Dr. Deborah Sweeney

ארכיאולוגיה סגל אקדמי בכיר
Dr. Deborah Sweeney
Phone: 03-6407236
Office: Gilman-humanities, 321


Senior Lecturer in Egyptology



1978-81 Oxford University. BA in Ancient Egyptian and Biblical Hebrew (1st class)
1982-83 Direct Doctoral Admissions Programme, Hebrew University of Jerusalem                                                                                1983-1990 PhD in Egyptology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Thesis title: Interquotation in Non-Literary Letters from the Ramesside Period 
Supervisor: Prof. Sarah Israelit-Groll

Research interests

Women and Gender in Ancient Egypt

The Tomb-Builders’ Village of Deir el-Medîna

Interconnections Between Egypt and Neighbouring Countries

The Egyptian temple at Serabit el-Khadem in the Sinai

Ancient Egyptian Mining and Quarrying Inscriptions

Everyday texts from ancient Egypt (e.g. letters)

Previous projects

Women and Language in Ancient Egypt (Israel Science Foundation)
Older Women in Ancient Egypt (Israel Science Foundation)

Gender and Religious Practice at the Workmen´s Village of Deir el-Medîna (Israel Science Foundation)

Self-presentation in mining and quarrying inscriptions outside Egypt (Israel Science Foundation) 

Animals at Deir el-Medîna (Israel Science Foundation)

Current projects

Brothers at Deir el-Medîna (Israel Science Foundation)

Serabit el-Khadem

See Personal Academia Page 


Other activities

Drink like an Egyptian! Ancient Egyptian-style Beer at Tel Aviv University Scientists’ Night, 22.9.11


Conference lectures (since 2007)

11-13 March 2007

From Sumer to the Genizah—Diplomatics and Legal Documents in the Ancient World, Jerusalem, Israel

Invoking the God: Legal proceedings in the Oracle Ceremony at Deir el-Medina

22-29 May 2008

The Tenth International Congress of Egyptologists, Rhodes

Men on their knees, women with snakes – some aspects of gender and personal religion at Deir el-Medîna

3-7 May 2009

Egypt, Canaan and Israel: History, Imperialism, Ideology and Literature, Haifa, Israel

A Long Way from Home: Women from the Levant in New Kingdom Egypt

24-26 June 2009

Deir el-Medina Studies, Helsinki, Finland

The Art of Prayer: gender, status and age on private stelae from Deir el-Medîna

13-15 April 2012

Double stories - Double lives:
Reflecting on Textual Objects in the Pre-Print world, Yale University, New Haven, USA

Between monument and building block – ancient Egyptian stelae at the temple of Serabit el-Khadem


28-30 May 2012


Prophecy and Politics in Ancient Israel and in Ancient Cultures, Haifa, Israel

Egyptian History in Mining and Quarrying Inscriptions


22-25 April, 2013

Mining for Copper: Environment, Culture and Copper in Antiquity. In Memory of Professor Beno Rothenberg, Timna, Israel

The inscription of Ramessesempere in context

27-29 October 2014

Deir el-Medina and the Theban Necropolis in Contact: Describing the interactions within and outside
 the community of workmen

Cattle at Deir el-Medîna


23-30 August, 2015

XI International Congress of Egyptologists, Florence

Goats, Sheep (?) and Pigs at Deir el-Medina





Name of Scientific Meeting (city, country)

Title of Paper

4 June 2007


Departmental Seminar of the Department of Archaeology and Near Eastern Cultures, Tel Aviv University

Prayer and sacred landscape at the Egyptian village of Deir el-Medîna

10 April 2008

Pharaoh  Hatshepsut and her Monuments at Deir El-Bahri, Irene Levi-Sala Annual Research Seminar, Beersheva, Israel

Doing A Man’s Job?: Hatshepsut and Gender


18 March 2010




Desert Roads in Ancient Egypt,  Irene Levi-Sala Annual Research Seminar, Beersheva, Israel


A Long Way from Home - Ancient Egyptian Self-Presentation in Mining and Quarrying Expeditions outside Egypt


22 September 2011

Tel Aviv University Scientists’ Night, Tel Aviv, Israel

Gifts of the Golden Goddess – The Ancient Egyptian Mining Expeditions to Serabit el-Khadem

24 March 2012


Neuere Forschung zu Deir el-Medîna, Ägyptologisches Seminar Universität Basel, Ägyptologisches Doktorierenden- und Forschungskolloquium, Basel, Switzerland

Investigating Gender and Religious Practice at Deir el-Medîna





























Name of Scientific Meeting (city, country)

Name and Institutions of Academic Partners Involved

18 January 2007

Echoes of war, shadows of warriors; warfare in the ancient near east

Department of Archaeology & Ancient Near Eastern Cultures

12 March 2007

The Aharoni Symposium (Tel Aviv, Israel) Egypt and Canaan

Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University

(with Prof. Itamar Singer)

9 December 2010

For the Love of Egypt (Egyptology lectures in appreciation of Dr. Raphael Ventura, on the occasion of his retirement from teaching in the



Department of Archaeology & Ancient Near

Eastern Cultures, Tel Aviv University


November 2012

Deir el-Medina and the Theban Necropolis in Contact: Describing the interactions within and outside
 the community of workmen, Liège, Belgium

Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University

(with Dr. Amir Golan)

20 January 2014

XI International Congress of Egyptologists, Florence, Italy

Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University

(with Prof. Yoram Cohen)




Society / Organization


Egypt Exploration Society, London


International Association of Egyptologists

(2004 –2013 Israeli national representative)


