Hannah Pethen

Project Curator: Asyut Project

Department: Ancient Egypt and Sudan




+44 (0)20 7323 8311

Hannah Pethen is a curator in the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan, responsible for the investigation of artefacts excavated from Asyut by David George Hogarth in 1907.  

Hannah’s main areas of expertise are the archaeology of the Middle Kingdom, post-excavation analysis, archaeological survey, Geographic Information System (GIS) and satellite remote-sensing research. Her wider research interests include landscape and ‘non-site’ archaeology, ancient Egyptian mining and quarrying, desert travel and ancient road systems. Following previous experience in the excavation and analysis of British sites with Museum of London Archaeology, Hannah is also interested in the history and archaeology of London and the South-East of England.

Hannah has a PhD in Egyptology with a dissertation on the visibility of the cairn-shrines of the Gebel el-Asr gneiss and carnelian quarries and their role in travel to and around the quarry.

In addition to research on the collection, Hannah is working on a satellite remote-sensing and mobile-GIS survey of the archaeological landscape around the Hatnub Egyptian alabaster quarries, and the post-excavation work for the Hellenistic-period site of Pisitiros in Bulgaria.

Current projects

  • Urban Development and Regional Identities in Middle Egypt: A Deep History of the Asyut Region (British Museum) – a holistic project to map, preserve and present Egypt’s heritage by looking at the broad spectrum of history – from 3000BC up until the present day – at multi-layered sites, including the varied responses of local communities who live atop the layers of history below. http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/research_projects/all_current_projects/asyut_urban_development.aspx
  • Hatnub Epigraphic Project (IFAO and University of Liverpool) – epigraphic and archaeological survey and excavation of the Hatnub Egyptian alabaster quarries, including investigation and documentation of the inscriptions, quarrying methods and surrounding quarry landscape https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/archaeology-classics-and-egyptology/research/projects/hatnub/

Previous projects

2015-2017 Olynthos Project (University of Michigan, University of Liverpool and Hellenic Ministry of Culture) – A multi-disciplinary project investigating the archaeological and landscape of the Classical city of Olynthos in Northern Greece. https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/olynthos-project/

2012 Gebel el-Asr Project (University of Liverpool) - archaeological survey of the cairn-shrines at Stelae Ridge in the Gebel el-Asr gneiss quarries https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/archaeology-classics-and-egyptology/research/projects/gebel/

2006-2012 Gurob Harem Palace Project (University of Liverpool) – archaeological excavation and survey at the New Kingdom palace and town site of Gurob, in the Faiyum region of Egypt. https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/archaeology-classics-and-egyptology/research/projects/gurob/

2009-2011 Assessment of archaeological resource in aggregate areas on the Isle of Wight. (Museum of London Archaeology) – an English Heritage and Aggregates Levy Sustainability funded project to identify and quantify the archaeological assets within aggregate-producing areas of the Isle of Wight, using Historic Environment Record data and GIS analysis. http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archives/view/iofwaggs_eh_2011/

Fellowships and grants

2012 Seven Pillars of Wisdom Trust – funding for archaeological fieldwork at the Gebel el-Asr quarries.

2012 University of Liverpool PEET funding for archaeological fieldwork at the Gebel el-Asr quarries.

2009-2011 Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund and English Heritage Funding Assessment of archaeological resource in aggregate areas on the Isle of Wight. (For Museum of London Archaeology).


Pethen, H. 2017. The Stelae Ridge cairns: A reassessment of the archaeological evidence. In: G. Rosati and and M. C. Guidotti (eds.) Proceedings of the XI International Congress of Egyptologists, Florence 23 – 30 August 2015. Archaeopress Egyptology 19: Oxford. 481-486.

Lisa C. Nevett, E. Bettina Tsigarida, Zosia H. Archibald, David L. Stone, Timothy J. Horsley, Bradley A. Ault, Anna Panti, Kathleen M. Lynch, Hannah Pethen, Susan M. Stallibrass, Elina Salminen, Christopher Gaffney, Thomas J. Sparrow, Sean Taylor, John Manousakis, Dimitrios Zekkos. 2017. Towards a Multi-scalar, multidisciplinary approach to the Classical Greek city: The Olynthos Project. Annual of the British School at Athens 112: 155-206.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0068245417000090

Bardají, T. Martinez-Graña, A. Sánchez Moral, S. Pethen, H. García-González, D. Cuezva, S. Cañaveras, J.C. Jiménez-Higueras, 2017. A. Geomorphology of Dra Abu el-Naga (Egypt): the basis of the funerary sacred landscape. Journal of African Earth Sciences. 131: 233-250.

Pethen, H. 2014. The Pharaoh as Horus: Three dimensional figurines from mining sites and the religious context for the extraction of minerals in the Middle Kingdom. In: T. Lekov, and E. Buzov, (eds.) Cult and Belief in Ancient Egypt: Proceedings of the Fourth International Congress for Young Egyptologists 22-25 September 2012, Sofia, Bulgaria. 151–162.

Jones, E. and Pethen, H. 2012. Archaeological mapping and topographical survey. In I. Shaw, (ed.) The Gurob Harem Palace Project, Spring 2012. Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 98:44–46.

Pethen, H. 2012. The old and the new in Egyptian archaeology: Towards a methodology for interpreting GIS data using textual evidence. In: A. Chrysanthi, P. M. Flores and C. Papadopoulos, (eds.) Thinking Beyond the Tool: Archaeological Computing and the Interpretive Process. Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference 2010. British Archaeological Reports Publications. 103–122. 

Pethen, H. 2011. Assessment of archaeological resource in aggregate areas on the Isle of Wight. English Heritage project no. 4769. Museum of London Archaeology. https://doi.org/10.5284/1000178. Available from the Archaeological Data Service (http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archives/view/iofwaggs_eh_2011/).