Posted by: imalqata | January 26, 2013

Introducing the Team

Saturday, January 26, 2013

This year, the American contingent of the Joint Expedition to Malqata (JEM) include six members.  Five are here and the sixth will arrive in a week.  There are, of course, Egyptian members as well including Hassan, without whom nothing would get done (we have taken to calling him our vizir, our driver Mohammed ( and our Inspector of Antiquities (whom we will introduce in a later blog).

Diana and Hassan supervising clearance of a wall

Diana and Hassan supervising clearance of a wall

I’m Diana Craig Patch, JEM’s co-director, and I’ve been an archaeologist for forty years, working mostly in Egypt at Abydos, Memphis, Dahshur and now Malqata.  Before choosing Egyptology, however, I gained experience on excavations of native American sites in the United States, and I worked at Susa and Tepe Djowi in Iran.  Currently I am the Acting Associate Curator-in-Charge of the Department of Egyptian Art at the Metropolitan Museum.

Since my graduate student days, I have specialized in Predynastic and Early Dynastic Egypt and last spring I had the opportunity to curated an exhibition called Dawn of Egyptian Art, which dealt with this formative period of Egyptian culture.  In addition to my interest in settlement archaeology – the reason I wanted to excavate in the North Village at Malqata – I am interested in how the ancient Egyptians used amulets, jewelry, and small objects to express themselves.

Hi, I’m Peter Lacovara and I am Senior Curator of Ancient Egyptian, Nubian, and Near Eastern Art at the Michael C. Carlos Museum.  I am also co-directing the excavation of the Palace city of Amenhotep III at Malqata in Western Thebes with Diana Craig Patch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I have excavated at a number of places in Egypt before, including Valley of the Kings at Thebes, Deir el-Ballas, Abydos, Hierakonpolis, at the Giza Plateau.

My doctoral degree is in Egyptian archaeology from the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago and I wrote my dissertation on Egyptian New Kingdom Royal Cities.  Several years ago, Holeil Ghaly, who was director of Antiquities at Luxor and Ray Johnson, Director of Chicago House suggested that I work at the site of Malqata since it was in danger and I had already done research on the site.  I asked my old friends and colleagues, Diana Patch and Catharine Roehrig to join me, since it had been a Metropolitan Museum excavation and this was the chance to not only save the site but also to publish the Metropolitan’s work there.

Catharine taking photos with Azib, our most senior excavator, in the foreground

Catharine taking photos with Azib, our most senior excavator, in the foreground

I’m Catharine Roehrig and I work with Diana as a curator in the Department of Egyptian Art at the Met.  Peter and I have known each other since 1987, when we worked together in Boston on an exhibition called Mummies & Magic: The Funerary Arts of Ancient Egypt. I’ve been doing field work in the Theban necropolis (the west bank opposite Luxor) since 1989, when I came as a graduate student from UC Berkley, but my first trip to Egypt was in 1967, when I travelled across North Africa with my parents in a Land Rover camper.  Here on the west bank we camped at what was then the tourist ferry landing.

My specialty for many years has been the architecture of tombs in the Valley of the Kings, in particular the royal tombs of the Eighteenth Dynasty, and especially the early ones.  But I am also interested in how the Egyptians used landscape – something Amenhotep III does brilliantly at Malqata with the Birket Habu, and the cleared strip in the desert to the south of there.  This year I’m helping Diana at the north village.  At the moment I’m taking photographs, writing labels for pottery and small finds, and will soon be helping draw the fragile mud brick walls we find at this part of the site.

Katie reconstructing a dish from a house in the North Village

Katie reconstructing a dish from a house in the North Village

I’m Kathryn (Katie) Etre and I work at the Michael C. Carlos Museum as the Andrew W. Mellon Advanced Fellow in Objects Conservation. I studied Archaeology at Boston University and went on excavations in Minorca, off the coast of Spain, and worked for the state archaeologists of Conneticuit.  After taking a course in conservation my senior year, I decided to continue with that subject and got a masters degree in Conservation for Archaeology and Museums from University College London.  My first introduction to ancient Egyptian objects was during an intership at the Fitzwilliam Museum. In 2010, I joined the Carlos where I met Peter who asked me to join the Joint Expedition to Malqata.  This is my first visit to Egypt.

Annie sweeping at the Palace

Annie sweeping at the Palace

I’m Annie Shanley, a PhD candidate at Emory University.  I was a psychology major at Bucknell University before switching fields to Egyptology.  I received my Master’s in Egyptian art and Archaeology from the University of Memphis in 2007 and will graduate with my doctorate from emory this year.  My dissertation is on the use of the god Seth iin New Kingdom expressions of royal ideology, but I also specialize in ancient Egyptian glass, faience, and metal production.  I’ve worked on excavations in Egypt at the tomb of Parennefer in the Valley of the Nobles and at the Delta site of Mendes, as well as at the site of Tel Megiddo east with the Jezreel Valley Regional Project.

Joel on the Birket Habu Mounds

Joel on the Birket Habu Mounds

The final member of our team is Joel Paulson, a surveyor from California.  Joel will introduce himself when he arrives next week.


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