Kyoto Egyptology Colloquium

Online Egyptological Lecture Series in Kyoto

July 29th (Fri) 2022, 9:30-11:00 (Japan Time); 10:30-12:00 (Sydney Time)

July 28th (Thu) 17:30-19:00 (California, US); 20:30-22:00 (New York, US)


It’s a Long Way to the Top:

Elite male leadership career trajectories and social status within Egypt’s provinces during the Old Kingdom

Dr Thérèse Clarke

Dr Thérèse Clarke received her PhD for a study with the same title as this event in April 2021. She is a member of the Organising Committee for the Sixth Australasian Egyptological Conference and a co-convenor of Women and Gender Practices in Ancient Egypt.

The lecture will be given in English online via ZOOM


The Old Kingdom represents the period in which Egypt formalised the administrative and temple structures that would largely exist in one form or other through the remainder of its ancient history. Titles were created to reflect the responsibilities and links to court of individuals working within the kingdom’s administration. That multitude of titles has created its own difficulties; the study sought to cut through the ‘noise’ and examine the data systematically using cohort analysis principles. The study also developed an innovative method for measuring the social status of cohorts via an index created to convert honorifics, Residence-related titles, and royal cult titles into a single measure: the Social Status Index.

Results included demonstrating that those involved in the day-to-day administration of provinces or temples had comparatively specialist careers and lower social status compared to individuals advancing to higher office. As is the case today, ‘highflyers’ were less common than the ‘typical’, even though 'highflyers' are more visible in the archaeological record.

A particular focus of the study was an attempt to better understand the patterns underlying the grant of titles identifying social status and the implications of these patterns for elite male progression. Analysis of these patterns has important implications for a better understanding of Residence strategies in focusing on locations and/or individuals at a given moment in time.

Past Lectures

June 30th (Thu.) 2022, 16:30-18:00 (Japan Time); 15:30-17:00 (China); 9:30-11:00 (CEST); online (note: the lecture can be extended or shortened depending on the number of Q&A)

Dialogue through Space and Time:

Obelisks of Eastern Eurasia


Dr. Christian Langer

Postdoctoral Fellow ポストドクトラル・フェロー

Peking University 北京大学

School of Arts 文学部

The lecture will be given in English online via ZOOM


The reception of the ancient Egyptian column type of the obelisk by (early) modern Europe and the Western world is well understood. By comparison, the fact that obelisks were also reconstructed outside of the Western world has largely gone unnoticed. This talk draws attention to modern obelisk adaptations in eastern Eurasia. While most examples draw on the speaker’s ongoing project on Chinese monuments, obelisks from other parts of eastern Eurasia also feature in the talk. Thus, monuments not only in China but also in Russia, Japan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Thailand, and the Philippines also appear together with an outline of their historical background. The Eurasian obelisks raise questions over global cultural transmission, the compatibility of regions often deemed “incompatible” with one another, and the role of colonialism, but also how ancient architectural forms are adapted and modernized in the twenty-first century. The talk also aims to show the potential of research beyond the traditional geographical areas of Egyptology and the (collaborative) benefit of transgressing disciplinary boundaries.

Speaker Bio

Christian Langer is a postdoctoral fellow at Peking University School of Arts under the 2020 International Postdoctoral Exchange Fellowship Program where he investigates the transmission of the concept of the obelisk to China. He holds a doctorate in Egyptology from FU Berlin. He is the 2017 awardee of the ‘Foundation for Postgraduates in Egyptology.’ From 2016 to 2017, he was also an Erasmus Visiting Research Student at UCL Institute of Archaeology. His research interests revolve around the political economy of pharaonic Egypt as well as the colonial heritage of Egyptology and the reception of ancient Egypt. His publications include "Egyptian Deportations of the Late Bronze Age: A Study in Political Economy" (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2021) and the edited collection "Global Egyptology: Negotiations in the Production of Knowledges on Ancient Egypt in Global Contexts" (London: Golden House Publications, 2017). Selected works have been translated into Chinese, Portuguese, and Turkish.