Israel Association for Assyriology and the Study of the Ancient Near East (Tel Aviv University representative 2004-2006, 2010–2012 and 2016-)








Research Students

PhD Students

Nir Lalkin (finished 2007)  - with Prof. Benjamin Sass

The Late Bronze-Age Scarabs of Eretz Israel

Shirly Ben-Dor Evian (finished 2014) – with Prof. Israel Finklestein

Egypt and Philistia in the Early Iron Age

Nir Orlev – Gender, Death and Rebirth in the Ancient Egyptian Coffin Texts

MA Students

Adi Keinan (finished 2007) – with Prof. (then Dr.) Raphael Greenberg

Evidence for Egyptian Presence in Northern Israel during Early Bronze Age I

Shirly Ben-Dor Evian (finished 2008) – with Prof. Israel Finklestein

Late New Kingdom and Third Intermediate Period Pottery in Canaan

Zadok Karaim (finished 2008)

The Logistics of the Egyptian Army in the New Kingdom

Nir Orlev (finished 2013)  - with Dr. Raphael Ventura

The Significance of the Representation of Royal Women at Serabit el-Khadîm

Yariv Tivon (finished 2017)

Private Stelae of Low-Ranking Expedition Members at Serabit el- Khadem


A. Books

1. D. Sweeney, Correspondence and Dialogue: Pragmatic Features in Late Ramesside Letter-writing (Ägypten und Altes Testament 49). Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, 2001. 327 pp.

2. O. Goldwasser, O. and D. Sweeney, (eds.), Structuring Egyptian Syntax: A Tribute to Sarah Israelit-Groll, (Lingua Aegyptia 9), Göttingen, 2001.

Selected articles published between 2010 and 2016

D. Sweeney, “The Earliest Recorded Strike in the World – The Tomb-Builders in the Valley of the Kings (1158 BCE),” Zmanim 110 (2010), 6-15.

D. Sweeney, “The Shield of Divine Protection,” in: S. Snape and M. Collier (eds.), Ramesside Studies in honour of K.A. Kitchen, Bolton, 2011, 505-508.

D. Sweeney, “A man on a folding chair on a relief from Beit Shean”, in: A.Mazar and N.Panitz-Cohen (editors), Excavations at Tel Beth-Shean 1989 -1996, Volume III.  Areas S and N from the late 13th to the 11th centuries BCE . Jerusalem, Israel Exploration Society, 2011, 700-705.

D. Sweeney, “Sex and Gender,” in: E. Frood and W. Wendrich (eds.), UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology, Los Angeles, 2011.

D. Sweeney, Review of Kathlyn M. Cooney, The Cost of Death: The Social and Economic Value of Ancient Egyptian Funerary Art in the Ramesside Period (Egyptologische Uitgaven 22), Leiden, 2007, in: Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 98 (2012), 331-334.

D. Sweeney, “The Maghara (Sinai) family revisited,” Tel Aviv 40 (2013), 46-54.

D. Sweeney, “The Tel Aviv University Serabit el-Khadem photograph archive,” Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel 2 (2013), 265-273.

D. Sweeney, “The vizier Amenemhat at Wadi Hammamat – a Macbeth moment?” Göttinger Miszellen 238 (2013), 107-124.

D. Sweeney, “Sitting Happily with Amun,” in: B.J.J. Haring, O. Kaper and R. van Walsem (eds.) The Workman’s Progress. Studies in the Village of Deir el-Medina and Other Documents from Western Thebes in Honour of Rob Demarée (Egyptologische Uitgaven 24), Leiden, 2014, 217-231.

D. Sweeney, “Self-Representation in Old Kingdom Quarrying Inscriptions at Wadi Hammamat,” The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 100 (2014), 275-291 (peer-reviewed).

D. Sweeney, Review of Camilla di Biase-Dyson, Foreigners and Egyptians in the Late Egyptian Stories, (Probleme der Ägyptologie 32), Leiden and Boston, 2013, Lingua Aegyptia 22 (2014), 337-341.

D. Sweeney, “Monkey Business at Deir el-Medina,” in: H. Amstutz, A. Dorn, M. Müller, M. Ronsdorf, S. Uljas (eds.) Fuzzy Boundaries: Festschrift für Antonio Loprieno, vol. 2, Hamburg, 2015, 801-813 (peer-reviewed).

D. Sweeney, “Egyptian Objects from Beersheva,”. in: Z. Herzog and L. Singer-Avitz (eds.), Beer-Sheba III. The Early Iron IIA Enclosed Settlement and the Late Iron IIA-Iron IIB Cities (Tel Aviv University Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology Monograph Series Number 33), Tel Aviv, 2016, 1062–1074.

D. Sweeney, “Masculinity, Femininity and the Spirituality of Work at Deir El-Medîna,” in: P. Kousoulis, and N. Lazaridis (eds.), Proceedings of the Tenth International Congress of Egyptologists, University of the Aegean, Rhodes, 22-29 May 2008 (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 241), Leuven, 2016, 873-884.

D. Sweeney, “Women at Deir el-Medîna,” in: S. L. Budin and J. M. Turfa (eds.), Women in Antiquity: Real Women Across the Ancient World, London, 2016, 243-254.

D. Sweeney, “Family gods at Deir el-Medîna,” in: R. Landgráfová and J. Mynářová  (eds.), Rich and Great: Studies in honour of Anthony J. Spalinger on the Occasion of his 70th Feast of Thoth, Prague, 2016, 299-312.


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