This blog presents a selection from Egyptological news, museum pieces, original research, and much more.

You can also follow this blog on Facebook and Twitter.

All images are my property unless otherwise specified.

About the author: I graduated with a first class honours degree in Egyptology in July 2012, and a Distinction at MA level in Ancient Egyptian Culture in September 2013. I am currently studying for a PhD in Egyptology part-time.

My main Egyptological interests are: Egyptian language and texts, Egyptian archaeology, the Achaemenid Periods, and Middle Kingdom stelae.

My non-Egyptological interests include: music, movies, literature and art, walking, travelling, and early modern European history.

28 comments on “About

  1. Cheers for the link. 🙂

  2. Good Luck with your MA Degree Kelly. You sound very enthusiastic about your chosen proffession. I wish you all the very best.

  3. Oops! Sorry my mistake. But is it you Gemma taking the MA Degree? If so my wishes are the same.O.K.

  4. Wow! I’d love to do a degree in Egyptology!

  5. Hi Gemma, hope you’re having/had an awesome time in Egypt. 🙂

    I’ve nominated your blog for a Versatile Blogger Award – http://archaeologyoftombraider.wordpress.com/2013/05/25/the-versatile-blogger-award/

  6. Hi Gemma,

    I think your blog is great and I thought you might be interested in reviewing one of our upcoming titles Egyptomania by ‘Mr Mummy’ Bob Brier. If you would like to find out more then just drop me an email!


  7. Hey Gemma! I read your article “What’s it like to study…Egyptology” and it really resonated with where I’m at right now–I’m torn between keeping on track towards getting a ‘sensible’ job, or risking it in the not-enough-jobs-for-all arena of Egyptology. What have you gone on to do since you wrote that article? Did you get a job with your degree?

    • Hi! Sorry for the day in replying but the notifications don’t always come through to my phone.

      In response to your question, I did my MA in Egyptology and then went out into the world of work for a two year break. I currently work as a sales supervisor full time but I have been doing some Egyptology seminar teaching and marking for my university this year which has been great experience. I’m going back to complete a PhD in October but just part time as I need to keep working. Got to pay the bills!

      I’m not going to tell you that you are guaranteed a job in Egyptology because you aren’t but if you work hard and look for opportunities, there’s a chance that you’ll get lucky. If you are into the museum side of things, volunteer. If you want to teach/research (which is what I want to do), speak to your university about seminar teaching as a postgraduate. If you want to get into the archaeology side of things, look into volunteering on a dig. There are lots of opportunities if you are willing to look for them and get yourself out there.

      I hope this helps! Good luck 🙂

  8. […] last but not least, The Egyptiana Emporium Blog By Gemma Ellen […]

  9. Hi, thank you so much for your original visionary work. I am Egyptian, living in Cairo. I work as a professor of surgery in Cairo University but I’m deeply interested in Egyptology despite of being deeply involved in my work too. That’s why I appreciate you good work. I wish to follow you because I’m overwhelmed with pages and sites and keep losing tracks. Is there any way to follow you on FB ?

  10. Great blog Gemma. Wow you’re a British Egyptologist. You follow in the venerable footsteps of the great WM Flinders Petrie. I’ve been fascinated by ancient Egypt ever since I was five (forty five years ago) Margaret Drower’s biography of Flinders Petrie is one of my favourite books – and I’ve read quite a few on ancient Egypt.

  11. Petrie virtually created Egyptology and he was indeed the ‘father of modern archaeology’. As a kid I used to borrow the same Egyptological books over and over again from my local libraries. Then, many years later, when Ebay came along I set about trying to find copies of them – three in particular, “Egyptian Art and the Cults of Osiris and Amon” (1966) by the great German Egyptologist Eberhard Otto. Professor Otto’s book was one of the first in-depth studies of these two crucial cults in an era when the vast majority of books published about ancient Egypt were just a rehash of history for the ‘general reader’. Otto analyses art and iconography in depth and gives you translations of the accompanying texts – brilliant for the time. In similar vein, ‘Thebes of the Pharaohs” (1965) by Charles F Nimms and ‘Tutankhamen’ (1963) by the wonderful Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt, in my opinion, one of the absolute best books on good old Nebkheperure and bubbling over with this remarkable French woman’s enthusiasm for ancient Egypt. I now own all three! Look them up if you get a chance. I was recently given a copy of John Romer’s ‘The Great Pyramid’ – while I enjoyed it, I found it very different in tone to his earlier books all of which I own and treasure. But I’ve detained you enough. Cheers from Pete.