May 20th (Fri.) 2022, 18:00-19:00 (Japan Time); 11:00-12:00 (CEST); 10:00-11:00 (BST); online (note: the lecture can be extended depending on the number of Q&A)

“Read or See and Listen? Collective literacy as indistinct line between orality and literacy in ancient Egypt”

Dr Katharina Zinn / カタリーナ・ジン博士

Associate Professor in Egyptian Archaeology and Heritage, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter, Wales, UK


The lecture will be given in English online via ZOOM

This paper introduces a new conceptual framework conceptualising literacy more broadly as a cultural and social practice to build up social and cultural memory by looking at the specifics of knowledge systems prevalent in ancient Egypt. For this it is necessary to focus on the complex relationship between orality and writing, accentuate the materiality of writing and documents, follow questions of agency and acknowledge the social role of texts and writing in general as part of Egyptian memory culture.


Zoom: For Katharina's lecture, please register here.

May 20th (Fri.) 2022, 18:00-19:00 (Japan Time); 11:00-12:00 (CEST); 10:00-11:00 (BST)

日本時間5月20日金曜日18~19時 (質問の多さなどにより30分ほど延長される場合がございます。予めご了承ください。)

April 29th (Fri.) 2022, 17:00-18:00 (Japan Time); 10:00-11:00 (CEST)

“Prosopographia Sacerdotum Saiticorum: Priestly Power in the Nile Delta during the Saite-Persian era (664-332 BCE)”

Nenad Marković (University of Novi Sad)

「サイス神官のプロソポグラフィー: サイス–ペルシア期のナイル・デルタの神官の権力」



The lecture will be given in English online via ZOOM講演は英語でZOOM上で行われます

Throughout the Saite-Persian era (c. 664–332 BCE), the Nile Delta was the central stage of major historical events and dynamic developments, including inner wars, regicides, foreign invasions and administrations, violent rebellions, and cultural standardization with special emphasis on the ‘antiquarian’ interests. Regional and local temples emerged from the political instability and fragmentation of the earlier part of the first millennium BCE as essential links between a traditional monarchy and the rest of the population, consequently upholding their position as vital bases of power and providers of authority and income for local elites. It is therefore not surprising that the management of religious institutions remained one of the main elements of the elite concept of culture, used extensively to flaunt and further their social status, prestige, and influence. However, despite generally being the best-documented social group in Egypt, the priestly structures that were in place during these times have played only a marginal role in most modern analysis of the period. Even the leading figures of the state administration and royal court, largely recruited from the temple circles, still appear in disparate contexts and often are seen almost in isolation from their social background. This is especially true for the priesthoods of Lower Egypt, whose significance is mostly downplayed in modern scholarship; no comprehensive prosopography of local cultic officials still exists. The very nature and variety of preserved source material – often undated, fragmentary, unpublished, and now scattered in museums and private collections all over the world – as well as the lack of interest among scholars do not help either.

Nevertheless, the cumulative evidence emerging slowly from various museums and archives worldwide augur well for future research. My general aim is to produce a more nuanced picture of the social lives of the temples and their personnel, highlighting the multi-faceted nature of their roles, usually positioned in-between the royal control, overall autonomy, and strong local interests. The focus of this lecture is one of the most influential families that occupied the highest echelons of Egyptian society over multiple generations and several kings/dynasties. Members of this kin group had access to a number of different and important courtly, administrative, and religious offices, including various temple-related positions at Sais, Buto, Imau, Kom Firin, Mefkat, Athribis, Letopolis, Heliopolis, and Memphis. Indeed, the majority of information about this family comes from the temple context and all members whose names and titles are known received income predominantly from different temples across Lower Egypt. An extended family tree covers the full length of the Manethonian Twenty-Sixth (Saite) Dynasty, while the later generations of the same family saw Egypt pass to Achaemenid rule and continue to figure prominently under the Persian administration before completely disappearing from surviving records during the fifth century BCE. Despite being a highly visible familial group for more than two centuries, their significance for the history of the Saite-Persian Egypt is still incompletely understood and there is no synthetic study of the group. This lecture will give a prosopographical and social survey of this kin group, adding numerous individuals to the extended family tree that have not previously been identified as belonging to the same family.


