Dr Claus Jurman

Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology
Lecturer in Egyptology

I specialise in ancient Egyptian history, language, and culture of the late second and the first millennium BCE (esp. Third Intermediate Period and Late Period). Adopting a holistic view on Egyptian civilisation, I aim at integrating sources pertaining to political history, economy, material culture and the world of texts.

In general, my approach towards the study of ancient Egypt and the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean is reflected by two mottos:

     ‘We may be through with the past, but the past ain’t through with us.’ (Thomas Paul Anderson, Magnolia).

     ‘If the past is a foreign country, then it is another culture.’ (Marshall Sahlins, Apologies to Thucydides)

Thus, I am convinced of the enduring relevance of understanding ancient cultures for the understanding of our own societies. At the same time, our understanding of ancient cultures will always remain dynamic and incomplete, reflecting modern perceptions and concerns that have no equivalent in past ‘realities’. For me, this ambivalence lies at the very heart of ‘doing Egyptology’.


  • Dr Phil. in Egyptology, University of Vienna
  • MPhil in Egyptology, University of Birmingham
  • Mag. Phil. in Egyptology and Classical Archaeology, University of Vienna


I studied Egyptology and Classical Archaeology at the University of Vienna. After receiving a master’s degree I went to the University of Birmingham in order to deepen my knowledge of Egyptian history and archaeology of the 1st millennium BC. In 2012/2013 I completed my PhD studies in Egyptology at the University of Vienna. From 2007 to 2014 I was working at the Department of Oriental and European Archaeology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. From 2015 till 2016 I was a post-doc researcher at the Institute for Egyptology of the University of Vienna. In addition, I had numerous teaching positions at the Universities of Vienna and Salzburg.


My teaching covers all aspects of ancient Egyptian culture and society, including language, history and archaeology. I aim at encouraging students to familiarise themselves with the primary source material and develop a critical understanding of how these sources are (and can be) used for answering our questions about ancient Egyptian civilisation. This approach usually involves combining multiple methodologies and adopting different perspectives on a specific issue.

Postgraduate supervision

I am happy to supervise research on any aspect of ancient Egyptian history, society and art, especially concerning Egypt during the 1st millennium BC. Students who wish to conduct interdisciplinary research involving particular aspects of Egyptian culture or who want to focus on topics of reception and the history of the discipline as such are also very welcome.

Current PhD students

Jennifer Taylor: ‘Trends/Patterns in Text Placement and Performance: Statue biographies from the Third Intermediate Period’
Mary-Ann Marazzi: ‘The Ished Tree Scenes’

Find out more - our PhD Classics and Ancient History  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


My research activities focus on history, arts and society of Egypt during the first half of the 1st millennium BC – a time when Egypt was subjected to different kinds of foreign rule and saw an influx of non-Egyptian population groups and foreign influence on an unprecedented scale. Several of my recent studies deal with the cultural dynamics of an ethnically and culturally diverse and very complex society. Among the topics which I am currently researching is the emergence and evolution of the phenomenon commonly referred to as ‘Late Period archaism’. The results of a comprehensive study on the city of Memphis during the so-called Libyan period (c. 1100–750 BC) will be published as a monograph (“Memphis in der Dritten Zwischenzeit”, Widmaier Verlag) this winter.

Other topics of recently completed or ongoing research include aspects of the chronology of the 25th Dynasty, the textual representation of individuals and objects within tomb decoration of the Middle Kingdom as well as the history of German and Austrian Egyptology in the first half of the 20th century.

At present I am preparing a research project focussing on social and cognitive aspects of writing culture and the synchronous use of different scripts in 1st millennium Egypt.



  • Forthcoming   Memphis in der Dritten Zwischenzeit. Eine Studie zur (Selbst-)Repräsentation von Eliten in der 21. und 22. Dynastie (Widmaier Verlag, Hamburg).

Edited volumes

  • Together with B. Bader and D. Aston (eds.), A True Scribe of Abydos: Essays on First Millennium Egypt in Honour of Anthony Leahy, OLA 265 (Leuven).

