Judith McKenzie


University Research Lecturer 

Faculty / College Address:

School of Archaeology / St Hugh's College



Research Interests:

  • Art and architecture of the Greco-Roman and Late Antique Near East and Egypt
  • Alexandria
  • Petra; Nabataean architecture, sculpture, art, and religion
  • Religious continuity and change in the Late Antique Near East and Egypt

Current Projects:

  • Khirbet et-Tannur Nabataean Temple Project: Two volumes have just been completed covering the sculptural programme, religious practice, and specialists’ reports on the remains of the cultic offerings and vessels at this sanctuary 70 km north of Petra (c. 200 B.C. – A.D. 365).
  • Art of Late Antique Egypt and Syro-Palestine: focusing on the establishment of regional styles from local development of the Hellenistic tradition, while expressing local identity; and the role of Alexandria in this.
  • Late Antique Egypt and the Holy Land: Archaeology, History, and Religious Change: Leverhulme project (PI Neil McLynn) on the archaeological evidence for transformation of sacred space from paganism to Christianity and subsequently to Islam, compared with the written sources.
  • Development of the Manar al-Athar website for images of buildings and monumental art of Syro-Palestine/the Levant and Egypt (after c. 300 B.C.).

Recent Publications:

  • J. McKenzie, "The Place in Late Antique Alexandria 'where the Alchemists and Scholars sit … was like Stairs' ", in Alexandria: Auditoria of Kom el-Dikka and Late Antique Education, eds. T. Derda, T. Markiewicz, and E. Wipszycka, Journal of Juristic Papyrology Suppl. 8, 53-83 (Warsaw 2007).
  • J. McKenzie, "Das Heiligtum von Khirbet et-Tannur und seine Skulpturen", Begleitbuch zur Ausstellung “Petra – Wunder in der Wüste. Auf den Spuren von J. L. Burckhardt alias Scheich Ibrahim”, eds. E. van der Meijden and S.G. Schmid, 176-181 (Basel 2012). [Summary of results]
  • M. Kenawi, E. Macaulay-Lewis, and J. McKenzie, "A Commercial Nursery at Abu Hummus, Egypt, and the Reuse of Amphoras in the Roman Plant Trade", Journal of Roman Archaeology 25, 2012, 195-225.
  • N. Schibille, P. Degryse, M. O'Hea, A. Izmer, F. Vanhaecke, and J. McKenzie, "Late Roman Glass from the 'Great Temple' at Petra and Khirbet et-Tannur, Jordan - Technology and Provenance", Archaeometry 54.6, 2012, 997-1022.

Articles in press:

  • J. McKenzie, "Alexandria on the Barada: the Mosaics of the Great Mosque in Damascus", in New Light on Old Glass: Byzantine Mosaics, eds. L. James and C. Entwistle,British Museum Conference, May 2010(London 2013, in press).
  • J. McKenzie, "Iconoclasm at Petra and other Nabataean Sites", in Studies on Nabataean Culture I, eds. N. Khairy and T. Weber (Amman, in press 2013) [in Arabic].
  • N. Schibille and J. McKenzie, "Glass Tesserae from Hagios Polyeuktos, Constantinople: their Early Byzantine Affiliations", in Neighbours and successor of Rome: Traditions of Glass Production and Use in Europe and the Middle East in the Later First Millennium AD, eds. J. Bayley, C. Jackson, D. Keller, J. Price and St J. Simpson (in press).
  • J. McKenzie and A.T. Reyes, "The Alexandrian Tychaion: a Pantheon?", Journal of Roman Archaeology 26, 2013 (in press).
  • J. McKenzie, A.T. Reyes, and J.A. Greene, "The Context of the Khirbet et-Tannur Zodiac, Jordan", ARAM 24, 2013 (in press).

Further Publications: 


  • The Architecture of Petra (Oxford University Press 1990, repr. 1995, repr. Oxbow Books 2005).
  • The Architecture of Alexandria and Egypt, 300 B.C. - A.D. 700 (Pelican History of Art, Yale University Press, London 2007; Paperback 2010).
  • J. McKenzie et al., The Nabataean Temple at Khirbet et-Tannur, Jordan,Volume 1. Architecture and Religion (in press).
  • J. McKenzie et al., The Nabataean Temple at Khirbet et-Tannur, Jordan,Volume 2. Cultic Offerings, Vessels, and Other Specialist Reports (in press).