    • You haven’t detained me and all! I will certainly give them a read. I need to make more time for reading – it’s easy to be too busy sometimes! I still haven’t had a chance to read my new copy of Briant’s ‘From Cyrus to Alexander: a history of the Persian Empire’ – it’s one of my favourites as I love Persian Egypt. Worth a read if you are at all interested 🙂 Gemma

  12. I guess that there hasn’t been that much work done on the Persian Period, compared to say the Ptolemaic era or the New Kingdom. I remember reading Herodotus’ account of the Persians killing and roasting the Apis bull ! Not a good way to win friends or pacify a subject population… I’ve always thought that of all the ‘Late Period’ conquerors they had the least in common with their new subjects. Zoroastrianism had (and has) more in common with Islam and Christianity; being monotheistic, than it had with Egyptian polytheism. The Persian period was, I guess, a real clash of alien cultures and opposing world views. Then, when Alexander came along – the self styled son of Zeus / Ammon it must have seemed to the Egyptians like the end of the Nazi occupation in France. That’s the impression I have anyway. So what do you find fascinating about Persian Egypt?

    • It’s funny you should ask that question after mentioning Herodotus because that’s exactly what I love about it – there are a lot of conflicting opinions. I wrote about this very subject in three of my posts (‘Dispelling the myth – Herodotus, Cambyses, and Egyptian religion’ 1, 2, and 3). Many of the Persian rulers actually portrayed themselves as pharaohs and tried to understand Egyptian beliefs to gain acceptance as rulers of Egypt. It’s probably boring to most people but I find it fascinating!

  13. I’m sure the Persians had their redeeming qualities and anyway, never trust a Greek talking about the Persians (barbarians par excellence in Herodotus’ eyes) If Herodotus had seen the film 300 he would have loved it. Doesn’t he tell us that the Persian kings have a nest of giant ants who bring huge gold nuggets to the surface? It’s not a boring period at all, I’m just saying that it has probably been neglected as a focus of research or glossed over in most histories. I’ll take a look at your other posts. I’ve always had a soft spot for Hatshepsut and I’m pleased that there’s been a ressurgence of interest in her lately – since they found her tooth and her mummy. She seems to be losing her reputation as the evil aunt too
    . Anyway keep up the good work Gemma.

  14. Hi, Gemma.

    I came upon your blog today while searching for photos of the tomb of Nefratari so I thought I’d drop you a note. First of all, congratulations on your degrees in Egyptology! It is a wonderful subject, is it not? Secondly, speaking from experience, do all you can to complete your dissertation and get your Ph.D. as soon as you can. As for me, my story is a sad one: I studied Egyptology at Yale University here in the U.S. from 1981 to 1985. I completed my three years of classes, passed my week long battery of comprehensive exams (“the week of doom,” as another student called it), had my dissertation topic approved and received my M.Phil. degree. I even went to Britain and Germany that summer and did research in the British Museum, the Ashmolean, the Fitzwilliam (I still have the letters signed by TGH James and Jaromir Malek), plus the museums in West and (still communist) East Berlin. Then the brick wall of reality hit. My student funding having ended after four years, with my dissertation work in the early stages, I ended up getting a full time job – and with it went the time to write my thesis, so I got stuck with the ABD degree. (It’s a bit like planning to drive from New York to California and getting stuck in Oklahoma.)

    So, as I have said, try to complete your dissertation while you can. It will be worth it.

    As for the rest of my story, I can retire from my job in less than five years, so people have suggested that I try to finish my dissertation at that time. It is something that I would like to do and I will give it a go, although there is no guarantee that I can get a school to accept me into a doctoral program. At the very least, I’d like to at least have something worthwhile come out of what I began years ago, even if it doesn’t lead to a doctorate – but I have a lot of catching up to do (including learning to read Egyptian again), so I will be “depending” on things like your blog here to keep current with the news. I was in London recently and became a member of the British Museum just so I could keep going back again and again to see the Sunken Cities exhibit, which I imagine that you have seen. (I was particularly taken by the mysterious “Dark Queen.”) I am also hoping to go on a trip back to Egypt next year – my first since my one and only trip in 1980.

    Again, good luck to you and thanks for the updates. As I just discovered your blog, I’m sure that I will be going back to look at your earlier posts – and congratulations on your fourth anniversary, too. 🙂

    Cheers………………………Dave R in Brooklyn, New York

    • Hello Dave – thank you for taking the time to write! It’s always nice to hear that someone enjoys my posts and advice is always an added bonus.

      I’m in the very early days of my PhD – I started it in January and I am doing it part time. I have to fund myself so I also work full time. It’s hard but I find the time when I’m researching is a wonderful break from my day job!

      Time is a concern though. I have 5-7 years to complete it but 6 months have gone already so I know the time will fly!

      I too have only been to Egypt once (Cairo) so I have so much left to see. My research may take me there again but I am so desperate to go back. I really fell in love with the place!
      Anyway, thank you again for taking the time to comment.

      Best wishes from the UK! Gem

      • You are welcome, Gem. As I have said, good luck with it. I’m sure that the time will fly by. Do keep us posted as well on your progress. I feel certain that your readers will like to know how (and what) you are doing with it.



  15. Hi Gemma,
    We’ve been working on Bolton museum’s impressive Egypt galleries, which opened at the weekend. Would you be interested in some photos and further information about that? If that is of interest, do you have an email address where we could send it please? I couldn’t see it on the blog! You may have seen it covered by The Telegraph, Radio 5 Live and R4 over the weekend.
    Thanks Jason

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