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Émilie Sarrazin

Émilie Sarrazin is a PhD Candidate in Near Eastern Art and Archaeology at the University of Chicago, specializing in Egyptian archaeology. She obtained a B.A. with Honors in Anthropology and Classics from McGill University and an M.A. from the University of Chicago.


Since 2015, Émilie has worked as an archaeologist and field supervisor for the Tell Edfu Project, under the direction of Prof. Nadine Moeller and Prof. Gregory Marouard at Yale University, to study the urban development of this ancient provincial capital. As a member of the collaborative project Coping with Changing Climates in Early Antiquities (2017–2021), sponsored by the Humanities Without Walls consortium, Émilie has investigated the use of proxy data and climate-centered narratives to explain transitional periods in ancient Egyptian history. At the University of Chicago, she worked as a mapmaker and curatorial assistant for the Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures (ISAC) Museum. She also worked with the Center for Ancient Middle Eastern Landscapes on projects utilizing GIS for archaeological and heritage purposes. Her research interests include settlement archaeology, household cultic practices, the interactions between ancient Egypt and Nubia, and the role of museums in transmitting and shaping our modern understandings of the past.

Her dissertation focuses on the analysis of archaeological remains from the site of Mendes in the Eastern Nile Delta with the aim of studying the transition from the late Old Kingdom to the First Intermediate Period. This research centers more specifically on the reexamination of the extensive, but only cursorily published, finds made in the 1960s and 70s by the Institute of Fine Arts (IFA), New York University. Utilizing the excavation archive of the IFA expedition, now stored at the ISAC Museum, the project endeavors to clarify the stratigraphic relationships, chronology, and material culture associated with substantial settlement and funerary remains located to the east of the ancient temple. This analysis is then contextualized within the broader archaeological landscape of Mendes to assess changes in the use of urban space and burial practices and address current narratives about the evolution of the site during the late 3rd millennium BCE. By doing so, this research intends to contribute to broader conversations about the late Old Kingdom and First Intermediate Period from the perspective of the Nile Delta, a region rarely included in scholarly discussions due to the dearth of archaeological evidence.

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