Joshua Aaron Roberson

Joshua Aaron Roberson

Assistant Professor

Phone
901.678.3895
Email
jrbrson4@memphis.edu
Fax
901.678.2735
Office
202 Art & Communication
Office Hours
MW 2:30–3:30, T 1:30–2:30

BIOGRAPHY

Dr. Joshua A. Roberson (Ph.D. Egyptology, University of Pennsylvania, 2007) is an assistant professor of Art History (Egyptology) in the Department of Art and the Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology, at the University of Memphis. Dr. Roberson has worked at numerous excavations and field projects in Egypt, including Saqqara and Abydos with the University of Pennsylvania, Karnak temple with the French-Egyptian expedition to the Opet precinct, the Theban tombs of Pedamenopet and Padineith, the royal tombs of Merneptah, Ramesses III, and Ramesses IX in the Valley of the Kings, and the Cairo museum. Since 2014 he has served as a seal impressions analyst on behalf of the German Archaeological Institute excavations at Elephantine island, for the Lebenswirklichkeiten ("Realities of Life") project. Dr. Roberson is the author of numerous books, book chapters, monographs, and articles on ancient Egyptian religion, language, and culture, including The Ancient Egyptian Books of the Earth (2012), The Awakening of Osiris and the Transit of the Solar Barques (2013), and A Lexicon of Ancient Egyptian Cryptography in the New Kingdom (currently in press).

Education

  • Ph.D. Egyptology, Egyptian language focus, University of Pennsylvania 2007
  • B.A. Anthropology, University of North Texas, 1997

Research and Areas of Interest

  • Egyptian Underworld Books and related cosmological and mortuary literature;
  • ancient Egyptian language and cryptography;
  • seals and sealing practice;
  • digital epigraphy and 3D modeling of objects and spaces.

Employment history

  • 2015–present. Assistant Professor of Art History (Egyptian language). Department of Art, University of Memphis. Memphis, TN.
  • 2011–2015. Assistant Professor of History. Camden County College. Blackwood, NJ.
  • 2006–2009, 2010–2011. Lecturer in Egyptology, University of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, PA.
  • 2009–2010. Lecturer in History and Anthropology, University of North Texas. Denton, TX.

Research positions

  • 2014–present. Seal impressions analyst, German Archaeological Institute (DAI) expedition to Elephantine Island. Aswan, Egypt.
  • 2014–present. Research associate, Theban Mapping Project, American University in Cairo. Cairo, Egypt.
  • 2011–2015. Consulting scholar, University of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, PA.
  • 2009. Research assistant, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Egyptian Section.
  • 2008–09, 2015–present. Seal impressions analyst, French-Egyptian Expedition (CNRS/CFEETK) to Karnak temple. Luxor, Egypt.
  • 2008. Post-doctoral fellow, American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE). Cairo and Luxor, Egypt.
  • 2007. Research assistant to the Keeper of Antiquities, University of Pennsylvania Museum, Egyptian section. Philadelphia, PA.

Awards / Honors / Fellowships

  • 2016. Faculty Research Grant, "Photogrammetry as a tool for digital conservation and publication of Egyptian antiquities." University of Memphis.
  • 2014. New Jersey Council for the Humanities (NJCH) grant, in support of public lecture series, "Museum Diaries: Archaeology and Anthropology through the Curator's Eye."
  • 2013. Michela Schiff Giorgini Foundation grant, supporting publication of The Awakening of Osiris and the Transit of the Solar Barques, for the monograph series Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis.
  • 2012. NJCH grant, in support of public lecture series "Hidden Histories of Ancient Egypt."
  • 2008. American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) fellowship, with funding from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State.
  • 2006–2007. Arts and Sciences Dissertation Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania.
  • 2006. Felix J. Korsyn Prize in Egyptology, University of Pennsylvania.
  • 2001–2005. Louis J. Kolb Foundation fellowship, University of Pennsylvania.

