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Pots, Pepper, Charcoal and Bread Virtual Conference flyerThe Classics department is pleased to announce a virtual workshop, organized as part of Professor Jen Gates-Foster’s collaboration with the ERC-funded Desert Networks Project. The purpose of this workshop is to create an analytical framework for understanding the complex and interconnected economies of the Ptolemaic and Roman Eastern Desert of Egypt in their geographical, social, and material contexts. The scale and extent of archaeological and historical work in the Eastern Desert of Egypt has increased exponentially in the past several decades. Major survey and excavation projects focused on all periods of Egyptian history, but especially the Ptolemaic and Roman eras, have produced vast quantities of textual and material data that has reshaped our understanding of the broader economy of Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt, while also raising new questions about ancient institutions, material practices and the role of different kinds of evidence in our assessment of the history of the Eastern Desert over the long term.

The contributors—from China, Egypt, the US, Spain, the UK, France and Germany—present new syntheses of archeological data on a regional scale, while contextualizing that analysis through conversation with scholars working on other material categories and periods in the Eastern Desert’s history. The organizers are seeking papers that offer methodological, theoretical, or analytical approaches to material datasets, and avoid field reporting.

More information on the speaker program, panel themes, and downloadable conference schedule can be found at the conference website:, or scroll down in this message.

Those wishing to attend must register for the conference by October 5 in order to receive instructions for accessing the virtual event. Please register at (you will be asked to create an account).

Please address all inquiries to Darcy Hackley (darcyDOThackleyATmomDOTfr) and Jennifer Gates-Foster (jgatesfosterATuncDOTedu).

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