Since 2008, New York University is the primary sponsoring institution, with Columbia University continuing as a partner in the project.

The excavations at Amheida collaborate with other participating groups in the Dakhleh Oasis Project, an international venture now three decades old dedicated to studying the interaction between human settlement and the environment over the long span from the earliest human presence in the oasis to modern times. Amheida itself has remains spanning nearly three millennia, and paleolithic material is found along its fringes.

For more information see the NYU Amheida website


Archaeology & Ancient History Postgraduate Students

We offer the following degree programs:

Further Information

Postgraduate Programs – Archaeology & Ancient History

The principal aim of Archaeology and Ancient History is to expand students’ engagement, through detailed research, with the culture and history of key civilisations of the ancient Mediterranean, especially Egypt. It encourages students to explore and consider the various means by which the ancient past can be approached through a combination of textual sources and material culture, and the ways in which it is both constructed and deconstructed.

We offer the only program in Victoria and one of only two in Australia that provides supervision of research degrees in Egyptology, especially Egyptian archaeology from the Predynastic to early Christian Period. It also offers supervision in aspects of the classical world, the Near East and regions extending to the Indian sub-continent.

Postgraduate study can be undertaken by research or a combination of research and coursework. Students are supported by a process of induction, training in methodology and theoretical approaches, and supervised project design. Regular seminars are held by staff, students and visiting academics. All postgraduate students are given the opportunity to participate in fieldwork in Egypt on one of the centre’s various projects.

Completed Students:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Bowen, Gillian
(1998) The Spread of Christianity in Egypt in Light of Recent Discoveries from Ancient Kellis

Stevens, Anna
(2002) A Study of the Material Evidence for Non-State Religion at Amarna

Eccleston, Mark
(2006) Technological and Social Aspects of High-Temperature Industries in the Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt, during the Ptolemaic and Roman Periods

Warfe, Ashten
(2008) A Study of the Pottery from Early and Mid-Holocene Sites in Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt

Hubschmann, Caroline
(2009) The Oases of the Western Desert of Egypt during the Third Intermediate and Late Periods

Kucera, Paul
(2010) The Roman Military Presence in the Western Desert of Egypt

Suelzle, Ben
(2010) Hierakonpolis and Qustul

Healey, Emmeline
(2012) Akhenaten and the Armed Forces


Masters (MA)

Dunsmore, Amanda
(1997) The Predynastic and Early Dynastic Collection in the National Gallery of Victoria

Hay, Louise
(1999) The Egyptian Army from the Predynastic Period until the End of the Old Kingdom

Naylor, Gregory
(1999) Trade between Egypt and Cyprus from the Late Second Intermediate Period to the End of the XVIIIth Dynasty

Ross, Andrew
(2002) Oils and Related Materials in Egyptian Rituals and Private Use during the Roman Period

Scorgie, Séamus
(2003) The Political Situation in the Western Oases of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, with Special Reference to Dakhleh Oasis

Long, Richard
(2007) Egypt’s Western Desert during the New Kingdom

O’Brien, Lainie
(2007) Aspects of Kingship in the Reign of Thutmose III

Kremler, Joy
(2008) The Origin and Development of Frog Amulets and Figures in Ancient Egypt and their Relationship to the Goddess Heqet

Pettman, Amy
(2008) Ain el-Gazzareen: New Insight into the Old Kingdom Egyptian Presence in the Dakhleh Oasis

Ogdin, Amy
(2009) The Rose in Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt

Cox, Jess
(2010) The Rise and Fall of the City of Gold: An Analysis of the Chronology and Economic Complexity of the Predynastic Cemeteries of Naqada, Egypt

Getson, Jan
(2010) The Self and the Other: Iconography and Ethnicity in Early Egypt

James, Daniel
(2010) Stepping  from Winkler’s Shadow: An Analysis of the Supposed Female Anthropomorphs in the Rock-art of the Dakhleh Oasis Region in the Egyptian Western Desert

Woodfield, Louise
(2012) The Veneration of Isis at Kellis in the Roman Period

Younger, Alice
(2014) The West-East-Oriented Cemeteries of Egypt: A Contextual Approach to Religious Identity


Under Examination:

Masters (MA)

Pecher, Yvonne
The Funerary Cartonnage from Kellis in the Dakhleh Oasis


Current Students:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Cox, Jessica
Craft Specialisation in Predynastic Egypt: The Production and Distribution of Decorated Pottery (D-Ware)

Garland, David
Power and Production in Ptolemaic Egypt

Gill, James
The Western Desert of Egypt during the Ptolemaic Period: A View from Dakhleh Oasis

Hamilton, Caleb
Egyptian Foreign Interactions during the Early Dynastic Period and Early Old Kingdom: Dynasties I-IV 

Jay, William
Characterisation of Pigments, Glass and Wall Paintings from Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt 

Livingstone, Rosanne
Dress and Identity: The Evidence from Kellis

Long,  Richard
The Third Intermediate Period in the Western Desert of Egypt

Mawdsley, Lisa
The Practice of Burial at the Naqada III Cemetery of Tarkhan 

McLardy, Kate
Women’s Festivals in the Hellenistic Period: An Interdisciplinary Analysis

Pettman, Amy
The Date and Nature of Old Kingdom Activity in Egypt’s Western Desert

Stewart, David
Osiris in the Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts: A Study of Non-Narrative Myth



Masters (MA)

Dixon, Rebecca
The Relationship of the Frontier: Exploring the Interaction between the Egyptian Inhabitants of the Fortress of Uronarti and the Local C-Group Population

Ibrahim, Stuart
Anthedon Revisited: A Re-examination of Petrie’s Excavation of Tell el-Zuweyid 

Ordynat, Iryna
Egyptian Predynastic Human Figurines: Chronology, Typology and Function

