Dr Tony Leahy MA. PhD (Cantab)

Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology
Honorary Research Fellow

Contact details

Arts Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am an ancient historian, specialising in the study of pharaonic Egypt.


MA (Cantab) in Egyptology; PhD (Cantab) on ‘Abydos in the Late Period’.


I began my university career studying ancient and medieval history before switching to Egyptology, and many of the interests developed during research for my PhD have remained central to my research. Much of my work on the history of Egypt in the first millennium BC has been done in museum basements, but I have also worked in the field as an archaeologist at Malqata on the west bank at Luxor, at Amarna, at Balamun in the Delta and at Saqqara.

Topics of particular interest include: epigraphy and palaeography; chronological and political structure; elite presentation and the institution of kingship; the religious site of Abydos; personal names as a source for religious and political developments; foreign immigration and social change; cultural interrelationships with the Mediterranean and the Near East.


Most of my recent and current research comes under one or more of three headings.

The first is the Saite Period (664-525 BC): projects nearing completion include a comprehensive analysis of the erasure of the names of the pharaoh Amasis and a study of Papyrus Rylands IX, while a history of the Twenty-sixth Dynasty will follow. 

The second is the extent and nature of the relations between Abydos and Thebes in the Twenty-fifth to Twenty-sixth Dynasties, as seen through the prosopographic evidence from the two sites.

The third is elite presentation: I am particularly interested in exploring the value of private monuments, especially statues and stelae, for our understanding of the history of Egypt and am preparing a publication of the monuments of a neglected high priest of Heliopolis of the seventh century BC.


Recent publications:

‘ “Necho” in Late Period personal names’, in D. Aston et al. (eds.), Under the Potters’ Tree (Leuven, 2011), 547-573.

 ‘Text and image in funerary identity at Abydos in the early seventh century BC’, Imago Aegypti 3 (2010) 56-71, pls. 19-22..

‘The date of the ‘larger’ Dakhleh stela (Oxford, Ashmolean Museum 1894.107a)’, Göttinger Miszellen 226 (2010), 45-53.

‘Dating stelae of the Libyan Period from Abydos’, in G.P.F. Broekman, R. Demarée and O.E. Kaper (eds.), The Libyan Period in Egypt. Historical and Cultural Studies into the 21st - 24th Dynasties: Proceedings of a Conference at Leiden University, 24-27 October 2007, Egyptological Publications 23 (Leiden/Leuven 2009), 417-440.

A priest of Mut of Megeb at Abydos’ in J. Bourriau, D. Magee and S. Quirke (eds.), Sitting beside Lepsius (Leuven, 2009), 273-288.

‘A mysterious fragment and a monumental hinge. Necho II and Psammetichus II once again’, in I. Régen et F. Servajean (eds.), Verba manent, recueil d’études dédiées à Dimitri Meeks par ses collègues et amis. (Montpellier, 2009), 227-240.

‘Tomb relief carving at Abydos in the seventh century BC’, in Z. Hawass and J. Richards (eds), The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt (Cairo, 2007), 40-44.

‘A battered statue of Shedsunefertem, high priest of Memphis (BM EA 25)’, Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 92 (2006), 169-184.