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Cambridge Language Sciences

Interdisciplinary Research Centre


My research is focused in particular on ancient Egyptian social and economic history, the administrative structure and management practices of the state, as well as on the texts and palaeography of Old Kingdom Egypt (ca. 2700-2200). Although I consider myself to be a specialist of the earlier periods of Egyptian history I maintain a special interest, both in my research and teaching, in all phases and scripts of the Egyptian language spanning four millennia.

I am in the process of preparing an extensive study of the Old Kingdom Gebelein papyri, which represent the economic accounts of an Egyptian town from ca. 2500 B.C. Notwithstanding the importance of translating the papyri, which I am also carrying out, the objective of this endeavour consists of the examination of the complexities inherent (but not immediately evident) in the management of human and material resources, record keeping and scribal practices in a rural community in third millennium Egypt, as borne out by these ancient documents.

I am also directing a field project at an Old Kingdom step pyramid site in South Abydos, which is among the earliest stone monuments in Egypt (ca. 2600 B.C.) and one of the very few non-funerary pyramids. The project aims to establish the purpose and function of such early royal structures within the broader social and administrative landscape of the time. There is a strong correlation between this and my text-based research in their chronological correspondence and their potential to allow the study of major elements of the system of government of southern Egypt more than 4500 years ago.


Key publications: 

Papazian H.(2013). The Central Administration of the Resources in the Old Kingdom: Departments, Treasures, Granaries and Work Centers. J.C.M. García (ed.), Ancient Egyptian Administration. Leiden: Brill. 41-83.

Papazian H. (2012). Domain of Pharaoh, (Hildesheimer Ägyptologische Beiträge.) Hildesheim: Gerstenberg.

Papazian H.(2010). The Temple of Ptah and Economic Contacts Between Memphite Cult Centers in The Fifth Dynasty. M. Dolińska and H. Beinlich (eds.), 8. Ägyptologische Tempeltagung: Interconnections between temples. Warschau, 22.-25. September 2008. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. 137-153.

Papazian H.(2008). Perspectives on the cult of Pharaoh during the third millennium B.C.: a chronological overview. H. Vymazalová, M. Bárta and H. Altenmüller (eds.), Chronology and Archaeology in Ancient Egypt (The Third Millennium B.C.). Prague: Czech Institute of Egyptology Charles University. 61-80.


Herbert Thompson Lecturer in Ancient Egyptian Language
Departments and institutes: 
Dr Hratch  Papazian

Contact Details

Email address: 
+44 (0)1223 339290