Meet the Speakers BE Symposium 2023

Meet the speakers for our 2023 symposium:


Cristina Alù

Cristina is currently a post-doctoral researcher at University of Pisa and member of the PRIN2017 project PROCESS “Pharaonic Rescission: Objects as Crucibles of ancient Egyptian Societies”. Her research interests include social history of ancient Egypt, craft production and technology, ancient mining and quarrying.

Catherine Bishop

Catherine is a second year PhD student at Liverpool University, focussing on the use and sustainability of resin in the Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean. She has a BA in Classical Civilisations and Egyptology from Swansea University, and an MA at the same institution in Ancient Egyptian Culture. Alongside her research, she has experience in Egypt, working with the Abydos Middle Cemetery Project and the South Asasif Conservation Project. Additionally, she has had the opportunity to volunteer with the British Museum, the Egypt Centre, and the Garstang Museum. 

Bente Bladsgaard Jensen

Bente is a BA and MA graduate in Egyptology from the University of Copenhagen. She is currently a PhD
fellow in Egyptology (School of Philology and History of the Ancient World, Department of Classics) at La Sapienza University of Rome and a visiting research
 student at the University of Birmingham.

Divina Centore

Divina graduated from the University of Pisa in 2018 with an MA degree in “Oriental Studies: Egypt, Near and Middle East” and a thesis on the importance of archaeological contexts and their reconstruction. She is currently working at the Museo Egizio (Turin) in the Interpretation, Accessibility and Sharing Department (IASD). Her main tasks include the creation of Egyptological content for the Museum’s digital platforms, editorial co-ordination and, above all, to liaise between the Collection and Research Department and the IASD. 

Divina’s study interests are pottery from the First Intermediate Period to the Second Intermediate Period, Egyptomania and the flora of ancient Egypt.

Marion Devigne

Marion recently graduated in Archaeology and History from
the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. She started studying
Egyptology during her Erasmus exchange in Germany and
has since joined several archaeological projects in Egypt
and Sudan. She is interested in the Late Period, object-based research, and the history of Egyptology.
This research was conducted as part of her undergraduate
dissertation, which focused on a selection of ancient Egyptian
textiles from the University of Aberdeen Museums Collection.

Cannon Fairbairn

Cannon is a Postgraduate Researcher doing her PhD at the University of Birmingham researching divine nursing scenes of the king. She is also an organizer of the From the Breast seminar and workshop which explore breastfeeding in pre-modern cultures. She received my Masters in Art History – Egyptian Art and Archaeology from the University of Memphis, USA.

Jessica Silva Mendes

Jessica is a Master’s student in the Graduate Program in Archeology at the Museum of Archeology and Ethnology at the University of São Paulo, with an emphasis on Egyptology and collections. Her BA is in History at the Faculty of Philosophy, Letters and Human Sciences (FFLCH) at USP. She also has a technician degree in Museology from the Parque da Juventude State Technical School.

Maria Carolina G. Rodrigues

Maria has a BA in History from the Pontifical University Catholic of
São Paulo and a MPhil in Social History from the University of São
Paulo. Her Masters dissertation examines the relationship between
Egypt and Nubia during the first half of the Eighteenth Dynasty,
during the expansion towards the South. She is interested in power
relations and mutual cultural influences between Egyptians and
Nubians. She is a member of the Ancient Near East Laboratory of
the University of São Paulo (LAOP-USP), and is part of the organising committee of the Seminários de Egiptologia, an Egyptological seminar series coordinated by Prof. Marcelo Rede and Dr Thais Rocha at the University of São Paulo and part of the Being Egyptian project.

Valentina Santini

Valentina is currently conducting her PhD in Egyptology at the University of Birmingham, with a research project focused on conceptions and beliefs related to death and bereavement at Deir el-Medina and Tell el-Amarna. She worked at the Museo Egizio, in Turin (Italy), whereas now she is currently working at CAMNES, a centre for archaeological studies based in Florence (Italy), where – inter alia – she is dealing with the dissemination of scientific and academic data to the wider public. She has written various scientific papers, and published books for the general audience.

Foy D. Scalf

Foy is an Egyptologist who studies the intersection of people, materials, texts, and beliefs in ancient Egypt. His
recent books include the edited catalogue Book of the Dead: Becoming God in Ancient Egypt, and the 2021 volume The Archive of Thotsutmis, son of Panouphis: Early Ptolemaic Ostraca from Deir el Bahari (O. Edgerton). He is currently working on two catalogues of Book of the Dead manuscripts from the J. Paul Getty Museum and Williams College. He serves as the Head of Research Archives for the OI of the University of Chicago.


Mennah Aly

Mennah is a member of the cabinet of His Excellency the
Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities. She defended
her Ph.D. dissertation entitled “Conception of the Doors of
Heaven in Ancient Egyptian Religion” in Helwan University,
and defended her Master’s dissertation entitled “Embracing
through New Kingdom Royal Iconography”. Her main
research interests are Ancient Egyptian religion, religious
philosophy and conception, popular religious practice in
Ancient Egypt, as well as themes of kingship and queenship
and how they are reflected in art and iconography.

