Dr.

Natasha Ayers

Natasha.Ayers(at)oeaw.ac.at
+43 1 51581-6104

Short Biography

Natasha is an archaeologist specializing in Egyptian archaeology and material culture studies. She earned a PhD in Egyptian Archaeology from the University of Chicago (Honors 2017) for a dissertation titled “Cultural Change in Upper Egypt from the late Middle Kingdom through the Second Intermediate Period: A New Analysis of the Ceramic Material.” Before joining the FWF START Project “Beyond Politics: Material Culture in Second Intermediate Period Egypt and Nubia” as a postdoctoral researcher at the beginning of 2019, Natasha was a lecturer and course creator at Chicago’s Oriental Institute (2018). She was also a writing teacher and co-instructor for undergraduate Humanities courses at the University of Chicago (2013–2017), and responsible for training graduate students in archaeological illustration (2009–2018).

Natasha has over 12 years of experience working on excavations in Egypt and she is the ceramicist for Middle Kingdom through New Kingdom Egyptian pottery at Tell Edfu, Egypt. She has worked in collaboration with numerous museum projects at the Oriental Institute and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Scientific Interests

  • Egypt and Nubia in the second millennium BC
  • Material culture studies
  • Settlement archaeology
  • Aegean-Egyptian interactions in the Middle and Late Bronze Ages
  • Ceramic analysis as a tool for building relative chronologies

Publications

Publications

in press

  • The MMA Egyptian Expedition’s 5A Pottery. In: Excavations at Thebes: The Earl of Carnarvon and The Metropolitan Museum of Art at Carnarvon Tomb 62 and Surrounds, with contributions by Natasha Ayers, Marcel Marée, Deborah Schorsch, Daphna Ben-Tor, Frederik Hagen, Rachael Sparks, and Salima Ikram, edited by Christine Lilyquist. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • Carter/Carnarvon Pottery at Carnarvon 62. In: Excavations at Thebes: The Earl of Carnarvon and The Metropolitan Museum of Art at Carnarvon Tomb 62 and Surrounds, with contributions by Natasha Ayers, Marcel Marée, Deborah Schorsch, Daphna Ben-Tor, Frederik Hagen, Rachael Sparks, and Salima Ikram, edited by Christine Lilyquist. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art.
     

2018

  • Pottery from the late Middle Kingdom through the Second Intermediate Period at Tell Edfu: The broader archaeological context of the Khyan sealings. In: The Hyksos Ruler Khayan and the Early Second Intermediate Period in Egypt. Problems and Priorities of Current Research. Proceedings of the Workshop of the Austrian Archaeological Institute and the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, July 4–5, 2014, edited by Irene Forstner-Müller and Nadine Moeller, 57–82. Vienna: Holzhausen.
     

2016

  • Settlement pottery from the early Second Intermediate Period at Tell Edfu. In: Vienna II: Ancient Egyptian Ceramics in the 21st Century, Proceedings of the International Conference held at the University of Vienna, 14th–18th of May, 2012, edited by Bettina Bader, Christian M. Knoblauch and E. Christiana Köhler, 27–45. Leuven: Peeters.
     

2015

  • Egyptian imitations of Mycenaean Pottery. In: Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference of Egyptologists, University of the Aegean, Rhodes, 22–29 May, 2008, edited by Panagiotis Kousoulis and Nikolaos Lazaridis, 1935–1950. Leuven: Peeters.
     

2012

  • (with N. Moeller) Nubian pottery traditions during the 2nd millennium BC at Tell Edfu. In:  Nubian Pottery from Egyptian Cultural Contexts of the Middle Kingdom and Early New Kingdom. Proceedings of a Workshop held at the Austrian Archaeological Institute at Cairo, 11–12 December 2010, edited by Irene Forstner-Müller and Pamela Rose, 103–115. Vienna: ÖAI.
     

2011

  • (with N. Moeller and G. Marouard) Discussion of late Middle Kingdom and early Second Intermediate Period history and chronology in relation to the Khayan Sealings discovered at Tell Edfu. Ägypten und Levante XXI (2011): 87–121.

Detailed Biography

Detailed Biography

Academic Career

  • 2018
    Lecturer for Adult Education Courses, The Oriental Institute, Chicago, IL
  • 2017
    Ph.D. Egyptian Archaeology with Honors, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago
    Dissertation: Cultural Change in Upper Egypt from the late Middle Kingdom through the Second Intermediate Period: A New Analysis of the Ceramic Material
  • 2007
    M.A. Egyptian Archaeology, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago
    Thesis: Egyptian Imitations of Aegean Vessels in the New Kingdom
  • 2004
    B.A. Archaeological Studies (Middle Eastern) with Honors, Department of Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin
    Honors Thesis: Mycenaean Figures and Figurines: Their Typology, Meaning, and Use

 

