Suzanne Onstine
Associate Professor of
 Egyptology &
Ancient History


FALL 2013


Contact Information:   

Office: University of Memphis, Mitchell Hall 101, Memphis, TN 38152
Telephone: (901) 678-3383
Fax: (901) 678-2720

Office hours: Monday 2:30 - 4:30 or by appointment


Fall 2013 classes:

4323/6323 Egypt of the Pharaohs  MW – 12:40-2:05 

Survey of ancient Egyptian civilization, covering major political and social developments, religion, writing and literature, Egypt’s relations with the rest of Africa, and sample problems illustrating how Egyptologists make sense of the scattered remains from which our understanding of ancient Egypt must be built.


4320/6320 Ancient Near East T/Th 11:20-12:45

Survey of the earliest civilizations of the Near Eastern and Mediterranean areas. Beginning with the Neolithic Revolution, we will examine the rise of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Syria-Palestine, Turkey (Hittites), and the Aegean (Cyprus, Minoan Crete, and Mycenean Greece). The regional interconnections that culminated in the ‘first internationalism’ (c. 1500-1200 BCE) will receive special attention, as will the migrations that periodically disrupted the ancient world, ending in the breakup of the great national empires in the twelfth century BCE.


7320/8320 Studies in Ancient History M 5:30 - 8:30

Graduate seminar for Egyptology students only

Predynastic Egypt: This seminar will focus on the Predynastic and Early Dynastic periods. Weekly readings and writing assignments will familiarize the student with topics like state formation, the transition from the neolithic to sedentary societies in early Egypt, and Egyptian connections to the wider prehistoric African patterns of culture. Material culture will be the primary method of interpreting this period, although the origins of writing will also be explored.


Previously taught classes:

1110 World Civilizations I: prehistory to 1500 AD

3320 The Ancient World

4063/6063 Ancient Nubia

4320/6320 Ancient Near East

4322/6322 Ancient Rome

4323/6323 Egypt of the Pharaohs

7320/8320 Studies in Ancient History: Women and Gender in the Ancient World

7320/8320 Studies in Ancient History: Social History

7320/8320 Studies in Ancient History: Predynastic Egypt

7320/8320 Studies in Ancient History: Archaeology and History 

7070/8070 Research Seminar: Religion in Ancient Egypt

7070/8070 Research Seminar: Social History



About Me:


Current Research Project: TT 16; the tomb of Panehsy in Dra abu el-Naga, Luxor, Egypt

In 2007 I was awarded an ARCE fellowship to study the tomb of Panehsy, a man who held the unusual title of "overseer of the chanters of the offering table of Amun". Since 2008 I have held the concession for the site with the Ministry of State for Antiquities and have conducted epigraphic, archaeological, and physical anthropological studies in the tomb. The image at the top of this page is Panehsy and his wife Tarenu from the rear wall of their tomb. If you would like to contribute to this project, tax-deductable donations can be made through the University of Memphis. For details, please e-mail me. I am sorry, but it is not possible for me to take volunteers to Egypt at this time.


American Research Center in Egypt Tennessee Chapter (ARCE-TN)

ARCE is a national organization for the promotion of the study of Egypt. From their website: "The American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) is a private, nonprofit organization founded in 1948 by a consortium of educational and cultural institutions to support research on all aspects of Egyptian history and culture, foster broader knowledge among the general public, and strengthen American-Egyptian cultural ties."
Having a local chapter in Memphis brings resources that directly impact and improve the quality of our Egyptology program. Lectures are always free and open to the public and give the University and Mid-South community a chance for dialogue with a variety of world class scholars. To join ARCE or to follow chapter events, please visit our website on ARCE's homepage.

Egyptology Graduate Student Association (EGSA)

Currently I serve as the faculty mentor for the Egyptology Graduate Students Association [EGSA].  EGSA is an official Registered Student Organizations at the University and sponsors lectures and social activities for Egyptology students in History and Art History. EGSA has a Facebook group you can join if you are a UM student in Egyptology. 




MA and PhD in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations from University of Toronto [concentration in Egyptian art and archaeology]

BA in Anthropology from the University of Arizona [concentration in archaeology]

American University in Cairo summer program in Egyptian history



"Singing", entry in UCLA encyclopedia of Egyptology

"Gender and Religion in Ancient Egypt", Religion Compass

“Mesaid Miscellanea”, Journal of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities vol. 32(2005) [published 2007].
The Role of the Chantress (Smayt) in Ancient Egypt (2005, British Archaeological Reports, London)
“Musician Priestesses in Ancient Egypt”, The Ostracon. Vol. 13, no. 2; Summer 2002
“Women in Ancient Egypt” Egypt Revealed June, 2001
“The Relationship between Re and Osiris in the Book of Caverns”, Journal of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities vol. 25 (1995) [published 1998].




Karnak Hypostyle Hall Project, University of Memphis

   For two seasons I worked with director Peter Brand doing epigraphy at Karnak Temple's Hypsotyle Hall.  Click on the link to find out more about this important project.

Department of History Egyptology program homepage

Department of History home page

Institute for Egyptian Art and Archaeology

List of all Egyptology graduate classes in ARTH and HIST

Egyptology Resources   

American Research Center in Egypt 

Archaeological Institute of America