Dr Aidan Dodson

Dr Aidan DodsonBA (Liverpool), MPhil, PhD (Cambridge), FSA

Hon Professor of Egyptology

Department of Anthropology & Archaeology
University of Bristol
43 Woodland Road


Email: aidan.dodson@bristol.ac.uk

Prof Aidan Dodson was born in London in 1962, and educated at Langley Grammar School, Berkshire (1975-81), Collingwood College, University of Durham, (1981-82), the University of Liverpool (1982-85) and Christ's College, University of Cambridge (1985-6). Holder of the Royal Institution (Iliff) Scholarship at Liverpool from 1983-5, he was awarded a BA(Hons) in Archaeology  of the Eastern Mediterranean in 1985, an MPhil in Museum Practice and Archaeology in 1986 and a PhD in Egyptology in 1995. He was appointed to a Visiting Fellowship in the Department of Archaeology at Bristol in 1996, and became a Research Fellow in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology in 2005, teaching extramural courses during 1996-1999, and undergraduate and postgraduate units from 1997 onwards as Unit Tutor for Egyptology. He became a Senior Research Fellow in 2009 and Honorary Professor of Egyptology in 2018.

For the Spring semester of 2013 he was William K. and Marilyn M. Simpson Professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo.

Elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in September 2003, was Chairman of the Trustees of the Egypt Exploration Society from 2011-2016, was Simpson Professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo for the Spring semester of 2013, and is a Contributing Editor of the Kmt: a Modern Journal of Egyptology, as well as Chairman of the Egypt Society of Bristol, and is the author of twenty books and over three hundred papers, articles and reviews.

Current research interests

Egyptian funerary archaeology; dynastic history; history of Egyptology; royal funerary archaeology of Europe; naval history from 1850 to 1946, especially the period directly following the First World War.

Current work covers a variety of areas within Egyptian archaeology, but centre on the development of funerary equipment and architecture, history and chronology, from Second to Third Intermediate Periods, and the history of Egyptology and Egyptian collections, particularly in the south west of England.

As part of the latter, he acted as an advisor in the setting up of the  Egyptian gallery in Bristol's City Museum and Art Gallery, opened in 2007, and worked with Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery on the preparations for the reinstallation of their Egyptian collection in the autumn of 2008. He has also been working on the biographies of pioneers of Egyptian studies in Bristol, in particular Ernest Sibree (1859-1927), the University's first teacher of ancient Egyptian, and De Lacy O'Leary (1872-1957), a specialist in the early Eastern churches and the Coptic language.

Work began in the summer of  2008 on a comprehensive catalogue of the Egyptian coffins in the south-west of the United Kingdom, in particular in the museums of Bristol, Exeter, Swansea and Truro; a second volume will cover Liverpool, Manchester and Bolton, and it is hoped that other British provincial collections will follow. For access to a dedicated web-page for the Egyptian Coffins in Provincial Collections of the United Kingdom Project, click here.

A volume written with Dr Bill Manley publishing the Egyptian coffins in National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh was published in 2010, with work ongoing with Simon Eccles, formerly of Glasgow Museums in publishing the sarcophagi once owned by Alexander, tenth Duke of Hamilton.

A project to publish the coffins and related equipment from the tomb of Tutankhamun is (still) ongoing. Much of this builds on the catalogue cards and photographs left behind by Howard Carter when he died in 1939, but also includes a catalogue and study of all extant Egyptian royal coffins. Textual translations and grammatical commentaries have been prepared by Dr Manley; it was much delayed by the authors' other commitments and the emerging need to do more work on the actual items in Cairo, which was carried out during 2013.

 A study of Egyptian tomb development (with Professor Salima Ikram of the American University in Cairo) was published in February 2008, while  a study of the late Nineteenth Dynasty in Egypt, entitled Poisoned Legacy: the fall of the Nineteenth Egyptian Dynasty, was published in December 2010. A companion volume, dealing with the history of Egypt between the middle of the Twentieth Dynasty and the beginning of the Twenty-sixth - entitled Afterglow of Empire: Egypt from the Fall of the New Kingdom to the Saite Renaissance -was published in June 2012. A two-volume history of the later Eighteenth Dynasty has been published as Amarna Sunrise (2014) and Amarna Sunset (2009); a single-volume revised edition is in the planning stage.

The Royal Tombs of Ancient Egypt appeared in 2016.

On the topic of naval history, Prof Dodson published his first full-length book on the subject in 2016 - The Kaiser's Battlefleet: German capital ships 1870-1918 (Seaforth).

A list of Prof Dodson's available books is here.

Prof Dodson regularly acts as a guest Egyptologist on tours of Egypt, and has lectured extensively at universities, museums and Egyptological societies in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Egypt, Denmark, Italy and Australia. He also once shared a stage with Christopher Lee at a festival of 'Mummy' films in Paris!

The University regularly hosts a distinguished lecture in Egyptology, in memory of Amelia Edwards, the Bristolian founder of the Egypt Exploration Fund (now Society). The next lecture will be listed in the Programme of the Egypt Society of Bristol when arranged.



See full list of publications (PDF, 283KB).