Ariadne Argyros

Ariadne is a PhD student in Archaeology at Durham University. She completed her undergraduate studies in Anthropology and Classical Civilizations at the University of Vermont (USA), and then went on to do her MA in Egyptology at the University of Chicago (USA). Her research interests lie in ancient Egyptian funerary rituals and culture, gender, magic, mythology, animals, modern receptions of antiquity, decolonization efforts in museums, and education and outreach in the museum sector.

Valentina Alessia Beretta

Valentina Alessia Beretta received her Bachelor degree in Classical 
Studies at Università Cattolica di Milano with a dissertation in History of the Ancient Near East directed by Prof. Mauro Giorgeri and her Master degree in Archaeology and Ancient History at Università degli Studi di Torino in 2020 with a dissertation in Egyptology directed by Prof. Paolo  Gallo. Since 2022 she has been a PhD student at Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne University (UMR 7041
ARSCAN)  under the direction of Prof. Gaëlle Tallet with a thesis
intituled “Le dieu Hermaphrodite du Bassin  Oriental de la Méditerrané à la Campanie: iconographie, culte et adaptations”. Her fields of interest are Egyptology, the Hellenistic Orient, and Gender Archaeology.

Hazem Farrag

Hazem an Egyptologist with a strong academic background and a passion for ancient Egyptian history and culture. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Faculty of Arts, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt, where he graduated with a very good grade. Additionally, he holds a Master’s degree in Egyptology, with a thesis focused on the representation of the elements of the Egyptian environment in ancient Egyptian literature. His PhD degree, also in Egyptology, delves into the topic of autobiography in Middle Kingdom literature, through comparative studies. Currently, he is engaged in ongoing research and academic projects in the field of Ancient Egyptian literature.

Marina García López

Marina is a PhD Student in Heritage at the University of Jaén. She graduated in History and completed her master’s degree in Archaeology at the University of Granada. She is currently enjoying a FPU (University Teacher Training) contract from the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities. She is also a member of the Qubbet el-Hawa Egyptology Project at the University of Jaén, specialising in Egyptian provincial administration in the Old Kingdom.

Khaled Ismail

Khaled is working as Archaeological Curator at The Grand Egyptian Museum, Giza, Egypt since 2015. He is also a lecturer at Fayoum University for two years ago. He completed his PhD in Ainshams university, Cairo in 2019. Khaled has made some scientific contributions in the field of Egyptology, including writing a chapter entitled “The Greco-Roman Period in Egypt” in the Oxford Handbook of Egyptology (Liverpool 2020).

Dámaris López Muñoz

Dámaris is a graduate in History (2011-2015) and Master in History and Historical Heritage, specialising in archaeology (2016) from the University of Murcia. She is a pre-doctoral fellow (Action 4 UJA, 2018) for the realisation of the PhD thesis, entitled: “The Second Intermediate Period and New Kingdom ceramics from tomb QH33 (Aswan, Egypt)” with the Qubbet el Hawa Project, University of Jaen.

Sam Powell

Sam is a PhD candidate at the University of Birmingham working to create a stylistic typology of ancient Egyptian wooden funerary figures held in UK institutions. She has worked closely with the Egypt Centre, Swansea for many years volunteering in numerous roles, as well as creating their online catalogue ‘Abaset’. She holds MA qualifications in both Archaeology (UCL), and Ancient Egyptian Material Culture (Swansea University). As well as wooden funerary figures, Sam’s research interests include the digitisation of museum collections, and object-centred public engagement and outreach.

Ana Belén Rumi Gutierrez

Currently enrolled in a PhD program in history and archaeology at the Complutense University of Madrid, Ana has shown interest in ancient history from a young age. After a year in London as an Erasmus student, she started researching on Hellenistic Egypt, and particularly the rulership of the Ptolemaic dynasty. She is particularly intrigued by their acceptance and the coexistence of two different cultures in one single place. She has written university papers and dissertations on different topics, from Hellenistic ruler cult in Ptolemaic Egypt to research papers based on Ptolemy I, Ptolemy II and Arsinoe II. She is currently working on her thesis focused on Greek archaeological evidence in different Egyptian settlements and the possible relationship with the later arrival and acceptance of the Ptolemaic dynasty in the Egyptian pharaonic tradition.

Ilaria Sieli

Illaria received a Bachelor Degree in Classics at the Università degli Studi di Milano. Her thesis in Egyptology looks at the necropolises of Helwan, Kom el-Hisn, and Tanis as documented in the Archives of the Egyptologist Alexandre Varille, which are kept in the University of Milan. She received a Masters Degree in Archaeology at the Università degli Studi di Milano with a thesis in Egyptology which developed different aspects of the history of the discipline as documented in Varille’s Archives between 1920 and 1940, from Egyptological discoveries to the political implications involved in the relationship between governments and archaeological research.

She is due to graduate in Archaeological Heritage in 2023, focusing on the A-Horizon in Lower Nubia and its relationship with Proto-dynastic Egypt, through the analysis of Shellal, Sayala, and Qustul.