Reseacher/Information page

Dr. Julien Cooper-Research Fellow
Ph.D. Ancient History (Egyptology), Macquarie University, Australia

Brief Profile:

Julien Cooper received his Ph.D. in Ancient History at Macquarie University, Australia in 2016. He was then a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Oxford University and a Postdoctoral Research Associate & Lecturer in Egyptology at Yale University. His research interests lie in the areas of Ancient History, Egyptology and African Civilizations.



2016 Ph.D. Ancient History (Egyptology), Macquarie University2011 B.A Hons (Honours class I), Macquarie University
2010 B.A (Ancient History), Macquarie University


Egyptology and Egyptian Language (Old, Middle, and Late Egyptian, hieratic); Egyptian Epigraphy; Ancient Sudan & Nubia and relations with Egypt; Archaeology of Sudan; Red Sea Studies; Nomads and ancient nomadism; Blemmyes and nomads of Northeast Africa; Afroasiatic Languages; Language Contact.


J. Cooper (2020), Toponymy on the periphery: Placenames of the Eastern Desert, Red Sea, and South Sinai in EgyptianDocuments from the Early Dynastic till the end of the New Kingdom, Brill: Probleme der Ägyptologie.

Articles (peer-reviewed)

J. Cooper (in press), ‘A Nomadic State? The ‘Blemmyean-Beja’ polity of the ancient Eastern Desert’,Journal of African History 61

J. Cooper & D. Vanhulle (2019), ‘Boats in the Desert: new rock art sites from the 2018 Eastern Desert expedition’, Sudan & Nubia 23, 3-13.

J. Cooper & A.-L. Mourad (2019), ‘Further observations on Ugarit and Egypt’, Göttinger Miszellen 259, 63- 75.

J. Cooper (2019) ‘Punt in the “Northern” Topographical Lists’, Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 104, 93-98. J. Cooper (2018) ‘Kushites Expressing ‘Egyptian’ Kingship: Nubian Dynasties in Hieroglyphic Texts and

a Phantom Kushite King’, Ägypten & Levante 28, 143-168.

J. Cooper (2017) ‘Some observations on language contact between Egyptian and the languages of Darfur

and Chad’, Der Antike Sudan: Mitteilungen der Sudanarchäologischen Gesellschaft zu Berlin 28, 81-86.

J. Cooper & H. Barnard (2017) ‘New Insights on the Inscription on a Painted Pan-Grave Bucranium from

Grave 3252 at Cemetery 3100/3200 in Mostagedda (Middle Egypt)’, African Archaeological Review 34, 363-376.

J. Cooper (2017) ‘Toponymic Strata in Ancient Nubia until the Common Era’, Dotawo: A Journal of Nubian

Studies 4, 197-212.

J. Cooper (2015) ‘A record of a Red Sea sojourn at Beni Hassan: The journeys of Ameny/Amenemhat

and ‘Relative-Placenames’, Bulletin of the Australian Centre for Egyptology 24, 31-50.

J. Cooper & L. Evans (2015) ‘Transforming into a swallow: Coffin Text Spell 294 and avian behaviour’,

Zeitschrift für Ägyptische Sprache 142, 12-24.

J. Cooper (2012) ‘Reconsidering the location of Yam’, Journal of the American Research Centre in Egypt 48, 1-22.

J. Cooper (2011) ‘The Geographic and Cosmographic Expression Ta-netjer’, The Bulletin of the Australian

Centre of Egyptology 22, 47-66.

Chapters & Encyclopaedia Entries (peer-reviewed)

J. Cooper (in press) ‘Egyptian among African Languages’, UCLA Encyclopaedia of Egyptology.

J. Cooper (in press) ‘Names, Naming (Places) | Ancient Near East Egypt’, Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception.

J. Cooper (in press) ‘Children of the Desert: The indigenous peoples of the Eastern Desert in the Pharaonic Period’, in H. Cuvigny (ed.) Blemmyes: New Documents and New Perspectives (Institut français d'archéologie orientale)

J. Cooper (2018) ‘The African Topographical lists of the New Kingdom and the Historical Geography of Nubia in the Second Millenium BCE’ in M. Honegger (ed.) Nubian Archaeology in the XX1st Century: Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Conference for Nubian Studies, Neuchâtel, 1st-6th September 2014 (Peeters, Leuven), 669-680.

