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Dr. Deborah Sweeny

Senior Lecturer in Egyptology
Visiting Lecturer at the Ägyptologisches Seminar der Universität Basel (2003-4)


BA - Oxford University, 1981
Ph.D. - Hebrew University, 1990
Ph.D. Dissertation: Interquotation between Non-literary Letters of the Ramesside Period.

Member of the editorial board of NIN: Journal of Gender Studies in Antiquity (published by Brill, Leiden) since 2002.

Fields of Research
  • Women and Gender in Ancient Egypt
  • Interconnections Between Egypt and Neighbouring Countries
  • Syntax and Pragmatics of Ramesside Non-literary Texts
  • Letters from Ancient Egypt
Dr. Deborah Sweeny
Current Projects

Selected Publications


Sweeney, D. 2001. Correspondence and Dialogue: Pragmatic Features in Late Ramesside Letter-writing (Ägypten und Altes Testament 49). Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden. 327 pp.

O. Goldwasser and D. Sweeney (eds.). 2001. Structuring Egyptian Syntax: A Tribute to Sarah Israelit-Groll. Lingua Aegyptia 9. 329 pp.

Recent Articles

"A Puzzle in Late Ramesside Correspondence," In: O. Goldwasser and D. Sweeney (eds.), Structuring Egyptian Syntax: A Tribute to Sarah Israelit-Groll, Lingua Aegyptia 9 (2001), 261-283.

"Walking Alone Forever, Following You: Gender and Mourners' Laments from Ancient Egypt," NIN: Journal of Gender Studies in Antiquity 2 (2002), 27-48.

"Gender and Conversational Tactics in the 'Contendings of Horus and Seth'," Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 88 (2002), 141-162.

"A Lion-Hunt Scarab and Other Egyptian Objects from the Late Bronze Fortress at Jaffa," Tel Aviv 30 (2003), 54-66.

"Gender and Request Formulation in Late Egyptian Literary Narratives," In: M. Hasitzka, J. Diethart, G. Dembski (eds.) "Das alte Ägypten und seine Nachbarn" – Festschrift zum 65. Geburstag von Helmut Satzinger mit Beiträgen zur Ägyptologie, Koptologie, Nubiologie und Afrikanistik, Vienna (2003), 132-159.

"Gender and Language in the Ramesside Love Songs," Bulletin of the Egyptological Seminar 16 (2003), 27-50.

"Hieratic Inscriptions from Lachish." In: D. Ussishkin (ed.), The Renewed Excavations at Lachish - 1973-1994, Monograph Series of the Institute of Archaeology No. 22. Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv (2005), 1601-1617.

With N. Lalkin, "A Cartouche of Ramesses III from Lachish." In: D. Ussishkin (ed.), The Renewed Excavations at Lachish - 1973-1994, Monograph Series of the Institute of Archaeology No. 22. Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv
(2005), 1626-1628.

"Law, Rhetoric and Gender in Ramesside Egypt," In: C. Lipson and R. Binkley (eds.), Rhetoric Before and Beyond the Greeks, New York (2004), 99-113.

"Pharaonic Egypt - A Land without Prostitutes?" Zmanim 90 (2005), 10-19 (Hebrew).

"Illness and Healer in Combat in Middle Kingdom and Early New Kingdom Medical Texts," In: H. Felber (ed.), Feinde und Aufrührer, Konzepte von Gegnerschaft in ägyptischen Texten besonders des Mittleren Reiches, Abhandlungen der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaft, Philologisch-historische Klasse, Band 78, Heft 5, Stuttgart/Leipzig (2005), 142-158.

"Women Growing Older in Deir el-Medîna," In: A. Dorn, T. Hofmann and A. Loprieno (eds.), Living and Writing in Deir el-Medine - The Socio-historical Embodiment of Deir el-Medine Texts, Aegyptia Helvetica 19, Basel (2006), 135-154.

With Julia Asher-Greve, "On Nakedness, Nudity, and Gender in Egyptian and Mesopotamian Art." In: S. Schroer (ed.). Images and Gender: Contributions to the Hermeneutics of Reading Ancient Art, OBO 220 (2006), 125-176.

Recent Reviews

Review of F. Junge, Late Egyptian Grammar: An Introduction, translated by David Warburton, Oxford, 2001, Lingua Aegyptia 12 (2004), 253-259.

Review of Lynn Meskell, Archaeologies of Social Life: Age, Sex, Class et cetera in Ancient Egypt, Oxford, Blackwell, 1999, NIN 4 (2003), (published 2006), 159-168.

Review of Lynn Meskell, Private Life in New Kingdom Egypt, Princeton and Oxford, Princeton University Press, 2002, NIN 4 (2003), (published 2006), 147-158.

Review of Jaana Toivari-Viitala, Women at Deir el-Medina: A Study of the Status and Roles of the Female Inhabitants in the Workmen's Community during the Ramesside Period (Egyptologische Uitgaven 15), Leiden, 2001, JESHO 48/3 (2005), 459-461.

In Press

"Letters from Ancient Egypt," to appear in: J. Allen (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Egyptology, Oxford.

Brief biographical sketches of Queens Hatshepsut, Tiy and Nefertiti, to appear in B.G. Smith (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Women in World History, New York.

"A Man on a Folding Chair on a Relief from Beit Shean", to appear in: A. Mazar and N. Panitz-Cohen (eds.), Excavations at Tel Beth-Shean 1989-1996, Volume III, Areas S and N from the late 13th to the 11th centuries BCE, Jerusalem, Israel Exploration Society.

"Gender and language in Ramesside Egyptian," to appear in LingAeg 14 (2006), Proceedings of the Colloquium" After Polotsky. New Research and Trends in Egyptian and Coptic Linguistics", Bonn, 9-11 September 2005.

"Gender and Requests in New Kingdom Literature", to appear in C. Graves-Brown and T. Schneider (eds.), Acts of the Colloquium "Don Your Wig for A Happy Hour" - Sex and Gender in Ancient Egypt, Swansea, 19-20 December 2005, Swansea, 2007.

"An MB II scarab from Ramla South" to appear in O. Tal and I. Taxel (eds.), Excavations at Ramla (South). (Salvage Excavation Reports). Tel Aviv University. Tel Aviv, forthcoming.

Ph.D. Students

Nir Lalkin (with Prof. Benjamin Sass).
Topic: The Late Bronze Age Scarabs in Eretz Israel

MA Students

Zadok Kraim
Topic: The Logistics of the Egyptian Army in the New Kingdom

Shirly Ben-Dor Evian (with Prof. Israel Finklestein)
Topic: Late New Kingdom and Third Intermediate Period Pottery in Canaan

Adi Keinan (with Dr. Rafael Greenberg)
Topic: The Megiddo Picture Pavement: Evidence for Egyptian Presence in Northen Israel during Early Bronze Age I

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