Aaron M. de Souza

+43 1 51581-6104


Aaron is an archaeologist specialising in Nubian material culture of the late Second Millennium BC. He completed his PhD in Egyptology at Macquarie University, Sydney (2016), where he was subsequently appointed as Junior Research Fellow (2017) and thence Honorary Postdoctoral Associate (2018). During his time at Macquarie University, Aaron also worked as a tutor, guest lecturer and examiner, and contributed to course content design for undergraduate courses in Egyptology and Archaeology. His current Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship, “InBetween”, re-examines Middle Nubian material culture as a reflection of identity and socio-cultural interactions in the multicultural environment that was the Nile Valley of Egypt and Nubia, c. 1800–1500 BC. Since 2009 Aaron has conducted extensive field work in Egypt; he is currently Nubian ceramics specialist at the Tell Edfu Project (University of Chicago), has previously excavated two Pan-Grave Cemeteries with the Hierakonpolis Expedition (Oxford University), and has also worked with ceramics at Dendara and Helwan (both Macquarie University). He has also undertaken museum-based research projects in Sweden, the UK, the USA, and Italy.

Outside of academia, Aaron spent almost a decade as Collection Manager of the Sherman Collection, an internationally renowned private collection of over 900 works of Asian and Australian contemporary art.

Detailed Biography

Detailed Biography

Academic Career

  • 2012–2016
    PhD in Egyptology, Macquarie University, Sydney
  • 2011–2012
    Postgraduate Certificate in Research Preparation, Macquarie University, Sydney
  • 2008–2010
    Master of Arts (Egyptology), Macquarie University, Sydney
  • 2003–2006
    Bachelor of Design, University of New South Wales, Sydney



  • 2019–2020
    Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna (European Commission, Grant Agreement No. 796050)
  • 2018
    Research Assistant, ‘Pyramids, Power and the Dynamics of States in Crisis’ (Australian Research Council)
    Honorary Postdoctoral Associate, Macquarie University, Sydney
  • 2018
    Recording and analysis of pottery from Al-Widay I, Sudan. The Oriental Institute Museum, Chicago
  • 2017
    Junior Research Fellow, Ancient Cultures Research Centre, Macquarie University, Sydney
  • 2017
    (with J. Cooper) Analysis of ceramics collected by CeRDO missions to the Sudanese Eastern Desert, Museo Castiglioni, Varese, Italy
  • 2014
    Recording and analysis of Pan-Grave pottery from SJE Site 47, Museum Gustavianum, Uppsala University, Sweden
    Recording of Pan-Grave pottery from Middle Egyptian sites at the British Museum and Petrie Museum, London, UK
  • 2013
    Recording and analysis of pottery from SJE Site 176,Museum Gustavianum, Uppsala University, Sweden



  • 2012present
    Nubian Ceramics specialist, The Tell Edfu Project, Egypt (University of Chicago)
  • 20162017
    Pan-Grave specialist / Excavator, The Hierakonpolis Expedition (Ashmolean Museum Oxford)
  • 2015
    Ceramicist, The Dendara Necropolis Project (Macquarie University)
  • 20092011
    The Helwan Project (Macquarie University)



  • 2018
    Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship, European Commission (Grant No. 796050)
  • 2017
    Collection Research Grant, The Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
    Junior Research Fellowship, Ancient Cultures Research Centre, Macquarie University
  • 2016
    Michelle McLean Travelling Scholarship for Egyptology, Macquarie University



  • Nubian and Egyptian archaeology
  • Ancient Nubian ceramics
  • Nubian material culture of the late Second Millennium BC
  • Riverine and desert-based populations of ancient Nubia
  • Processes of cultural exchange and interaction
  • Material culture and identity
  • Evolutionary approaches to material culture analysis

Mitglied der Forschungsgruppe



in press

  • (with K. Liszka) The Pan-Grave and the Medjay: At the Intersection of Archaeology and History”, in: G. Emberling and B. Williams (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Nubia, New York (in press).


  • New Horizons: The Pan-Grave ceramic tradition in context, Middle Kingdom Studies 8, Golden House Publishing, London.


  • Paint it Black: Nubian and Egyptian black-topped pottery of the late Second Intermediate Period and early-New Kingdom, Cahiers de la Céramique Égyptienne 11 (2018), 75–90.
  • Pottery, in: Y. Tristant and E. Ryan (eds.), Death is only the beginning: Egyptian funerary customs at the Macquarie Museum of Ancient Cultures, Macquarie University, Sydney 2018, 124–127.
  • The ‘End’ of an Era: A review of the phasing system for the late C-Group and Pan-Grave cultures”, in: M. Honneger (ed.), Nubian Archaeology in the XXIst Century. Proceedings of the 13th International Conference for Nubian Studies, Peeters, Leuven 2018, 233–242.


  • The Egyptianisation of the Pan-Grave Culture. A New Look at an Old Idea, Bulletin of the Australian Centre for Egyptology 24 (2013), 109–126.




  • A Thousand Years of Nubians at Tell Edfu, Annual Meeting of the American Research Centre in Egypt, University of Arizona, Tucson. (20.–22.04.2018)
  • “The Pan-Grave Enigma: Nomads on the fringe Egypt and Nubia”, The Oriental Institute, University of Chicago. (23.04.2018)



  • The Pan-Grave Cemeteries at Hierakonpolis, HK47 and HK21A, Second Intermediate Period Assemblages: The Building Blocks of Local Relative Sequences of Material Culture. Workshop organised by Beyond Politics project, OREA/Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna. (22.–23.06.2018)
  • The Pan-Grave Enigma: New evidence from Egypt, Nubia and the deserts”, Rundle Foundation for Egyptology, Macquarie University. (19.09.2017)



  • Dating the Un-dateable: Towards a relative chronology for the Pan-Grave Tradition, Macquarie Ancient History Research Seminar. (08.05.2015)



  • Pan Graves, Pots and Palaeontology, Uppsala University, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History. (16.09.2015)
  • The ‘End’ of an Era: a review of the chronological phases for the late C-Group and Pan-Grave cultures, 13th International Conference for Nubian Studies, University of Neuchatel. (01.–06.2014)
  • Cladistics and Middle Nubian Cultures. Unravelling the networks of cultural interaction at the Second Cataract, (in collaboration with Dr James Valentine (palaeobiologist, Charles Darwin University). 3rd Australasian Egyptology Conference, Macquarie University. (16.–18.07.2014)