Elizabeth Frood


Associate Professor of Egyptology; Vice-chair of the Faculty of Oriental Studies; Fellow of St Cross 

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


  • 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. Elizabeth Frood and Chiara Salvador, with contributions by Didier Devauchelle, Ghislaine Widmer, 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.

Chloé Ragazzoli, Ömür Harmansah, Chiara Salvador, and Elizabeth Frood, 2018. Scribbling through history. Graffiti, people and places from antiquity to modern times. Bloomsbury.

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.

Chloé Ragazzoli and Elizabeth Frood 2013. Writing on the wall: two graffiti projects in Luxor. Egyptian Archaeology 42: 30–33.

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 (submitted). 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.

forthcoming (submitted). When statues speak about themselves. Statues in context: production, meaning and (re)uses. Edited by Aurélia Masson. British Museum Publications on Egypt and Sudan. Peeters: Leuven.


2013: Griffith Institute videos: “Griffith Institute 75th Anniversary”, “Conserving Through Copying: 3-D Printing Tutankhamen’s Tomb”: http://www.griffith.ox.ac.uk/media/

2014: In Our Time: Hatshepsut, BBC Radio 4, Melvyn Bragg with Campbell Price and Kate Spence: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04n62jx

2017: Acquired disability and reframing fieldwork. Autonomy, Community, Destiny: Reimagining Disability, TORCH Disability and Curriculum seminar series.http://torch.ox.ac.uk/autonomy-community-destiny-re-imagining-disability


Disability Narratives: https://www.diversityprojects.ox.ac.uk/dn

2018: Oxford Today, Season 2, Episode 4: https://www.oxideradio.live/oxford-today


Artistic Licence: "I was here ... in ancient Egypt" by Bethany White: https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/arts-blog/artistic-licence-i-was-here%E2%80%A6-ancient-egypt

Review: Tyldesley, Nefertiti's Face: https://www.spectator.co.uk/2018/04/the-enduring-enigma-of-nefertiti/

Inside Out South BBC1 mini-documentary: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-oxfordshire-45811189/oxford-professor-heads-back-to-egypt-after-losing-legs

Returning to Egypt: http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/arts-blog/returning-egypt-acquired-disability-and-fieldwork

2019: The Merton Equality Conversation 2019: https://vimeo.com/321789463

Interview for The Project NZ, TV 3: https://www.facebook.com/TheProjectNZ/videos/2281439122175384/

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

Full Publications

Current research students:

Solène Klein: The protection of the viscera in the early first millennium BCE

Chiara Salvador: Repopulating the court of the seventh pylon at Karnak: a study of graffiti in context (submitted April 2019)

Julia Hamilton (co-supervision with Richard Parkinson): Personal names and social memory in the Teti Pyramid Cemetery, Saqqara

Thais Rocha da Silva (co-supervision with Linda Hulin): Putting people in their place: gender, domestic space and privacy in New Kingdom Egypt

Jordan Miller (co-supervision with John Baines): The forms and construction of composite images in ancient Egyptian visual culture

James Oakley (Classics: co-supervision with Adrian Kelly): The conquered and the conquerors: representations of warfare and combat in Greek and Egyptian literature

Elizabeth Frood
List of site pages