Elizabeth Frood


Associate Professor of Egyptology; Fellow of St Cross: Currently part-time

Faculty / College Address:

Oriental Institute / St Cross College



Research Interests:

  • Ancient Egyptian self-presentation, including biographies, graffiti, and visual representation
  • Sacred space and landscape
  • Social structure and organization

My research centres on the self-presentation of Egyptian elites in the Old Kingdom through to the early first millennium BCE, with an emphasis on the late New Kingdom and Third Intermediate Period. This involves the interpretive analysis of textual sources, particularly non-royal monumental inscriptions and graffiti, and encompasses their broader physical settings, including image, media, architectural space, and landscape. My forthcoming monograph focuses on biographical texts of the late New Kingdom and explores how individuals fashioned distinct selves within different spatial contexts. I also work with the Centre Franco-Égyptien d’Étude des Temples de Karnak to edit and publish graffiti and secondary inscriptions in the temple of Amun-Re at Karnak. This work began with the temple of Ptah, in the northern part of the complex, and we are now working on a new project to publish the eighth pylon.

Current Projects:

  • Elite representation in the late second millennium and early first millennium BC
  • Karnak Graffiti Project in collaboration with the Centre Franco-Égyptien d’Étude des Temples de Karnak (2010–): 1) ‘Graffiti and Secondary Inscriptions in the Temple of Ptah’: part of the publication of the Ptah temple, under the directorship of Christophe Thiers:
    2) ‘The Eighth Pylon of the Temple of Amun-Re’: co-director with Sébastien Biston-Moulin (2013–): http://www.cfeetk.cnrs.fr/index.php?page=axe-1-theme-5 
  • Contextualising the Sacred: Sacred Space and its Material Culture in the Near East and Egypt 1000 BC – AD 600, Brepols. Series co-director and co-editor with Rubina Raja, University of Aarhus. Proposals are welcomed. More information can be found at the project website: http://projects.au.dk/contextualizing-the-sacred/

Courses Taught:

  • History, culture, and archaeology of Dynastic Egypt
  • Egyptian art and architecture
  • Egyptian artefacts and material culture (classes held in the Ashmolean Museum)
  • Old, Middle, and Late Egyptian language and texts

Recent Publications:

  • 2007. Biographical texts from Ramessid Egypt. Writings from the Ancient World 26. Atlanta: Society for Biblical Literature.
  • in preparation. With Didier Devauchelle, Ghislaine Widmer, Chiara Salvador, and Claude Traunecker. Le temple de Ptah à Karnak 3. Les graffitis et inscriptions secondaires. Travaux du CFEETK. Cairo: IFAO.
  • in preparation. Biography and presence in late New Kingdom Egypt. Studies in Egyptology and the Ancient Near East. London: Equinox.
Edited volumes:
  • Elizabeth Frood and Angela McDonald (eds.), 2013. Decorum and experience: essays on ancient culture for John Baines. Oxford: Griffith Institute.

  • Elizabeth Frood and Rubina Raja (eds.) 2014. Redefining the sacred: religious architecture and text in the Near East and Egypt 1000 BC – AD 300. Contextualising the Sacred 1. Turnhout: Brepols.

Articles and chapters:
  • 2013. Egyptian temple graffiti and the gods: appropriation and ritualization in Karnak and Luxor. Pages 285–318 in Heaven on earth: temples, ritual and cosmic symbolism in the ancient world. Edited by Deena Ragavan. Oriental Institute Seminars. Chicago: Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.

  • 2013. Sensuous experience, performance, and presence in Third Intermediate Period biography. Pages 86–108 in Ancient Egyptian literature: theory and practice. Edited by Roland Enmarch and Verena Lepper. London: The British Academy.

  • 2013. Egypt and Sudan: Old Kingdom to Late Period. Pages 90–114 in World archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum: a characterization. Edited by Dan Hicks and Alice Stevenson. Oxford: Archaeopress.

  • Elizabeth Frood and Kathryn Howley 2014. Applications of Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) in the study of temple graffiti. Pages 625–638 in Thebes in the first millennium BC. Edited by Elena Pischikova, Julia Budka, and Kenneth Griffin. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press.

  • 2015. Temple lives: devotion, piety, and the divine. Pages 316-323 in Egypt: the Egyptian collections of Leiden and Bologna. Edited by Daniela Picchi. Exhibition Catalogue. SKIRA.

  • 2016. Role-play and group biography in Ramessid stelae from the Serapeum. Pages 69-87 in Rich and great: studies in honour of Anthony J. Spalinger on the occasion of his 70th feast of Thoth. Edited by Renata Landgráfová and Jana Mynářová. Prague: Czech Institute of Egyptology, Charles University in Prague/Agama.

  • forthcoming (2016). Biographical monuments: displaying selves and lives in ancient Egypt. In The Oxford handbook of ancient biography. Edited by Koen de Temmerman. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Notes and other contributions:
  • 2011. Catalogue entries nos. 11, 37, 42, 127, 139–140. Quest for immortality: the Bolton collection. Edited by C. D. Routledge. National Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Office, Taiwan.
  • Chloé Ragazzoli and Elizabeth Frood 2013. Writing on the wall: two graffiti projects in Luxor. Egyptian Archaeology 42: 30–33.

Some pdfs are available here: http://oxford.academia.edu/ElizabethFrood

Full Publications

Further Info:

Current research students:
  • Solène Klein (co-supervision with Christiane Zivie-Coche, EPHE): The protection of the viscera in the early first millennium BCE.
  • Chiara Salvador: Investigating Secondary Inscriptions from the Karnak Southern Processional Way.
  • Julia Hamilton (co-supervision with Richard Parkinson): Personal Names and Social Memory in the Teti Pyramid Cemetery, Saqqara