Date & Time: April 29th (Fri.) 2022, 17:00-18:00 (Japan Time); 11:00-12:00 (CEST)


Zoom: For Nenad's lecture, please register here.

March 4th (Fri.) 2022, 18:00-19:00 (Japan Time)

“Gender and the Egyptian Afterlife”

Ginger-Rose Harrington (UNSW Sydney)


New Date! 4th March, Fri. 2022, 18:00-19:00 (Japan) / 20:00-21:00 (Sydney)

The lecture will be given in English online via ZOOM講演は英語でZOOM上で行われます

Keywords: Afterlife Concepts, Gender Studies, New Kingdom, Egyptian Literature, Egyptian Archaeology

During the New Kingdom, gender was instituted by stylising the sexual lives of men and women. Following an apparently binary division of biological sex in the Egyptian mind, the individual inherited a distinctly gendered suite of ‘enactments’ whereby their male or female body was modelled into a masculine or feminine one.

The present work distinguishes between this passive male/female body and the notion of masculine/feminine embodiment in ancient Egyptian society. It specifically reconstructs the way that male fertility was understood during the New Kingdom and Ptolemaic period, based on its representation in contemporaneous Egyptian literature. In ancient Egyptian culture, male fertility supplied to heterosexual intercourse the principles of movement and life that were constitutive of an offspring.

Following this masculine creative paradigm, command over the powers of male fertility formed a prerequisite to the individual’s rebirth in the afterlife, which systematically disallowed the feminine body’s access to the hereafter. To this end, the present work shows that men and women walked through New Kingdom society in two entirely different ways, which, in turn, affected the way they interacted with the Egyptian mortuary landscape.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

February 24th (Thu.) 11:00-12:30 (Japan Time)

The Development of the Egyptian Political Economy in the Late & Early Ptolemaic Periods: Lessons from the Papyri
Andrew Hogan
(The Center for the Tebtunis Papyri, UC Berkeley)


24th February, Thu. 2022, 11:00AM-12:30PM in Japan - See World Clock - 23rd February Wed. 2022, 18:00-19:30 in California

The lecture will be given in English online via ZOOM

There has been a general understanding that during the First Millennium BC, there was a fundamental reorientation of Egyptian political concerns towards the Mediterranean and Near Eastern spheres as Egypt took part in the growth and consolidation of massive empires in these arenas. Cultural exchange accompanied these interactions, particularly in the latter half of this span when an increased number of Hellenic actors appear in Egyptian records. This period of cultural sharing occurred during a contemporary era of intense development of innovative fiscal strategies in the Near Eastern and Hellenic states. Local and state actors would have been continually sharing this new fiscal expertise with actors in Egypt.

The current offering examines the state of several fiscal institutions in Egypt and assesses the degree to which they were already changing prior to both Persian and Greek incursions in the country and how the historical circumstances mitigated their adoption. While the Ptolemies certainly instituted new iterations of tax farming, cessions of royal monopolies, state banks, coinage, and auction mechanisms to assign many of them, there were institutional precedents for many of these institutions prior to Greek hegemony.

By investigating these developments through the lens of new advances in economic and cultural evolutionary theory and with the application of primary documents from material culture, the Egyptian state can be understood as an actor within a broader Eastern Mediterranean fiscal system during this period. On the one hand, Egypt was slowly changing longstanding institutional practices in the fiscal sphere from the New Kingdom through the Late Period, and, on the other hand, what are so often referred to as Ptolemaic institutions can only be understood through negotiation with the contemporary Egyptian political economy into which they were applied.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


We are seeking lecturers! Any topics in Egyptology and related fields such as Coptology, Islamic Studies, Biblical Studies, Classics, Archaeology, etc. are welcomed! If you can do a lecture at our colloquium, please contact So Miyagawa [ at]