Articles in books, proceedings and journals

  • 2018 ‘To show and to designate: attitudes towards representing craftsmanship and material culture in Middle Kingdom elite tombs’, in: G. Miniaci (ed.), Voices, images, and artefacts of ancient craftsmen/women: encountering the material producers of Middle Bronze Age Egypt (2000–1500 BC). Proceedings of a conference held at the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (INHA), Paris, 23–24 June 2016 (Leiden), 101–116.
  • 2017 ‘Impressions of What Is Lost: A Study on Four Late Period Seal Impressions in Birmingham and London’, in: C. Jurman, B. Bader, D. Aston (eds.), A True Scribe of Abydos: Essays on First Millennium Egypt in Honour of Anthony Leahy, OLA 265 (Leuven), 239–272.
  • 2017 ‘The Order of the Kushite Kings According to Sources from the Eastern Desert and Thebes, Or: Shabataka was here first!’, Journal of Egyptian History 10, 124–151.
  • 2017 together with Julia Budka: ‘Ägyptologische Forschungen zwischen Christentum und Nationalsozialismus: Eine Spurensuche zum politischen, sozialen und religiösen Umfeld Hermann Junkers’, in: C. Gütl (ed.), Hermann Junker. Eine Spurensuche im Schatten der österreichischen Ägyptologie und Afrikanistik (Göttingen), 181–219.
  • 2016 ‘Karomama Revisited’, in: M. Becker, A. Blöbaum, A. Lohwasser (eds), Prayer and Power: Proceedings of the Conference about the God’s Wives of Amun in Egypt during the First Millennium BC, Ägypten und Altes Testament 84 (Münster), 61–88.
  • 2016 ‘Aigyptos – Pharos – Thebai. Nochmals zu drei homerischen Toponymen und ihrem Ägyptenbezug’, in: Diomedes N.F. 7, 31–51.
  • 2015 together with A.I. Blöbaum, G. Broekman, K. Jansen-Winkeln, D. Kahn, A. Lohwasser, and H. Neumann commenting on M. Bányai, ‘Die Reihenfolge der kuschitischen Könige’, in: Journal of Egyptian History 8, 115–180.
  • 2015 ‘“Wenn das Fremde zum Eigenen wird”. Identitätsbilder und Repräsentationsstrategien im multiethnischen Milieu Ägyptens während der Dritten Zwischenzeit’, in: A. Pülz (ed.), Das Eigene und das Fremde, 4. Tagung des Zentrums Archäologie und Altertumswissenschaften, Origines 4 (Vienna), 33–49.
  • 2015 ‘Legitimisation through innovative tradition – perspectives on the use of old models in royal and private monuments during the Third Intermediate Period’, in: F. Coppens et al. (eds), Royal versus Divine Authority: Acquisition, Legitimization and Renewal of Power, 7. Tagung zur Königsideologie, Königtum Staat und Gesellschaft früher Hochkulturen 4.4 (Wiesbaden), 177–214.
  • 2015 ‘Memphitische Skarabäen des 1. Jahrtausends v. Chr. – Quellen, Forschungsstand und Probleme’, in: A. Lohwasser (ed.), Skarabäen des 1. Jahrtausends. Ein Workshop in Münster am 27. Oktober 2012, OBO 269 (Göttingen – Freiburg), 93–103.
  • 2015 ‘“Silver of the Treasury of Herishef” – Considering the Origin and Economic Significance of Silver in Egypt during the Third Intermediate Period’, in: A. Babbi et al. (eds), The Mediterranean Mirror: Cultural Contacts in the Mediterranean Sea between 1200 and 750 B.C., RGZM-Tagungen 20 (Mainz), 53–70.
  • 2014 ‘Two adjoining relief fragments from the re-used block of a tomb wall’, in: M. Bietak, N. Math, V. Müller, Report on the Excavations of a Hyksos Palace at Tell el-Dabʽa/Avaris (23rd August–15th November 2011), in: Egypt and Levant 22, 45–50.
  • 2013 ‘Vom Smsw jqr zum g’schamsten Diener: Eine etymologisch-kulturhistorische Spurensuche’, in: J. Budka et al. (eds), Florilegium Aegyptiacum: Eine wissenschaftliche Blütenlese von Schülern und Freunden für Helmut Satzinger zum 75. Geburtstag am 21. Jänner 2013, GM Beih. 14 (Göttingen), 207–228.
  • 2013 together with Julia Budka: ‘Hermann Junker. Ein deutsch-österreichisches Forscherleben zwischen Pyramiden, Kreuz und Hakenkreuz’, in: S. Bickel et al. (eds), Ägyptologen und Ägyptologien zwischen Kaiserreich und Gründung der beiden deutschen Staaten, ZÄSBeih. 1 (Berlin), 299–331.
  • 2012 ‘Vom Artefakt zur Gesellschaft? Streiflichter auf kontextorientierte Analyseverfahren am Beispiel memphitischer Denkmälergruppen der 3. Zwischenzeit’, in: G. Neunert et al. (eds), Sozialisation: Individuum – Gruppe – Gesellschaft, Beiträge des ersten Münchner Arbeitskreises Junge Aegyptologie (MAJA 1) 3. bis 5.12.2010, GOF IV/51 (Wiesbaden), 111–126.
  • 2010 ‘Running with Apis: The Memphite Apis Cult as a Point of Reference for Social and Religious Practice in Late Period Elite Culture’, in: L. Bareš et al. (eds), Egypt in Transition: Social and Religious Development of Egypt in the First Millennium BCE, Proceedings of an International Conference, Prague, September 1–4, 2009 (Prague), 224–267.
  • 2010 ‘Ein Siegelring mit kryptographischer Inschrift in Bonn’, in: Egypt and Levant 20, 227–242.
  • 2010 ‘The Trappings of Kingship: Remarks about Archaism, Rituals and Cultural Polyglossia in Saite Egypt’, in: H. Győry (ed.), Aegyptus et Pannonia IV: Acta Symposii anno 2006 (Budapest), 73–118.
  • 2009 ‘From the Libyan Dynasties to the Kushites in Memphis: Historical problems and cultural issues’, in: G.P.F. Broekman et al. (eds), The Libyan Period in Egypt: Historical and Chronological Problems of the Third Intermediate Period, Proceedings of a Conference Held in Leiden, October 2007, Egyptologische Uitgaven 23 (Leiden – Leuven), 113–138.
  • 2009 ‘Lost in Translation? Evidenzerzeugung in der zeitgenössischen Ägyptologie’, in: IFKnow 02 2009, 4–5.
  • 2008 ‘The Memphis Database Project 1000–500 BC’, in: N. Strudwick (ed.), Information Technology and Egyptology in 2008, Proceedings of the meeting of the Computer Working Group of the International Association of Egyptologists (Informatique et Égyptologie), Vienna, 8–11 July 2008, Bible in Technology 2 (New Jersey), 29–44.
  • 2007 ‘Bw Xrj Hm=f – The Place Where His Majesty Dwells: Some Remarks about the Localisation of Royal Palace, Residence and Central Administration in Late Period Egypt’, in: K. Endreffy, A. Gulyás (eds), Proceedings of the Central European Conference of Young Egyptologists 2006 (Budapest), 171–193.
  • 2006 ‘The Osiris Chapels of the Third Intermediate Period and the Late Period at Karnak: Some Aspects of Their Religious and Historical Significance’, in: H. Győry (ed.), Aegyptus et Pannonia III, Proceedings of a Symposium Held in Memory of Lásló Kákosy (Budapest), 107–130.
  • 2006 ‘Die Namen des Rudjamun in der Kapelle des Osiris-Hekadjet. Bemerkungen zu Titulaturen der 3. Zwischenzeit und dem Wadi Gasus-Graffito’, in: Göttinger Miszellen 210, 69–91.