  • J. McKenzie, "Preliminary Report on the Measurement of Architectural Elements on the Facades at Petra", Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, 27, 1983, 209-213.
  • J. McKenzie, "A Surveying Method for Measuring Inaccessible Mouldings: as applied at Petra", Levant, 17, 1985, 157-170.  [Using theodolite and trigonometry].
  • J. McKenzie and A. Phippen, "The Chronology of the Principal Monuments at Petra", Levant, 19, 1987, 145-165.
  • J. McKenzie, "The Dating of the Principal Monuments at Petra: a new approach", in Studies in the History and Archaeology of Jordan, Vol. 3, 1987, 295-305.
  • J. McKenzie, "The Development of Nabataean Sculpture at Petra and Khirbet Tannur", Palestine Exploration Quarterly, 1988, 81-107.
  • J. McKenzie, "The Bedouin at Petra: the Historical Sources", Levant, 23, 1991, 139-145.
  • D. Jacobson and J. McKenzie, "The Transmutation of Base Metals into Gold: A Solution to the Essential Mystery of Alchemy", Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 17, 1992, 326-331. [On depletion gilding as a lost method of "making" gold].
  • J. McKenzie, "Alexandria and the Origins of Baroque Architecture", in Alexandria and Alexandrianism: Papers Delivered at a Symposium Organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Getty Centre for the History of Art and the Humanities, April 22-25, 1993, ed. K. Hamma, 109-125 (Getty Museum, Malibu 1996).
  • J. McKenzie, "The Architectural Style of Roman and Byzantine Alexandria and Egypt", in Archaeological Research in Roman Egypt, The Proceedings of the Seventeenth Classical Colloquium of the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, British Museum, ed. D.M. Bailey, 128-142, Journal of Roman Archaeology Suppl. 19 (Ann Arbor 1996).
  • J. McKenzie, "The Rediscovery of the Assyrian Reliefs at Canford School, Dorset", in J. M. Russell, From Nineveh to New York: the Strange Story of the Metropolitan Museum Assyrian Collection and the Hidden Masterpiece at Canford Manor, 173-189(Yale University Press, London 1997).
  • J. McKenzie, A.T. Reyes and A. Schmidt-Colinet, "Faces in the Rock at Petra and Medain Saleh", Palestine Exploration Quarterly 1998, 35-50. [Humbaba]
  • C.A. Hope and J. McKenzie, "Interim Report on the West Tombs", in Dakhleh Oasis Project: Preliminary Reports for the 1992-1993 and 1993-4 Field Seasons, eds. C.A. Hope and A.J. Mills, 53-68, Dakhleh Oasis Project Monograph 8 (Oxford 2000).
  • J. McKenzie, "Keys from Egypt and the East: Observations on Nabataean Culture in the Light of Recent Discoveries", Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, 324, 2001, 97-112.
  • J. McKenzie, S. Gibson and A.T. Reyes, "Reconstruction of the Nabataean Temple Complex at Khirbet et-Tannur, Jordan", Palestine Exploration Quarterly, 134, 2002, 44-83.
  • J. McKenzie, A.T. Reyes and S. Gibson, "Khirbat at-Tannur in the ASOR Nelson Glueck Archive and the Reconstruction of the Temple", Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, 46, 2002, 451-476.
  • J. McKenzie, "A Nabataean Temple in the Museum Basement: Khirbet et-Tannur Re-excavated", Semitic Museum News Harvard University 6.3, 2003, 1-9.
  • J. McKenzie, "Carvings in the Desert: the Sculpture of Petra and Khirbet et-Tannur", in Petra Rediscovered, Lost City of the Nabataeans, ed. G. Markoe, 169-195 (New York 2003).
  • J. McKenzie, A.T. Reyes and S. Gibson, "Khirbet et-Tannur Temple Complex", CBRL 2003 Newsletter of the Council for British Research in the Levant, 12-13.
  • J. McKenzie, "Glimpses of Alexandria from Archaeological Evidence", Journal of Roman Archaeology 16, 2003, 35-61.
  • J. McKenzie, S. Gibson and A.T. Reyes, "Reconstructing the Serapeum in Alexandria from the Archaeological Evidence", Journal of Roman Studies94, 2004, 73-114.
  • G. Grimm and J. McKenzie, "Architectural Fragments Excavated in the Serapeum in Alexandria in c. 1900", Journal of Roman Studies 94, 2004, 115-121.

Review Articles and Reviews: 

  • J. McKenzie, "Recent Books on Nabataean Archaeology in Petra and the Negev", Levant 23, 1991, 194-196.
  • Review of J. Patrich, The Formation of Nabataean Art (1990), Journal of Roman Studies 82, 1992, 279.
  • Review of J. Healey, The Religion of the Nabataeans, A Conspectus (2001),Journal of Semitic Studies 49, 2004, 349-351.
  • Review of P. Grossmann, Christliche Architektur in Ägypten (2002), and J.B. Ward-Perkins and R.G. Goodchild, Christian Monuments of Cyrenaica, ed. J. Reynolds (2003), Antiquity 78, 2004, 719-722.
  • J. McKenzie, "Temples, Tombs, and other Recent Discoveries from the Rose Red City",Journal of Roman Archaeology 17, 2004, 559-568.
  • Review of Ancient Alexandria between Egypt and Greece, eds. W.V. Harris and G. Ruffini (2004); L. Török, Transfigurations of Hellenism, Aspects of Late Antique Art in Egypt AD 250–700 (2005); and N. Finneran, Alexandria a City and Myth (2005), in Journal of Hellenic Studies 127, 2007, 231-233.
  • J. McKenzie, “The Serapeum of Alexandria: its Destruction and Reconstruction”, Journal of Roman Archaeology 22, 2009, 772-782.
  • J. McKenzie, “Carving Petra (and Hegra)”, Journal of Roman Archaeology 23, 2010, 751-759. 

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