Dr. Deborah Sweeney

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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


1983-90 PhD in Egyptology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem


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


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-Medina (Israel Science Foundation)

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

Animals at Deir el-Medîna (Israel Science Foundation)

Brothers at Deir el-Medîna (Israel Science Foundation)



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 (paused)– 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

Zhenxiao Zhao - with Dr. Shirly Ben-Dor Evian

Chanter Une Fois de Plus: Technical and Iconographical Study of the Coffin Lid of Djedmut, Chantress of Amun-Re in Israel Museum at Jerusalem.



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.


B. Articles

1. D. Sweeney, “The Great Dedicatory Inscription of Ramses II at Abydos, (lines 1-79),” in: S. I. Groll (ed.), Papers for Discussion, II, Jerusalem, 1985, 134-327.

2. D. Sweeney, “Involvement Category in Late Egyptian,” in: S. I. Groll (ed.) Studies in Egyptology in Honour of Miriam Lichtheim, Jerusalem, 1990, 943-979.

3. D. Sweeney, “Egyptian Masks in Motion,” Göttinger Miszellen 135 (1993), 101-104.

4. D. Sweeney, “Henuttawy's Guilty Conscience,” Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 80 (1994), 208-212.

5. D. Sweeney, “Offence and Reconciliation in Ancient Egypt - A Study in Late Ramesside Letter no. 46,” Göttinger Miszellen 158 (1997), 63-79.

6. D. Sweeney, “The Man on the Folding Chair. An Egyptian Relief from Beit Shean,” Israel Exploration Journal 48 (1998), 38-53.

7. D. Sweeney, “Friendship and Frustration - A Study in Papyri Deir el-Medîna IV to VI,” Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 84 (1998), 101-122.

8. D. Sweeney and A. Yasur-Landau, “Following the Path of the Sea Persons: the Women in the Medinet Habu Reliefs,” Tel Aviv 26/1 (1999), 116-145.

9. D. Sweeney, “A Puzzle in Late Ramesside Correspondence,” in: O. Goldwasser and D. Sweeney (eds.), Structuring Egyptian Syntax: A Tribute to Sarah Israelit-Groll, Lingua Aegyptia 9, (2001), 261-283.

10. D. Sweeney, “Walking Alone Forever, Following You: Gender and Mourners' Laments from Ancient Egypt,” NIN: Journal of Gender Studies in Antiquity 2 (2002), 27-48.

11. D. Sweeney, “Gender and Conversational Tactics in the ‘Contendings of Horus and Seth’,” Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 88 (2002), 141-162. (Refereed publication)

12. D. Sweeney, “A Lion-Hunt Scarab and Other Egyptian Objects from the Late Bronze Fortress at Jaffa,” Tel Aviv 30 (2003), 54-66.

13. D. Sweeney, “Gender and Request Formulation in Late Egyptian Literary Narratives,” in: M. Hasitzka, J. Diethart and G. Dembski (eds.) “Das alte Ägypten und seine Nachbarn” – Festschrift zum 65. Gebursttag von Helmut Satzinger mit Beiträgen zur Ägyptologie, Koptologie, Nubiologie und Afrikanistik, Vienna, 2003, 132-159.

14. D. Sweeney, “Gender and Language in the Ramesside Love Songs,” Bulletin of the Egyptological Seminar 16 (2003), 27-50.

15. D. Sweeney, “Forever young? The representation of elder and ageing women in Ancient Egyptian art,” Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 41 (2004), 67-84.

16. D. Sweeney, “Gender and Oracular Practice in Deir el-Medîna,” Zeitschrift für Ägyptische Sprache 135 (2008), 154-164.

17. D. Sweeney, “Cats and their People at Deir el-Medîna,” in: D. Magee, J.  Bourriau and S. Quirke, (eds.), Sitting Beside Lepsius. Studies in Honour of Jaromir Malek at the Griffith Institute (OLA 185). Leuven, Paris and Walpole, MA, 2009, 531-560.

18. 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.

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

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

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

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

23.D. Sweeney, “Birds at Deir el-Medîna,” Göttinger Miszellen 251 (2017), 127-142.

24. D. Sweeney, “Keeping Goats, (Sheep?), and Pigs at Deir el-Medîna,” Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 54 (2018), 77-90. (Refereed publication)

25.  D. Sweeney, C. Herrmann, I. Koch, Y. Gadot, M. Oeming and O. Lipshits. 2018. A Triad Amulet from Tel Azekah. Israel Exploration Journal 68 (128), 129-149. (Refereed publication).

26 D. Sweeney, “The Sculptor Qen (ii), His Two Wives, and the Men in his Family,” ZÄS 146 (2019), 63–68. (Refereed publication)


C. Chapters in books  and excavation reports

1. D. Sweeney, “Hieratic Inscriptions from Lachish,” in: D. Ussishkin (ed.), The Renewed Excavations at Lachish — 1973-1994, vol. III (Monograph Series of the Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University 22), Tel Aviv, 2005, 1601-1617.