  • 2016 Victoria Altmann-Wendling, Der Sarg des Panehemisis in Wien. Paläographie. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2014 (Studien zur spätägyptischen Religion 3,2), in: Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes 106, 265–269.
  • 2014 together with Julia Budka: Thomas Schneider – Peter Raulwing (eds), Egyptology from the First World War to the Third Reich. Ideology, Scholarship and Individual Biographies. Leiden/Boston: Brill 2013, in: Die Welt des Orients 44/1, 135–140.
  • 2013 Penelope Wilson, Sais I: The Ramesside-Third Intermediate Period at Kom Rebwa, Egypt Exploration Society Excavation Memoir 98 (EES, London, 2012), in: AJA 117.4, online book reviews, October 2013 
  • 2013  Jean-Claude Goyon, Le recueil de prophylaxie contre les agressions des animaux venimeux du Musée de Brooklyn. Papyrus Wilbour 47.218.138, SSR 5. Wiesbaden, 2012), in: Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes 103, 389–392.
  • 2010 Karl Jansen-Winkeln, Inschriften der Spätzeit. Band III: Die 25. Dynastie. Wiesbaden, 2009, in: Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes 100, 265–268.
  • 2008 Frank Müller-Römer, Die Technik des Pyramidenbaus im Alten Ägypten, Utz-Verlag, München, 2008, in: FeRA 8 (Frankfurter elektronische Rundschau zur Altertumskunde), 19–24.

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