J. Cooper (2017) ‘Funerary Texts’ in Tristant, Y., Ryan, E. M (eds), Death is Only the Beginning: Funerary Beliefs at Macquarie's Museum of Ancient Cultures (Australian Centre for Egyptology, Sydney), 110-120.

J. Cooper (2017) ‘Between this world and the Duat: The Land of Wetenet and Egyptian Cosmography of the Red Sea’, in. C. Di Biase-Dyson & L. Donovan (eds), The Cultural Manifestations of Religious Experience: Studies in honour of Boyo G. Ockinga (Ägypten und Altes Testament, Münster), 383-394.

Collaborating Editor

Di Biase-Dyson, Camilla and Leonie Donovan (eds) 2017. The cultural manifestation of religious experience: studies in honour of Boyo G. Ockinga. In cooperation with Heike Behlmer, Julien Cooper, Brenan Dew, Alice McClymont, Kim McCorquodale and Ellen Ryan (Ägypten und Altes Testament, Münster).

Non-peer reviewed publications

J. Cooper (2019) ‘Into the desert: the forgotten archaeology of eastern Sudan’, Current World Archaeology98, 10-11.

B. Slabak & J. Cooper (2009), The Beloved Land (Spectrum Pacific Publishing Cherrybrook).

(2020-), Assistant Professor, BNU-HKBU United International College (Zhuhai), Joint Research Centre for History and Culture

(2018-2020) Postdoctoral Research Associate & Lecturer, Yale University, Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations

(2016-2018) Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Oxford University, Faculty of History. ERC Nomadic Empires Project.

(2015-2016) Research Assistant, Weidenbach Diary Project, joint Macquarie University and Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences & Humanities project, headed by Dr Susanne Binder (Macquarie University)

(2014-2015) Research Assistant, Egyptian Metals and Economy: Crucibles of Time Research Assistant for Dr James Ross (University of Western Australia, Curtin University)

(2013-2015) Lecturer, Macquarie Ancient Languages Summer & Winter schools, Middle Egyptian and hieratic.

(2012-2013) Tutor, Disability Support program, Tutoring provided to Undergraduate students as part of the equity program (Dept. of Ancient History)

(2011-2016) PhD Student, Department of Ancient History, Macquarie University Supervisor: Associate Professor Boyo Ockinga


Subjects convened

Egyptian Hieroglyphs (Middle Egyptian, beginners & advanced) – Yale and Macquarie universities (MALS)

Hieratic (Egyptian cursive) – Macquarie University (MALS)



Subjects guest-lectured, tutored, or marked:

Egyptian Archaeology (tutor, video lecturer, marker) - Macquarie University

Late Egyptian language (guest lecturer) - Macquarie University

Egyptian Religion (marker) - Macquarie University

Names on Maps (Linguistics department) – Macquarie University

Complex Societies (Anthropology department) - Yale University

The Egyptian Temple (guest lecturer) – Yale University

Presentations, Workshops, and Conference Presentations
May 2020 The Desert of Gold: New fieldwork and discoveries in the Eastern Desert of Sudan, AmericanResearch Center in Egypt, University of California (Berkeley) & Bowers Museum (Los Angeles) (Invitation only public lecture)

March 2020 Between history, geography, and epigraphy: The Topographical List of Shoshenq and remarks on the historicity, Sheshonq in Palestine, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna (Invitation only workshop)

November 2019 Routes and Boats: New Rock Art in the Sudanese Eastern Desert, Stone Canvas: Towards abetter integration of ‘rock art’ and ‘graffiti’ studies in Egypt and Sudan, IFAO and PCMA, Cairo

October 2019 The Desert of Gold: New fieldwork and discoveries in the Eastern Desert of Sudan, American Research Center in Egypt, New York Chapter (Invitation only public lecture)

May 2019 Gold, Nomads, and Petroglyphs: Preliminary results of the 2018 expedition to the Eastern Desert, Sudan Archaeological Research Society Colloquium (Invitation only colloquium).

April 2019 The Archaeology of the Atbai: Report on new Fieldwork in the Sudanese Eastern Desert 2018, American Research Center in Egypt Conference, Alexandria, Virginia.

April 2019 East of the Nile: New Fieldwork in the Atbai Desert SARS-Yale expedition, 2018, Yale Archaeology of Sudan & Nubia colloquium, Yale University.

November 2018 Kush and the Language of Power in Second Intermediate Period Nubia, Society for the Studyof Egyptian Antiquities, University of Toronto.

