Jordan Miller


The Queen's College


DPhil Oriental Studies (Egyptology)


Ontology and iconography in Egyptian religious compositions: composite figures in the Amduat, Book of Two Ways, and apotropaic wands c. 2000–1400 BCE


jordan.miller [at]

Educational Background:

2022     DPhil Oriental Studies (Egyptology), University of Oxford

2018     MSt Oriental Studies, Distinction, University of Oxford (Clarendon Scholarship)

2017     BA Oriental Studies (Egyptology with Akkadian), First Class, University of Oxford

Research Interests:

  • Ontology
  • Multimodality
  • Egyptian religion, mainly second millennium BCE

My recently completed DPhil project (supervised by Prof. John Baines and Dr Elizabeth Frood and supported by the Barns Fund at The Queen's College) takes an anthropological approach to images in ancient Egyptian religion, investigating how they define, interrelate, and manifest divine beings. The approach is supported by an analytical framework based in a notion of visual language, which accommodates factors such as format, multimodality, and decorum through concepts deriving from art history and comics studies. I used 'composite' figures, which conjoin elements of human and animal bodies or parts of inanimate objects, as case studies.

In the longer term, my research aims to compare concepts of images across social, material, and cultural contexts. I currently serve as a research assistant in the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography at Oxford, compiling information on ancient Egyptian rituals for Seshat: Global History Databank, and as a sub-editor for the Online Egyptological Bibliography.

Teaching and Outreach:

Lectures, classes, and tutorials for the following modules:

  • Egyptian History and Civilization to 30 BCE
  • Egyptian Art and Architecture
  • Egyptian Archaeology (module for visiting student)
  • Middle Egyptian Language and Texts
  • Late Egyptian Language and Texts

I have also contributed to teaching across the wider University in the following roles:

Articles and Chapters:

in press. Patterns and practices of sign-form variation: selected examples of the qjs logogram from the Fifth to Nineteenth Dynasties. Zeitschrift für Ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde 149 (2). [c. 7,200 words]

accepted. A predynastic Egyptian fish–antelope composite figure. Journal of Egyptian Archaeology. [c. 6,300 words]

in review. Geographies of knowledge: on serpent limbs and loose ends. In: E. Panaite (ed.), Meeting the other: transfers and interactions around the Nile valley. Polish Publications in Mediterranean Archaeology. Leuven: Peeters. [c. 5,900 words]

in prep. Written pictures and speaking images: graphic worlds in the Book of Two Ways. In: S. Quirke, R. Lucarelli, and H. Rashwan (eds), Rethinking the visual aesthetics of ancient Egyptian writing. Oxford: Archaeopress. [c. 8,000 words]

2021. Emblematic representation on ancient Egyptian apotropaic wands. Archaeological Review from Cambridge 36 (2): 119–141.

2019. Tracking serpopards from Hierakonpolis onward. Nekhen News 31: 24–25.

Edited Volume:

in prep. Ballesteros, B., D. Giordani, J. Miller, J. Parkhouse, and F. Pischedda (eds). Writing Orality: proceedings of the Early Text Cultures seminar, Hilary Term 2021. Themed volume of Manuscript and Text Cultures. Proposal accepted; open-access publication expected 2023.

Other Publications:

2021. Talking Emotions: humanizing our images of ancient Egypt. Blog post, The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities. <>

2021. The ancient Egyptian Book of Two Ways. Database of Religious History, Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia. <>

2021. The ancient Egyptian Amduat: tomb of Thutmose III. Database of Religious History, Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia. <>

2019 (with A.-K. Gill). Catalogue of the Queen's College collection on display in the Peet Library <>

2019 (co-curated with R.B. Parkinson). Ancient Egyptian at Queen's <>

Talks and Media:

2022. Compiling Egyptian underworlds: modelling sources and ritual practice for the Amduat catalogue of king Thutmose III. (Making Lists in the Ancient World: Memory, Status, Identity. University of Tartu, Estonia.)

2022. Understanding composite forms of Egyptian divine beings. (Invited lecture for the Essex Egyptology Group and Thames Valley Ancient Egypt Society.)

2021. Graphic syntax and ontology in the Book of Two Ways. (Rethinking the Visual Aesthetics of Ancient Egyptian Writing. UCL Institute of Archaeology/University of California, Berkeley.)

2021. Swimming in the sand: Anticipation by a Nubian grave. (Podcast for the series Talking Emotions. University of Oxford.) <>

2021. Red images in the Amduat of Thutmose III. (Current Research in Egyptology. University of the Aegean.)

2021. Geographies of knowledge: on the transmission and reception of a serpent-limbed figure. (Meeting the Other: Transfers and cultural interactions around the Nile valley. Polish Centre for Mediterranean Archaeology/Institut français d'archéologie orientale.)

2021. Ancient Egyptian cosmogonies: Pyramid Texts. (Early Text Cultures Project. University of Oxford.)

2021. Inscribing ancient Egyptian underworlds. (Oxford Archaeological Society. University of Oxford.)

2020. Red images in the Amduat of Thutmose III. (Centre for Manuscript and Text Cultures Colloquia. University of Oxford.)

2019. Composite figures in Egyptian art: modelling relationships between selected religious compositions. (Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology Work-in-Progress Seminar. University of Liverpool.)

2019. Composite snakes in second millennium iconographies: Amduat, apotropaic wands, and the Book of Two Ways. (Egypt's heartland: Regional perspectives on Hierakonpolis, Elkab and Edfu. Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford.)

2018. Fantastic beasts and how to view them: from concept to representation in ancient Egyptian art. (Harris Manchester–Homerton Graduate Research Day. University of Cambridge.)

2017. Intertwined, intermezzo: the serpopard in context. (Egyptology Graduate Conference. Brown University.)

Jordan Miller