Teaching Experience / University of Memphis

  • ARTH 7115: Middle Egyptian I
  • ARTH 7117: Middle Egyptian Literature
  • ARTH 4197: Advanced Individual Research
  • ARTH 7116 Middle Egyptian II
  • ARTH 7118 Egyptian Texts
  • ARTH 2010 World Art I

Teaching Experience / University of Pennsylvania

  • ANEL/AFST 563: Old Egyptian
  • ANEL/AFST 460: Middle Egyptian I
  • ANEL/AFST 460: Middle Egyptian II
  • ANEL 560: Late Egyptian
  • ANEL 664/RELS 616: Coptic I
  • ANEL 664/RELS 616: Coptic II
  • NELC/CGS 165: The Mind of Egypt in the New Kingdom
  • NELC 168/468: Religion of Ancient Egypt
  • NELC 266/666: History of Ancient Egypt, guest lecturer
  • NELC 668: Art and Architecture in Ancient Egypt, guest lecturer

Teaching Experience / University of North Texas

  • HIST 4263: Topics in African History: Ancient Egypt I
  • HIST 4263: Topics in African History: Ancient Egypt II
  • ANTH 5900: Special Problems: Egyptian Religion
  • ANTH 5900: Special Problems: Egypt in Antiquity
  • ANTH 4700: The Supernatural: Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion
  • HIST 1050: World History to the 16th Century

Teaching Experience / Camden County College

  • HIS 135: Ancient Egyptian History I
  • HIS 135: Ancient Egyptian History II
  • HIS 101: World Civilisations I
  • HIS 101H: World Civilizations I Honors
  • HIS 102: World Civilizations II

Publications / Books

  • 2013. The Awakening of Osiris and the Transit of the Solar Barques: Royal Apotheosis in a Most Concise Book of the Underworld and Sky, Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 262 (Fribourg and Göttingen).
  • 2012. The Ancient Egyptian Books of the Earth, Brown University Wilbour Studies in Egypt and Ancient Western Asia 1 (Atlanta).

Publications / Co-authored volumes and book chapters

  • 2015. "Chapter 21: The Royal Funerary Books," in K. Weeks and R. Wilkinson, eds., The Oxford Handbook of the Valley of the Kings (Oxford), 316–332.
  • 2012. "Chapitre IV, The Seal Impressions," in G. Charloux, et al., Le parvis du temple d'Opet à Karnak. Exploration archéologique (2006–2007) (Cairo), 125–143.
  • 2011. "Chapter 5: A Good Burial," in C. Routledge, ed., Quest for Immortality, The Bolton Collection (Taipei), 244–253 (English and Chinese).

Publications / Articles

  • 2015. "A Season in Hell (with apologies to Arthur Rimbaud): The Annihilation of the Damned in Ancient Egypt," Expedition 57/2: 17–23.
  • 2012. "A New Nautical Idiom for Hoisting Sails (in the Underworld," Göttinger Miszellen 233: 43–50.
  • 2011. "The Trampled Foe: Two New Examples of a Rare Amuletic Form," Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 96: 219–222.
  • 2011. "Egyptian Creation Myths," "The Valley of the Kings," "Egyptian Magic," "Egyptian Solar Deities," "Egyptian Hieroglyphs," "Egyptian Scribal Academies," "Tale of Sinuhe," "Medinet Habu," "Communicating the Environment in Egyptian Art," "The Early New Kingdom," and "The Later New Kingdom," eleven articles in K. McGeough, ed., World History Encyclopedia. Era 2: Early Civilizations, 4000–1000 BCE, vols. 3 and 4 (Santa Barbara).
  • 2010. "A Solar Litany from the Tomb of Ramesses IX," Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 45: 227–232.
  • 2010. "Observations on the so-called sw sḏm=f, or Middle Egyptian Proclitic Pronoun Construction," in Z. Hawass and J. Wegner, eds., Millions of Jubilees: Studies in Honor of David P. Silverman, SASAE 39 (Cairo), vol. 2, 185–205.
  • 2009. "Insider of at Home? An Observation on Syntax in the Serpent's Prophesy, Shipwrecked Sailor 167–69," Göttinger Miszellen 222: 51–56.
  • 2009. "An Enigmatic Wall from the Cenotaph of Seti I at Abydos," Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 43: 93–112.
  • 2009. "The Early History of 'New Kingdom' Netherworld Iconography: A Late Middle Kingdom Apotropaic Wand Reconsidered," in D.P. Silvermanb, W.K. Simpson, and J. Wegner, eds., Archaism and Innovation: Studies in the Culture of Middle Kingdom Egypt (New Haven and Philadelphia), 427–445.
  • 2009. "The Book of the Earth: Photographic Collation of Lesser-Known Sources," Bulletin of the American Research Center in Egypt 194: 17–20.
  • 2009. Co-author, with G. Charloux, et al., and French-English translator, "Recent Excavations at the Opet Temple in Karnak," KMT 20/1: 18–26.
  • 2009. Co-author, with G. Charloux, et al., "Karnak: Sous le temple, d'Opet," Archéologia 463: 28–39.
  • 2008. "The Rebirth of the Sun: Mortuary Art and Architecture in the Royal Tombs of New Kingdom Egypt," Expedition 50/2: 14–25.
  • 2008, "The Book of the Earth: New Interpretations and '08 Fieldwork," ARCE-PA Newsletter 3/1: 8–9.
  • 2006. "Relief Fragment," in G. Nosan and E. Feery, eds., Art of the Two Lands: Egypt from 4000 B.C. To 1000 A.D. (Verona), 86–87.