September 2018 ‘Rise of the Blemmyes’: New Insights into the Archaeology and History of the Late Antique Eastern Desert, 14th International Conference for Nubian Studies, Louvre-Sorbonne, Paris.

May 2018 The Atbai Wars: The first sustained conflict between Egypt and the nomads of the Eastern Desert, Sudan Postgraduate Conference, Cambridge University.

May 2018 Nomad Christians: The emergence and decline of Christianity in the deserts between Egypt, Nubia, and Aksum, After Rome Seminar, Oxford University, Trinity College.

April 2018 Desert Politics: New insights into the Blemmyean State and its external relations (c. 300-900CE), American Research Center in Egypt, Tucson, Arizona.

October 2017 Nomad Christians: The Emergence and Decline of Christianity amongst the Blemmyes,Material and Immaterial Culture of the Christian Kingdoms of Nubia, University of Copenhagen (Invitation only workshop).

October 2017 A Forgotten Polity: The Blemmyes and the Beja of the Late Antique Atbai, A Marginalized Sea: Indigenous Cultures and Trade Systems in the Red Sea, Danish Academy in Rome (Invitation only workshop).

September 2017 Camels, Gold, and Nomad Kings: A history of the Blemmyes, McLean Lecture, Macquarie University (Invitation evening lecture).

September 2017 A personal geography of Egypt: a wealth of placenames in the Weidenbach diary, Max Weidenbach Symposium, Macquarie University (Invitation only colloquium).

September 2017 Cartography of Egypt: the Lepsius expedition as heirs to a tradition, Max Weidenbach Symposium, Macquarie University (Invitation only colloquium).

June 2017 Dynasties of the Desert: The Nomad Kings of the Eastern Sudan in Antiquity, Sudan Ancient andModern, Oxford University.

May 2017 The Narrative of Nomads: The History of the Blemmyes in the longue durée, African Archaeology Seminar, McDonald Institute, University of Cambridge.

February 2017 The Words of God: Hieroglyphs bringing Life, Powerhouse Museum exhibition talk, Sydney.January 2017 When Grazing becomes raiding: The dynamics and emergence of raiding cultures amongst pastoralist nomads, American Historical Association 131st Annual Meeting, Denver.

November 2016 The etymology of the divine name Ḏḥwty: divine onomastics in light of the comparativemethod, Ancient Egyptian Language and Texts 8, Oxford.

May 2016 Egypt in Africa and Africa in Egypt: Language Contact among the Ancient Languages ofNortheast Africa until the Graeco-Roman Period, Oxford University EANES seminar (Invitation).

January 2016 Egypt's Eastern Frontier: Exploring the Red Sea and Eastern Desert during the Pharaonic Period, Macquarie Ancient Languages Summer School Guest Lecture.

October 2015 East African lexical material in ancient Egyptian: the earliest documented languages of the Horn of Africa" SOAS Linguistics Seminar (Invitation).

October 2015 ‘Opening the Ways to Punt’: A history of Egyptian activity on the Red Sea through toponymy and historical geography, Egyptology Seminar, University of Copenhagen.

September 2015 Toponyms, classifiers, and Egyptians conception of space, Topoi Excellence Cluster, Humboldt University, Berlin (Invitation).

September 2015 Non-Egyptian placenames in Old Kingdom Egypt: evidence for foreign languages on the Nile at the dawn of Egyptian civilization, 11th International Congress of Egyptology, Florence.

May 2015 Egyptian, Afroasiatic, and the Comparative Method, Egyptology Workshop (USER), MacquarieUniversity.

September 2014 The African Topographical Lists of the New Kingdom and the Historical Geography of Nubia in the Second Millennium BCE, 13th International Conference for Nubian Studies, University of Neuchâtel. July, 2014 The Wadi you know: The many names of Wadi Hammamat, Third Australasian Egyptology Conference, Macquarie University.

January 2014 The Sudanese-Eritrean Coast in Classical Toponymy and Interpretatio Graeca, Australasian Society for Classical Studies 35, Massey University.

September 2013 The Back of Beyond: Egyptians going west in the Old Kingdom, Near East Seminar Series, Sydney University (Invitation).

July, 2013 Red Sea Toponymy in the longue durée: a view from Pharaonic Egypt to the Hellenic Period,Amphorae VII, Sydney University.

May 2012 Beja Placenames in Pharaonic Sources and the methodology of loanwords, USER Workshop,Macquarie University.

July 2011 The Toponym Punt: Approaches to Locating and understanding a foreign land, Australasian Egyptology Conference, University of Auckland.