2. D. Sweeney and N. Lalkin, “A Cartouche of Ramesses III from Lachish,” in: D. Ussishkin (ed.), The Renewed Excavations at Lachish — 1973-1994, vol. III, (Monograph Series of the Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University 22), Tel Aviv, 2005, 1626-1628.

3. D. Sweeney, “Law, Rhetoric and Gender in Ramesside Egypt,” in: C. Lipson and R. Binkley (eds.), Rhetoric Before and Beyond the Greeks, New York, 2004, 99-113.

4. D. Sweeney, “An MB II scarab from Ramla South,” in: O. Tal and I. Taxel (eds.), Ramla (South). An Early Islamic Industrial Site and Remains of Previous Periods. (Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology Salvage Excavation Reports no. 5), Tel Aviv, 2008, 27-28.

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

6. D. Sweeney, “Sex and Gender,” in: E. Frood and W. Wendrich (eds.), UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology, Los Angeles. http://escholarship.org/uc/item/3rv0t4np (Refereed publication)

7. 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.

8. 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. (Refereed publication)

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. D. Sweeney, “The akh iqer Stela University College London 14228 Reconsidered
– a Sign of Gratitude?,” in: K, Gabler et al (eds.), Text-Bild-Objekte im archäologischen Kontext: Festschrift für Susanne Bickel (Lingua Aegyptia Studia Monographica 22), Hamburg, 2020, 257–275 (peer-reviewed).

13. D. Sweeney, “Letters from Ancient Egypt,” in: I. Shaw and E. Bloxham (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Egyptology, Oxford, 2020, 1054–1069.


D. Conference papers

1. D. Sweeney, “Intercessory Prayer in Ancient Egypt and the Bible,” in: S. I. Groll (ed.), Ancient Egypt, The Bible and Christianity, Jerusalem, 1985, 213-230.

2. D. Sweeney, “The Nominal Object Clause of Verbs of Perception in Non-Literary Late Egyptian,” in: G. Englund and P. J. Frandsen (eds.), Crossroad: Chaos or the Beginning of a New Paradigm, (CNI Publications 1), Copenhagen, 1986, 337-373.

3. D. Sweeney, “What's a Rhetorical Question?” Lingua Aegyptia 1, 1990, 315-332.

4. D. Sweeney, “Women's Correspondence from Deir el-Medineh,” in: Acts of the Sixth International Conference of Egyptology, Vol. II, Turin, 1993, 523-529.

5. D. Sweeney, “Idiolects in the Late Ramesside Letters (With an Appendix by Jean Winand),” Lingua Aegyptia 5 (1994), 275-324.

6. D. Sweeney, “Women and Language in the Ramesside Period or, Why Women Don't Say Please,” in: C. J. Eyre (ed.) Proceedings of the Seventh International Congress of Egyptologists, Cambridge, 3-9 September 1995, Leiden (1998), 1109-1117.

7. D. Sweeney, “Letters of Reconciliation from Ancient Egypt,” in: I. Shirun-Grumach (ed.), Jerusalem Studies in Egyptology, (Ägypten und Altes Testament 40), Wiesbaden, 353-369.

8. D. Sweeney, “Wrongdoing and Offence in Letters from the Ramesside Period,” in: S. I. Groll  and I. Shirun-Grumach (eds.), Papers for Discussion 3, Jerusalem, 2003, 99-139.

9. D. Sweeney, “Women Growing Older in Deir el-Medîna,” in: A. Dorn, T. Hofmann and A. Loprieno (eds.), Living and Writing in Deir el-Medine – The Socio-historical Embodiment of Deir el-Medine Texts (Aegyptia Helvetica 19), Basel, 2006, 135-154.

10. J. Asher-Greve and D. Sweeney, “On Nakedness, Nudity, and Gender in Egyptian and Mesopotamian Art,” in: S. Schroer (ed.), Images and Gender: Contributions to the Hermeneutics of Reading Ancient Art (OBO 220), Fribourg/Göttingen, 2006, 125-176.

11. D. Sweeney, “ Illness and Healer in Combat in Middle Kingdom and early New Kingdom Medical Texts,” in H. Felber (ed.), Feinde und Aufrührer, Konzepte von Gegnerschaft in ägyptischen Texten besonders des Mittleren Reiches (Abhandlungen der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaft, Philologisch-historische Klasse, Band 78, Heft 5), Stuttgart/Leipzig, 2005, 142-158.

12. D. Sweeney, “Gender and language in Ramesside Egyptian,” LingAeg 14 (2006), Proceedings of the Colloquium “After Polotsky. New Research and Trends in Egyptian and Coptic Linguistics,” Bonn, 9-11 September 2005, 433-450.

13. D. Sweeney, “Gender and Requests in New Kingdom Literature,” in: C. Graves-Brown (ed.), Sex and Gender in Ancient Egypt “Don Your Wig for A Joyful Hour,” Swansea, 19-20 December 2005, Swansea, 2008, 191–213.

