Academic Research

I am an archaeologist specializing in ancient globalization processes. Since a very early age, history and archaeology fascinated me so much that I decided to devote my life to the study of ancient history. I studied archaeology of the Southern Levant (Holy Land, Palestine, Jordan) under Dr. Gerrit van der Kooij at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands.

My thesis was on socio- economic changes during the Late Bronze Age.The research focused on the dynamics between the economic function and the presence of the Egyptian goddess Hathor in Canaanite temples, built during the Egyptian occupation of the Levant in the Late Bronze Age.

My main interest is people and their behavior, but above all the resourcefulness and creativity that people portray in everyday life and exceptional circumstances. Archaeology is a discipline that studies all facets of life, and personally I get inspired by the stories that I am learning from it.

My current PhD research for a doctoral degree focuses on the Egyptian presence in Nubia (Sudan) from the Middle Kingdom to the New Kingdom, and the globalizing effects thereof. Aglobalization process is an increase in regional interconnectivity, in such a way that it results in social change. This is not a modern phenomenon, but its modern scale is, in the sense of a globe-spanning process. In ancient times, the Mesopotamian Uruk expansion between 4000 and 3400 B.C., the American Mississippi culture from 1000 to 1500 AD, and the Huari culture in Peru from 500- 1000 AD are processes that are regarded as the first globalizations in the world. According to my research, the Egyptian expansion into Nubia during 2000- 1500 B.C. can be categorized as such too.

The Egyptian Middle Kingdom is the time of the great pharaos Amenemhat and Sesostris. The Egyptian expansion to the south resulted in the building of forts that were intermediate in the trade along the Nile, in the land of Nubia that was rich in minerals and gold. Nubia was the corridor to the mysterious lands of Africa.

Research to the Middle Kingdom forts of the second cataract in Lower Nubia up till now focuses mainly on pottery and the sealing system that was used in the administration of the flow of goods between the forts and the dynasties in Upper Egypt.

The seal system reflects a thorough administration of the flow of goods by the Egyptian officials and attached institutes, like granaries, treasuries, magazines and warehouses. Theseseals were mass produced and could point to an increase in regional interconnectivity, a “globalizing process” in modern terminology. After the Middle Kingdom, during the Second Intermediate Period, the forts were still in use, now by the Nubian people from the southern capital of Kerma in Upper Nubia. At Kerma, groups of seals were found that have strong parallels with the Egyptian Middle Kingdom seals, in a context together with seals that havelocal Nubian designs. It is thought that somewhere during the second intermediate period, the Egyptian sealing system was copied and used by the people from Kerma.

At the fort of Uronarti, in the granary/treasury, more than 2000 seals were found in a context that is thought to be deposited during the final one or two years from the last administrative cycle. Through comparative research to the origin of the sealings, the dating-range theories varied from twelfth dynasty through mid/late thirtheenth Dynasty. In Building D, the building that supposedly comprises the granary and the treasury, pottery was found dating to the 17thTheban dynasty. Besides that, new theories on the hemispherical cups that were found in the same context, point also to a possible 17th Dynasty date, based on parallels with hemispherical cups found in a closed archaeological context in Elephantine in Upper Egypt. This is a sharp contrast with an original mid 13th Dynasty date, for parallels with hemispherical cups from Tell el Dab’a in the Delta region. Together with new finding of Egyptian Middle Kingdom sealings in association with 14th and 15th Dynasties from the second intermediate period, it seems that the several dynasties during the Second Intermediate Period could have been more contemporary than originally assumed, and at least a part of the Egyptian sealing system was in use as well in Lower as in Upper Nubia. This could mean that this phenomenon, what we call globalization in modern terminology, could have taken place in Egypt and Nubia earlier and quicker than we thought.

Important questions to answer are the possible new chronological issues in regard to the transmission of the Egyptian sealing system to Kerma. Would that also mean an adoption of the Egyptian institutes in Kerma, and the concurring social hierarchical system that resulted from the official institute system?