Scientific Career

  • Since February 2019
    Scientific Member of the START Project Beyond Politics: Material Culture of Second Intermediate Period Egypt and Nubia (Y754-G19)
  • 2009–2018
    Independent Contractor, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
    Carnarvon Tomb 62 Project, directed by Christine Lilyquist
  • 2008–2017
    Research Assistant, The Oriental Institute, Chicago
    Tell Edfu Project, directed by Nadine Moeller
  • 2013, 2015
    Archaeological Illustrator, The Oriental Institute, Chicago
    The OI Nubian Expedition Publication Project, directed by Bruce Williams
  • 2013
    Research Assistant, The Oriental Institute, Chicago
    Dorginarti Project, directed by Lisa Heidorn
  • 2008
    Archaeological Illustrator, The Oriental Institute, Chicago
    Tell al-Judaidah Publication Project, directed by Lynn Swartz Dodd

 

Fieldwork

  • 2009–Present
    Ceramicist, Tell Edfu, Egypt
    University of Chicago/The Oriental Institute, directed by Nadine Moeller
  • 2010
    Assistant Ceramicist, Tell el-Dabca, Egypt
    Austrian Archaeological Institute, Cairo, directed by Irene Forstner-Müller
  • 2008
    Small Finds Registrar, Tell Edfu, Egypt
    University of Chicago/The Oriental Institute, directed by Nadine Moeller
  • 2007
    Assistant Small Finds Registrar and Field Excavator, Tell Edfu, Egypt
    University of Chicago/The Oriental Institute, directed by Nadine Moeller
  • 2006
    Trench Supervisor, East Karnak, Egypt
    Pennsylvania State University, directed by Donald B. Redford
  • 2003
    Ceramicist and Trench Supervisor, Petsas House, Mycenae
    University of Texas at Austin, directed by Kim. S. Shelton

 

Awards, Fellowships and Grants

  • 2006–2016
    The Helen Rich Memorial Fund, University of Chicago
  • 2014
    Second Place in the Best Student Paper Competition, The 65th American Research Center in Egypt Conference, Portland, OR, April 4-6.
  • 2006–2010
    University Unendowed Fellowship, University of Chicago
  • 2006
    The Edward L. Ryerson Fellowship in Archaeology, University of Chicago

 

Professional Memberships

  • 2006–Present
    American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE)
  • 2016–Present
    Archaeological Institute of America (AIA)

Presentations

Presentations

2018

  • “Cultural Change in the Second Intermediate Period: New Evidence from Tell Edfu,” The 70th Annual Meeting of the American Research Center in Egypt, Tucson, AZ, April 20–22.
     

2017

  • “Pottery as a Tool for understanding the Past,” Chicago Chapter of the American Research Center in Egypt, Chicago, IL, July 8.
  • “The Second Intermediate Period at Tell Edfu, Second Intermediate Period Assemblages: The Building Blocks of Local Relative Sequences of Material Culture,” Austrian Archaeological Institute, Vienna, Austria, June 22–23.
  • “A Provincial Capital in Upper Egypt: Using Assemblages in Context to Elucidate Use of Space and Chronology of the Second Intermediate Period,” Interdisciplinary Archaeology Workshop, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL May 11.
     

2015

  • “Pottery as a Tool for understanding the Past,” Lunchtime Gallery Talk, The Oriental Institute, Chicago, IL, July 8.
     

2014

  • “The Khayan Sealings in Context: An Overview of the Pottery from the 12th Dynasty through the early 18th Dynasty at Tell Edfu, The Hyksos King Khayan – New Insights on the Chronology of the 13th and 15th Dynasties,” Austrian Archaeological Institute, Vienna, Austria, July 4–5.
  • “Ceramics and Chronology of the late Second Intermediate Period–early 18th Dynasty at Tell Edfu,” The 65th Annual Meeting of the American Research Center in Egypt, Portland, OR, April 4–6.

 

Museum workshops

2017

  • “Archaeological Drawing Workshop (Egypt),” The Oriental Institute, Chicago, IL, March 11.
     

2016

  • “Archaeological Drawing Workshop (Egypt),” The Oriental Institute, Chicago, IL, March 12.
     

2015

  • “Archaeological Drawing Workshop (The Levant),” The Oriental Institute, Chicago, IL, September 12.
     

2014

  • “Archaeological Drawing Workshop (Egypt),” The Oriental Institute, Chicago, IL, September 13.
  • “Archaeological Drawing Workshop (Egypt),” The Oriental Institute, Chicago, IL, June 7.

Teaching

Teaching

The Oriental Institute, Chicago 2010, 2018

  • Adult Education, Sole Instructor and Course Creator
    Pottery and Society in the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean (summer 2018)
    The Ancient Mediterranean World: A Story of Trade, Diplomacy, War, and Migration (winter 2010)

 

University of Chicago 2013–2018

  • Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Sole Instructor and Course Creator
    Archaeological Illustrations (summer 2009–summer 2018)
  • Division of the Humanities, Writing Teacher and Co-Instructor
    Philosophical Perspectives (winter 2016, spring 2016, winter 2017)
    Language and the Human (autumn 2013, winter 2014, spring 2014, winter 2015, spring 2015, winter 2016)
  • Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Guest Lecturer
    Ancient Egyptian Language, Culture, and History (summer 2010, summer 2011)