14. D. Sweeney, “Women at Worship on Deir el-Medîna Stelae,” in: J. Toivari-Viitala, T. Vartiainen, S. Uvanto (eds.), Deir el-Medina Studies. Helsinki June 24–26, Proceedings, Helsinki, 2014, 179-190.

15. 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 (OLA 241), Leuven, 2016, 873-884.

16. D. Sweeney, “The Inscription of Ramessesempere in Context,” in: E. Ben Yosef (ed.), Mining for Ancient Copper: Essays in Memory of Benno Rosenberg (Tel Aviv University Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology Monographs 37), Tel Aviv, 2018, 109-117.

17. D. Sweeney, “Cattle at Deir el-Medîna,” in: A. Dorn and S. Polis (eds.), Outside the Box. Selected papers from the conference “Deir el-Medina and the Theban Necropolis in Contact” Liège, 27-29 October 2014 (Aegyptiaca Leodiensia 11), Liège, 2018, 447-464.


E. Editing

1. O. Goldwasser and D. Sweeney (eds.), Structuring Egyptian Syntax: A Tribute to Sarah Israelit-Groll, Lingua Aegyptia 9 (2001). 329 pages.

F. Reviews

1. D. Sweeney, Review of R. J. Demarée & A. Egberts (eds.), Village Voices. Proceedings of the Symposium “Texts from Deir el-Medineh and their Interpretation,” Leiden, May 31-June 1, 1991, Leiden, 1992, in: Discussions in Egyptology 30 (1994), 205-210.

2. D. Sweeney, Review of C. Müller-Winkler, Die Ägyptischen Objekt-Amulette, (OBO Series Archaeologica 5), Freiburg (Schweiz)/Göttingen, 1987, in: Israel Exploration Journal 44, (1995) 256-258.

3. D. Sweeney, Review of G. Robins, Women in Ancient Egypt, London, 1993, in: Discussions in Egyptology 31(1995), 123-129.             

4. D. Sweeney, Review of D. B. Redford, Egypt and Canaan, Beer-Sheva IV, Studies by the Department of Bible and Ancient Near East, ed. S. Ahituv, Beer-Sheva, 1990, in: Israel Exploration Journal 45 (1996), 230-232.

5. D. Sweeney, Review of F. Neveu, La Langue des Ramsès, Paris, 1996, in: Lingua Aegyptia 5 (1997), 289-294.

6. D. Sweeney, Review of L. Depuydt, Conjunction, Contiguity, Contingency. On Relationships Between Events in the Egyptian and Coptic Verbal Systems, Oxford University         Press, New York-Oxford, 1993, in: Chronique d'Égypte LXXII (1997), 269-273.

7. D. Sweeney, Review of F. Junge, Late Egyptian Grammar: An Introduction, translated by David Warburton, Oxford, 2001, in: Lingua Aegyptia 12 (2004), 253-259.

8. D. Sweeney, Review of Lynn Meskell, Archaeologies of Social Life: Age, Sex, Class et cetera in Ancient Egypt, Oxford, Blackwell, 1999, in: NIN 4 (2003), (published 2006), 159-168.

9. D. Sweeney, Review of Lynn Meskell, Private Life in New Kingdom Egypt, Princeton and Oxford, Princeton University Press, 2002, in: NIN 4 (2003), (published 2006), 147-158.

10. D. Sweeney, Review of Jaana Toivari-Viitala, Women at Deir el-Medina: A Study of the Status and Roles of the Female Inhabitants in the Workmen’s Community during the Ramesside Period, (Egyptologische Uitgaven 15), Leiden, 2001, in: JESHO 48/3 (2005), 459-461.

11. 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.

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


G. Other

1. D. Sweeney, “Bibliography of Professor Sarah Israelit-Groll,” in: O. Goldwasser and D. Sweeney (eds.), Structuring Egyptian Syntax: A Tribute to Sarah Israelit-Groll, Lingua Aegyptia 9 (2001), 5-8.

2. D. Sweeney, “Sarah Israelit-Groll: A Biographical Sketch,” with O. Goldwasser in: O. Goldwasser and D. Sweeney (eds.), Structuring Egyptian Syntax: A Tribute to Sarah Israelit-Groll, Lingua Aegyptia 9 (2001), 1-4.

3. D. Sweeney, “Mordechai Gilula (1936–2002): In memoriam,” Tel Aviv 29/2 (2002), 291-220.

4. D. Sweeney, “Mordechai Gilula,” Lingua Aegyptia 11 (2003), vii.

5. D. Sweeney, “In Memoriam Anson Rainey (1930-2011),” Tel Aviv 38 (2011), 3-4.

6. D. Sweeney, “In Memoriam Raphael (Rafi) Ventura  1937–2020,” Tel Aviv 47 (2020), 147–148.


1. D. Sweeney, “Pharaonic Egypt – A Land without Prostitutes?” Zmanim 90 (2005), 10-19.

2. 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.



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