Petkov, Johanna
Child Burials in New Kingdom Egypt – a Gurob Case Study

Ricketts, Sarah
The Lithic Assemblage from Mut al-Kharab: Evidence for Sheikh Muftah and Old Kingdom Activity in Dakhleh Oasis 

Smith, Linda
Dancing, Fighting and Hippopotami: Regionalism and the Motifs of Egyptian White Cross-lined Ware



Discipline Coordinator

Honours Supervision

Archaeology and Ancient History offers supervision in a number of Research areas:

  • Ancient History
  • Archaeology
  • Classics (Greece & Rome)
  • Egyptology

This list is neither exhaustive nor exclusive. Not all staff will be available in any given year or semester. Staff members’ interests range widely, and students who wish to work on topics not covered in this list can possibly be accommodated. Dissertation topics should be discussed by interview with the Honours Coordinatoror the Discipline Coordinator (above)

The Honours Program involves intensive advanced study combining coursework with a research project, or dissertation, in which the student engages in independent research on an approved topic under the supervision of a member of academic staff.

Combined Honours

This Program offers the opportunity for students to undertake 4th year honours courses which can combine study with other disciplines in our School and Faculty with permission & advice from the  Honours Coordinator.


The Centre for Archaeology & Ancient History awards, at its discretion, the following prizes for achievement at Honours level:

The Peter Bicknell Memorial Prize for the best Honours thesis: $300.00

Description: Prize for the best Honours dissertation in Archaeology or Ancient History. All dissertations are considered for the prize and are judged by two staff members

The Rosemary Cromby Prize for the best honours essay or series of essays: $250.00

Description: Prize for the best essay in a Level Four coursework unit. Open to all Level 4 students enrolled in an Honours degree, on the nomination of their tutor. Essays are judged by two staff members.

These awards are based upon the actual marks allocated to the relevant pieces of work and all work presented in any particular year is automatically considered so no application to be considered is necessary.

Further Information


For information regarding how to apply to enrol in courses offered by the Centre for Archaeology & Ancient History please refer to the Art Faculty’s Future Students pages.

Undergraduate Students

N. B. If you have never studied at a tertiary institution before you will most likely be looking for information regarding Undergraduate courses: please see our Undergraduate section for more information on undergraduate courses in Archaeology & Ancient History.

* Undergraduate Units Offered by the Centre for Archaeology & Ancient History

Archaeology & Ancient History is the study and reconstruction of past societies and their evolution. It deals with every aspect of ancient life based upon all surviving data. With an historical framework, material culture – art, architecture, ceramics and objects of daily use – is considered along with social structure, religious beliefs, cultural philosophy and all categories of written evidence.

The development of the ancient Mediterranean is studied in both a broad context and in relation to specific cultural groups, over an extensive timeframe and in great detail for major events, achievements and personalities.

In Archaeology & Ancient History there is a focus upon the study of complex societies, from the first urban communities to the Age of Empires. We are the only University in Australia to offer a full sequence on Egypt from the earliest times until the advent of Christianity.

We offer undergraduate units in a number of areas including:

  • Ancient Egypt over a 1000 year timespan
  • Minoan Crete
  • Mycenaean & Classical Greece
  • Hellenistic & Roman worlds

No previous study of archaeology and ancient history is required to commence a major or minor sequence in archaeology & ancient history at Monash.

Undergraduate Units

Undergraduate Resources

Listed below are some general resources for historical studies students. Please see Dept/Centre websites for more discipline-specific resources (above)

Home – introduction

About Archaeology and Ancient History

The principal aim of Archaeology and Ancient History is to expand students’ awareness and knowledge of the culture, history and legacy of key civilisations of the ancient Mediterranean, especially Egypt.

Given the determining influence of the ancient Mediterranean world on western culture at many levels, all participants in our courses are encouraged and urged to relate their studies within Archaeology and Ancient History to those that they undertake elsewhere in the faculty.

Studies of the ancient world and its riches contribute like few others to broader, more holistic perspectives.

We believe that effective teaching involves drawing students into a dialogue about the nature and purpose of their learning and into critical debate about the knowledge they are expected to gain. Through studying the past students are calculated to develop the sense that problems can be examined dispassionately and that the transitory can be distinguished from the permanent. Such realisation will enable them to assess the present more critically and more wisely.


We aim to furnish students with the investigative, analytic and interpretational methods and techniques appropriate to their area of study.

In non-language subjects, students are encouraged to question texts and other evidential material and consider the methods by which answers may be sought.

Particular attention is paid to different methodologies, and why their assumptions, approaches and preoccupations have changed over time.

In seeking to equip students with a sound methodological perspective, we aim to ensure they acquire the practical skills that are necessary to complete their undergraduate work requirements.

Students are expected to develop skills, all important in the job marketplace, of clear expression, discrimination, and accuracy in their written and oral presentations.

Find out more: Our staff | Fieldwork | Undergraduate | Honours | Postgraduate | Egyptology Society of VictoriaContact us

Archaeology & Ancient History – Contact Us


Archaeology and Ancient History is located on the 6th floor, South Wing of the Menzies Building on the Clayton Campus. All office numbers are prefixed with the letter “S” to indicate the south wing.


For general enquiries about the centre, please contact:

School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies General Office
phone: (03) 9905 2172 or (03) 9905 2164

Postal address for Archaeology and Ancient History:

Archaeology and Ancient History
Building 11 (Menzies Building)
Monash University
Victoria 3800

Director and Discipline Coordinator

Associate Professor Colin Hope
Phone: +61 3 990 53262
Location: 6th Floor South, Menzies Building

Archaeology and Ancient History Staff

Archaeology and Ancient History staff


SOPHIS staff contacts page.