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Professor Aidan Dodson

Professor Aidan Dodson

Professor Aidan Dodson
B.A.(Liv.), M.Phil (Cantab), Ph.D.(Cantab.), F.S.A.

Senior Associate Teacher

Honorary Professor of Egyptology

Area of research

Egyptian Archaeology

43 Woodland Road,
Clifton, Bristol BS8 1UU
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 954 6073


My primary research interests concern ancient Egypt, but I also have a wider interest in funerary customs as well, which led to a book on British royal tombs (a second edition of which is forthcoming). On a completely different tack, I also work on naval history between the middle of the nineteenth century and the present day, having published books on German battleships of the Second Reich and heavy cruisers 1865-1910, plus a number of papers and reviews. A study of the fate of ex-enemy warships after the two World Wars is in the press, and one on  German cruisers of the Second Reich is in preparation.

Within Egyptology, my particular areas of specialisation are Egyptian dynastic history and chronology; tomb architecture; coffin and sarcophagus design; canopic equipment (the containers for mummified viscera); and the history of Egyptology, particularly in Bristol. Apart from a range of books and articles, I have a long term project to publish the coffins in British local museums - Egyptian Coffins in Provincial Collections in the United Kingdom, the preliminary results of which are being placed on-line, pending ultimate print publication.

I am currently writing a series of biographical works on ancient Egyptian rulers; those on Sethy I and Rameses III have now been published, with volumes on Nefertiti, the first pharaohs and Tutankhamun in preparation.

I am also working to publish the coffins and related material from the tomb of Tutankhamun. Much of this builds on the catalogue cards and photographs left behind by Howard Carter when he died in 1939, but also includes a catalogue and study of all extant Egyptian royal coffins. Textual translations and grammatical commentaries have been prepared by Dr Bill Manley of Glasgow University; it has been much delayed by the authors' other commitments and the emerging need to do more work on the actual items in Cairo, some of which was carried out during 2013, while I spent a semester as William K. Simpson & Marilyn M. Simpson Visiting Professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo.


I studied at Langley Grammar School, Slough, Berks; Collingwood College, Durham University; the University of Liverpool; and Christ's College, University of Cambridge. I received a BA in the Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean from Liverpool in 1985, an MPhil in Museum Practice & Archaeology in 1986 and my PhD in Egyptology in 1995, both from Cambridge. I was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 2003.

Moving from London, where I did some teaching for the Workers' Educational Association, to Bristol in 1996, I have taught here ever since, at extramural, undergraduate and post-graduate level, both in the present department and in the former Department of Continuing Education.

I spent the Spring 2013 Semester as William K. and Marilyn M. Simpson Professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo.

Building on my work in extramural teaching, I am the founding Chairman of the Egypt Society of Bristol, which offers regular evening lectures by visiting speakers to members of the the University and the public. I was elected Hon President of the Rainham and Medway and Swale Egyptology Society (RAMASES) in 2018.

I have served as an elected Committee Member/Trustee of the Egypt Exploration Society, the UK's oldest Egyptological body, for five terms since 1996, and was Chairman of Trustees from 2011 to 2016.

From 2013 to 2019, I was a member of the Board of the International Committee for Egyptian and Sudan Archaeological Museums and Collections in the International Council of Museums.

A perk of being an Egyptologist is being asked regularly to accompany tours to Egypt and Sudan.


Material Culture (ARCH10013)

The Mediterranean Past (ARCH20055)

Human Challenges (ARCH30034)

Museums and Heritage (ARCH30048)


  • Egyptian dynastic history and chronology
  • Tomb architecture
  • Coffin and sarcophagus design
  • Canopic equipment
  • History of Egyptology
  • European royal tombs
  • Naval history since the middle of the nineteenth century.

Selected publications

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View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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