Book reviews

  • N. Harrington. Living with the Dead: Ancestor Worship and Mortuary Ritual in Ancient Egypt. Reviewed for Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 50 (2014): 237–239.
  • B. Gunn. Studies in Egyptian Syntax. Reviewed for Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 50 (2014): 235–237.
  • M. Bartá. Sinuhe, The Bible, and the Patriarchs. Reviewed for Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 42 (2005–06): 167–68.
  • J. Naydler. Shamanic Wisdom in the Pyramid Texts: The Mystical Tradition of Ancient Egypt. Reviewed for Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 42 (2005–06): 166–167.
  • N. de G. Davies. The Rock Tombs of El Amarna, 3 vols. Reviewed for Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 41 (2004): 166–167.
  • C. Manassa. The Great Karnak Inscription of Merneptah. Reviewed for Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 40 (2003): 109–110.

Professional Activities

  • 2015. "Practical Theology, Here and After: Apotropaic Wands and Birth Magic in Ancient Egypt," guest lecture, ARTH 7125 Egyptian Art and Architecture, University of Memphis. Memphis, TN.
  • 2015. "Rending the Veil: Fieldwork, Research, and Writing on Ancient Egypt 2001–20015," invited lecture, presented on behalf of the Egyptology Graduate Student Association of the University of Memphis. Memphis, TN.
  • 2015. "Let Us Descend into the Sightless Depths: The Cosmology of the Ancient Egyptian Books of the Earth," invited lecture, American Research Center in Egypt, North Texas Chapter. Dallas, TX.
  • 2015. "Whose error, anyway? Non-standard Orthography, Cryptography, and the Transmission of Texts: The Case of the Egyptian Underworld Books," invited lecture, international conference, 'The Chinese Writing System and its Dialogue with Sumerian, Egyptian, and Mesoamerican Writing Systems', presented on behalf of the Chinese Studies Program and Confucius Institute of Rutgers University (CIRU). New Brunswick, NJ.
  • 2015. "Lessons from the Lexikon: (Re-) Reading the Cryptographic Jackal Hymn from the Book of the Night," invited lecture, international workshop on New Kingdom Cryptography, on behalf of Eikones Modul A: Materialität und Semantik der Schrift. Basel, Switzerland.
  • 2015. "Research on Writing in Ancient Egypt: Epigraphers, Philologists, Sigillographers, and Other Strange Bedfellows," invited lecture presented on behalf of the Teaching and Learning Center at Camden County College. Blackwood, NJ.
  • 2015. "Breaking the Seal: Administration and Sealing Practice at Thebes in the Middle Kingdom," invited lecture, California State University San Bernardino. San Bernardino, CA.
  • 2015. "Civil Administration and Sigillography in Middle Kingdom Thebes," invited lecture, University of Memphis. Memphis, TN.
  • 2014–15. Academic Policies Committee, member. Camden County College.
  • 2014. "Seal Impressions and Civil Administration in Ancient Egypt," invited lecture, international workshop 'Reality of Life. A Synthesis of Archaeology and Natural Sciences', on behalf of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) expedition to Elephantine island. Aswan, Egypt.
  • 2014. "A Traveler [in] an Antique Land: Fragments of Memories and Notes from the Field, Egypt 2001–14," invited lecture presented on behalf of the Literary Society of Camden County College. Blackwood, NJ.
  • 2014. "Intimations of a Female Horus: Decorum and Gender Adaptation in an Early Saite Book of the Underworld and Sky," presented at the sixty-fifth annual meeting of the American Research Center in Egypt. Portland, OR.
  • 2014. "It's a Man's World? Gender, Kingship, and the Afterlife in the Private Tomb of Mutirdis," invited lecture, presented on behalf of ARCE, Pennsylvania chapter. Philadelphia, PA.
  • 2014. Judge, Best Student Paper Award, sixty-fifth annual meeting of the American Research Center in Egypt. Portland, OR.
  • 2014. Discussant, ARCE Fellowship Panel, sixty-fifth annual meeting of the American Research Center in Egypt. Portland, OR.
  • 2013. "Descend, you gods... for I am Magic: Divine Hymns and Religious Poetry from Ancient Egypt," delivered for the poetry series Literature Live, Camden County College. Blackwood , NJ.
  • 2013. "A Season in Hell (with apologies to A. Rimbaud). Explorations in the Egyptian Underworld," delivered for public lecture series Hidden Histories of Ancient Egypt, on behalf of the Center for Civic Leadership and Responsibility. Blackwood, NJ.
  • 2013–2014. Faculty advisor, Phi Theta Kappa honor society, Camden County College. Blackwood, NJ.
  • 2012. "The Awakening of Osiris: Interpretations and Observations on a Recalcitrant Sequence of Cryptographic Texts," presented at the sixty-third annual meeting of the American Research Center in Egypt. Providence, RI.
  • 2012. Faculty Marshall, Spring Commencement ceremonies. Camden County College, Blackwood, NJ.
  • 2012. Honors Program Advisory Committee, Camden County College. Blackwood, NJ.
  • 2012-13. Curriculum Committee, Camden County College. Blackwood, NJ.
