Cannon Fairbairn

Cannon Fairbairn

Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology
Doctoral Researcher

Contact details


  • Graduate Certificate - Museum Studies (University of Memphis)
  • MA Art History - Egyptian Art & Archaeology (University of Memphis)
  • BA Ancient Near Eastern Studies (Brigham Young University)


I graduated in 2018 with a BA in Ancient Near Eastern Studies and minor in Archaeology from Brigham Young University. I then graduated with an MA in Art History - Egyptian Art & Archaeology in 2020 with a thesis on a divine breastfeeding scene from the Temple of Seti I at Abydos. In 2021 I received a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Memphis. I have worked in multiple museums as a graduate assistant and intern working in both education and collections departments on collections ranging from contemporary art to archaeological and ancient art.

Doctoral research

PhD title
The Role of Breastfeeding in Ancient Egyptian Religion and Kingship
Dr Leire Olabarria and Dr Katharine Sykes
Archaeology PhD/MA by Research (On-Campus or by Distance Learning)


Building off of the work done for my MA thesis, my research examines the role played by divine nursing scenes (depictions of a goddess nursing the king) in Ancient Egyptian temples and tombs from the Old Kingdom through the Greco-Roman period. As such, I am examining every known appearance of the motif both textually, art historically, and contextually in order to determine changes in the use of the scene over time and the role these scenes played in the decorative programs of tombs and temples, the ancient Egyptian ideology of kingship, and the role of women in religious and political spheres.

Divine breastfeeding connected the king directly to deity, providing him with legitimacy, power, and other divine attributes necessary for a successful reign through the breast milk of the goddess. Such scenes appear throughout Egyptian history and in many surviving Egyptian temples as well as in tombs, on temple stela, and as statues.

Other activities

  • '- 2021-present: Book Review Editor for Rosetta Journal
  • Archaeological Field Work: - 2018: The Ad-Dier Monument and Plateau Project, Petra, Jordan.
  • Presentations: - [poster] "Communicating Power Through Iconography: A Suckling Scene from the Temple of Seti I at Abydos" at the American Research Center in Egypt's Annual Conference 2020 in Washington, D.C.
  • - “Museum Internships Going Virtual: Major Changes in Museum Education from a Museum Practices Program’s, Host Museum’s, and Post Graduate’s Perspectives,” participated as a discussant at 2021 Museum Studies International Symposium: Virtual Dialogue.
  • Fellowships: - 2019-2020: JW Brittan Egyptology Fellowship, Institute of Egyptian Art & Archaeology at the University of Memphis