About Hannah

DAN_TS_BrickPyr

Using GPS to survey a mudbrick pyramid at Dra Abu el-Naga, Luxor.

I use digital approaches to archaeology to investigate, present and explain ancient society and culture, providing a new perspective on our shared past that informs our understanding of the present.

I believe that the past can illuminate every aspect of our lives, challenge our assumptions about ourselves and our world, and to drive us to do better. But it is only when we approach the past on its own terms that we reap the benefits. We need to undertake archaeological research and present archaeological remains with respect for the people who generated them and a determination to hear their voices rather than our own preconceived ideas. Only when we present archaeological data in their physical and cultural context, can we expect to benefit as individuals and as a society.

Research interests

My research interests are all associated with contextualising archaeological data because it is only by understanding an artefact, text, site or landscape in its wider context that we can approach the story it has to tell. Museums and archives are a key component of this as the final depositories of archaeological material and places where many obtain information about the past. My research interests therefore include both archaeological methods for contextualising the past (including post-excavation analysis, archaeological survey, Geographic Information Science (GIS) and satellite remote-sensing) and the preservation and presentation of archaeological material in the museum and other contexts (including collections and archival research and practice, database management, digital data storage and presentation, and the presentation of archaeological data to the public through physical and digital methods).

Affiliation

I am currently a Visiting Academic at the British Museum and Honorary Fellow at the University of Liverpool. All opinions on this blog are my own.

Archaeological experience

After two years’ volunteering on excavations I completed a B.A. in Egyptian Archaeology at UCL in 2003. I worked as a commercial archaeologist for over 13 years, covering a range of sites of different periods in London and the south-east of England. I undertook an AHRC funded M.A. in Egyptology at the University of Liverpool in 2005-6, where I developed skills in archaeological project design and management. I earned a PhD in Archaeology from the University of Liverpool in 2015 for my GIS-based research into the archaeological context of the Gebel el-Asr quarries in Egypt. I continue to work with local British material and I have also participated in fieldwork in Egypt since 2006 at Gurob, at the alabaster (travertine) quarry of Hatnub, and at Dra Abu el-Naga in Theban necropolis.
Following my PhD, I researched the quarrying landscape around the Hatnub Egyptian alabaster quarries using satellite remote-sensing, mobile GIS and archaeological survey. In 2017-2019 I was Asyut Project Curator at the British Museum, undertaking the contextual research of artefacts excavated from Asyut by David George Hogarth in 1907 using archival and excavation data. I am currently also working on the post-excavation publication of the Hellenistic-period site of Pisitiros in Bulgaria, and the data management of the Greek site of Olynthos.

Museum and archival experience

After volunteering at the Southend-on-sea Pier Museum in my teens, I worked extensively in the Petrie Museum during my B.A. in Archaeology at UCL. During my M.A. in Egyptology, I developed further skills in museum and archival research, including a project covering the Egyptian collection at the Saffron Waldon Museum. As a Senior Archaeologist at Museum of London Archaeology from 2007-2010 I frequently undertook archival and collections research as part of my desk-based assessment and commercial archaeological research. In 2012, I researched and published a group of hawk statues excavated from certain ancient Egyptian quarries, and in 2017-2019 I was Asyut Project Curator at the British Museum. In addition to archaeological research, I assessed the storage of the Hogarth collection, checking artefacts and updating the database, identifying missing details, and locating and transcribing relevant archival documentation. As part of my commitment to theFriends of the Petrie Museum I lead object handling sessions at the Petrie Museum every year.

Teaching and public engagement

I teach the GIS component of the Egypt Exploration Society Skills School and a follow-up weekend course ‘Digital Digging’ and am actively involved in the promotion of local Egyptology as Chair of the Essex Egyptology Group and Committee Member of the Friends of the Petrie Museum. I work with local schoolchildren, and give presentations on Ancient Egypt in local schools. I have been invited on to Sky News four times since 2016 to discuss recent archaeological discoveries and research.

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