  • 2011. "A Tomb for Osiris? Considerations on the Marriage of Architecture and Mythology," invited lecture, presented on behalf of ARCE, Pennsylvania chapter. Philadelphia, PA.
  • 2011. "Egypt's Heretic King: Akhenaten and the Amarna Revolution," invited lecture, Camden County College. Blackwood, NJ.
  • 2011–2014. Projects coordinator and grant writer, Center for Civic Leadership and Responsibility. Blackwood, NJ.
  • 2011–present. Academic peer reviewer, Expedition magazine.
  • 2010. "Observations on 'proclitic' use of the Dependent Pronouns in Middle Egyptian," presented at the sixty-first annual meeting of the American Research Center in Egypt. Berkeley, CA.
  • 2010. "The Secret History of Karnak Temple: Civil Administration and Sigillography in Middle Kingdom Thebes," invited lecture, presented at the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago.
  • 2010. "(Re)-imagining the Underworld: Textual Transmission, Art, and Architecture at el-Asasif Necropolis," invited seminar, presented at the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago.
  • 2010. Discussant, ARCE Fellowship Panel, sixty-first annual meeting of the American Research Center in Egypt. Berkeley, CA.
  • 2009. "Epigraphy and Sigillography: Three Seasons of Field Work in Upper, Middle, and Lower Egypt," invited lecture, ANTH 001, Introduction to Archaeology. University of Pennsylvania.
  • 2009. "A New Look at Old Sources for the Late Period Books of the Earth," presented at the sixtieth annual meeting of the American Research Center in Egypt. Dallas, TX.
  • 2009. "Ancient Egyptian Magic: Gods, Myths, and Personal Practice," invited lecture, NELC 468, Religion of Ancient Egypt. University of Pennsylvania.
  • 2008–09. Commentator and co-host for television documentary 'Under the Pyramids', produced by Discovery and the BBC (TV6) for Broadcast Media Industry, directed by Ian Bremner.
  • 2008. "An Introduction to Egyptian Hieroglyphs," invited lecture delivered on behalf of ARCE, Pennsylvania chapter. Philadelphia, PA.
  • 2007. Lecturer, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology exhibition, 'Akhenaten and Tutankhamun: Revolution and Restoration.'
  • 2007, Fall. Liaison between University of Pennsylvania museum and Supreme Council of Antiquities curator-on-duty for the Tutankhamun traveling exhibition, Franklin Institute, Philadelphia.
  • 2006. "Egyptian Religion," invited lecture, presented for the benefit of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, "Egypt 101" lecture series.
  • 2006. "Notions of Cosmos in the Ancient Egyptian Book of the Earth," invited lecture, first annual Spring Conference of Kolb Fellows. Philadelphia, PA.
  • 2006 - "An Early Saite Book of the Earth: Some Observations Regarding the Theban Tomb of Mutirdis (TT 410)," presented at the fifty-seventh annual meeting of the American Research Center in Egypt. Jersey City, NJ.
  • 2006. "Sexual Architecture in the Theban Royal Necropolis: New Approaches to the Late Ramessid 'Resurrection Machine'," invited lecture and dinner engagement, presented for the benefit of ARCE, Pennsylvania chapter. Philadelphia, PA.
  • 2006, Spring. Graduate representative and discussant, Ethno-history workshop series, University of Pennsylvania, Department of Anthropology.
  • 2005. '"Insignificant Remains"? Three Enigmatic Texts from the Cenotaph of Seti I at Abydos, Examined in Context," presented at the fifty-sixth annual meeting of the American Research Center in Egypt. Cambridge, MA.
  • 2005–present. Academic book reviewer, Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt.
  • 2005, Fall. Graduate Student Associations Council, University of Pennsylvania, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures.
  • 2004. "Enigmatic Writing in the Book of the Earth: A Topical Introduction to the Principles of Ancient Egyptian Cryptography," invited lecture, University of Pennsylvania Graduate Student Colloquium.
  • 2004. "Where the earth meets the sky: The history and evolution of netherworld iconography and its relation to the Egyptian Horizon from the Middle Kingdom through the Third Intermediate Period," invited lecture, University of Pennsylvania Graduate Student Colloquium. Philadelphia, PA.
  • 2003. "The Early History of New Kingdom Netherworld Iconography: A Late Middle Kingdom Apotropaic Wand Reconsidered," presented at the first International Symposium on Ancient Egyptian Theology and Demonology. Rhodes, Greece.
  • 2003. "The Early History of New Kingdom Netherworld Iconography: A Late Middle Kingdom Apotropaic Wand Reconsidered," presented at the fifty-fourth annual meeting of the American Research Center in Egypt, Atlanta, GA.
  • 2003, Fall. Researcher, material culture processor, University of Pennsylvania. Catalogued Old Babylonian cylinder seals, Hilprecht Collection; prepared translations of Akkadian and Sumerian texts on same.
  • 2002. "Ancient Egyptian Magical Practices," invited lecture, AMES 166, Egyptian Religion. University of Pennsylvania.
  • 2002. "Egyptian Cosmography in the Old and Middle Kingdoms," invited lecture, AMES 166, Egyptian Religion. University of Pennsylvania.

