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Professor Aidan Dodson

Egyptian Archaeology

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 a book on German battleships of the Second Reich and a number of papers and reviews; a book on heavy cruisers 1865-1910 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 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.

Research keywords

  • 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.