March, 2011 The Cosmographic Expression “God’s-Land”: A textual study in Egyptian Geographic Phraseology, Current Research in Egyptology XII, Durham University.

Research Grants, Awards, & Prizes

(2019) Yale University, Simpson Egyptology Grant:

$US18,000 awarded for fieldwork project in Sudan.

(2018) Wainwright Fieldwork Grant:
£3200 awarded for fieldwork project in Sudan.

(2018) Egyptian Exploration Society Fieldwork and Research Grant: £5000 awarded for the fieldwork project in Sudan:

(2016) British East Africa Institute Award:
Nomads between Empires: The Atbai in Museo Castiglioni. Funding Award (£1200) to investigate materials relating to the Eastern Desert of Sudan in Museo Castiglioni, Italy.

(2016) Vice-Chancellor’s Commendation:
A prize bestowed on Doctoral Theses of excellence. All three external examiners must agree that the thesis is in the top %5 of Doctoral Theses in the field.

(2015) McLean Egyptology Scholarship:
$AUD4,000 award for funding Egyptology research overseas. The award will be used in September 2015 to fund travel for the International Egyptology Congress in Florence and give seminars and lectures in Berlin and London.

(2013) Postgraduate Research Fund, Macquarie University:
Travel scholarship of $AUD5,000 for conducting epigraphy at Minya (Cancelled due to Political Unrest) – later adapted to a study tour of Germany, consultation with scholars of African Languages (Afrikanistik).

(2011-2014) Australian Postgraduate Award (APA):
PhD Scholarship lasting three and a half years, c. $AUD 27,000 p/a.

(2011) Honours Thesis Prize:
Award for best Honours Thesis in the Department of Ancient History


(2018-) MA theses, and Final Year Dissertations (Yale University).

Fieldwork Experience

2018-2019: Oxford-Yale Atbai Survey, Gold, deserts, and nomads: an exploration and reconnaissance of threatened

archaeological sites in the Eastern Desert of Sudan (2 seasons) Julien Cooper

2015-2018: Sudan Archaeological Research Society Epigraphic Project (4 seasons) Epigrapher
(Kurgus, Gebel Dosha, Batn el-Hajar, Sudan)
Director: Prof. Vivian Davies

2008-2009:Epigrapher Macquarie University Theban Tombs Project, Dra Abu el-Naga, Egypt. Director: Prof. Boyo Ockinga

Peer Reviewing & Editorial Duties



Near Eastern Archaeology (ISSN: 1094-2076)


Shedet ((ISSN: 2356-8704)

Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean (ISSN: 1234-5415)



Macquarie Matrix Undergraduate Journal (ISSN: 1839-5163)

[Various Conference Proceedings and book chapters]

Conference and Speaker Organisation

2019) Yale Archaeology of Sudan & Nubia colloquium, April, Yale University. (2018-2019) Yale Egyptology Series Speakers (regular)

(2017) Workshop, Nomadism in the Central Sahara, keynote speaker Vincent Hiribarren, September, Oxford University

(2016) Workshop, The Archaeology of the Eastern Desert and the archaeology of mobility, keynote speaker Hans Barnard, October, Oxford University

Research project collaborations


NomadicEmpiresProject,EuropeanResearchCouncil,OxfordUniversity-directorPekka Hämäläinen Weidenbach Diary Project, Macquarie University - director Susanne Binder

Sudan Archaeological Research Society, Epigraphic Survey - director Vivian Davies

Toponymy of Old Kingdom Egypt (TOKE), Spanish Council for Scientific Research - director A. Diego EspinelSudanArchaeologicalResearchSociety,PublicationandeditingofEasternDesertSurveylegacy materials

Outreach and Media

2019 Yale News interview and article relating to Fieldwork:

2017 Expert Floortalk: Powerhouse Museum, Sydney – British Museum Mummies Exhibition, February 2017

2014 Ancient Egypt History Lesson: Sydney Technical High School, 2014
2012 Newspaper Biography, Sydney Morning Herald, February, 2012: “Students dig deep to solve riddle of death on the Nile”, (Education Supplement)


Associate Member of the History Faculty, Oxford University

International Association for Egyptologists (IAE)

Egypt Exploration Society (EES)

American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE)

Society for Nubian Studies

Sudan Archaeological Research Society (SARS)

Australasian Society for Classical Studies (ASCS)

Queen’s College MCR (Oxford University)