Community Service and Outreach

  • 2013–14. Director and organizer, public lecture series, 'Museum Diaries: Archaeology and Anthropology through the Curator's Eye', on behalf of the Center for Civic Leadership and Responsibility, in co-ordination with the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the Princeton Museum of Art, Rutgers University, and Rowan University. Blackwood, NJ.
  • 2012–13. Director and organizer, public lecture series 'Hidden Histories of Ancient Egypt', on behalf of the Center for Civic Leadership and Responsibility, in co-ordination with the University of Pennsylvania and Roanoke College. Blackwood, NJ.
  • 2012. "God's Words: An Introduction to the Language of Ancient Egypt," five-week lecture series and workshop presented on behalf of the Center for Civic Leadership and Responsibility. Blackwood, NJ.
  • 2012. "Beyond the Pyramids: An Introduction to the Religion and Culture of Ancient Egypt," five-week lecture series presented on behalf of the Center for Civic Leadership, presented at Camden Country College, Blackwood campus. Blackwood, NJ.
  • 2007. "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs," multiple lectures delivered by appointment on behalf of the Franklin Institute Science Museum for the Supreme Council of Antiquities Tutankhamun traveling exhibition. Philadelphia, PA.
  • 2006. "Akhenaten and the Amarna Heresy," invited lecture, presented on behalf of the Women's Committee Show and Sale, 'Treasures... from the Silk Road to the Santa Fe Trail.' University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Professional Organizations

  • 2004–2008. Member, Egypt Exploration Society.
  • 2001–present. Member, American Research Center in Egypt.