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Daniel Soliman

Guest Researcher

Dr. D.M. Soliman
+31 71 527 2727

Daniel Soliman is a curator of the Egyptian and Nubian collection of the National Museum of Antiquities and guest lecturer in Egyptology.

More information about Daniel Soliman

Fields of interest

- Middle Kingdom Egypt 
- New Kingdom Egypt 
- Ancient Egyptian art 
- Egyptian Archaeology

PhD research

Symbolizing Identity: Identity marks and their relation to writing in New Kingdom Egypt
Supervisors: Ben Haring and Olaf Kaper

In early as well as in modern civilization, a writing system may exist alongside of a system that makes use of graphic signs without direct phonetic values. In modern societies, examples of such signs are traffic signs or non-textual logos. In ancient societies we find seal emblems, pot marks, and so on. Like writing, these signs – or marks – are important conveyors of identity. Yet they have not been systematically studied. In Ancient Egypt such signs are often identity marks. They mostly convey ownership or production information.

This research project focuses on the systems of identity marks used by the inhabitants of the village of Deir el-Medina. These people were responsible for the construction of the royal tombs in Egypt during the New Kingdom. They applied their signs as ownership marks on pottery or personal items, incorporated them in the graffiti which they engraved in the Theban mountains, and used them in daily administration written on ostraca.

In my part of the research, I will try to explain how exactly the marks were used in the community of Deir el-Medina – in addition to writing, and place the marks in their historical and functional context. It will be attempted to identify the individual workmen which are represented by these signs. To that effect, the documents in which the marks occur need to be dated as precisely as possible, to recognize a specific generation. Through the use of a database application, a relative sequence of all the documents will be established to that effect.

Once more is known about the marking system, its development through the generations will be analyzed. Some marks remained in use throughout a certain period of time, while the usage of other marks was shorter. It seems that some marks were hereditary, but this practice is not yet understood well enough.

Another question that needs an answer concerns the degree of literacy of the users of the marking system. Did literate scribes adopt a marking system that was formerly used by non-literates only? In order to say anything about this problem, a more detailed research on literacy in the community of Deir el-Medina is required.

In addition, the purpose of the administrative documents in which we find identity marks needs to be investigated. What is the overlap of these records and similar administrative records written in hieratic script? A comparison of records with marks to regular hieratic administration will shed more light on this matter.


Education at Leiden Univeristy
PhD-researcher, Egyptology (2011-present)
MPhil in Egyptology (2011)
BA in Egyptology (2006)

Work history and extracurricular activities
2011 – present
Board member of the ‘Huis van Horus’ foundation at Leiden

2005 – present
Co-editor of the website of the ‘Friends of Saqqara’ foundation at Leiden

Student assistant at the archaeological mission of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) at Abydos/Umm el Qa’ab

2009 – 2010
Co-organizer of the ‘Current Research in Egyptology XI’ conference at Leiden

Assistant at the organization of ‘The Alpha and Omega of Sinuhe’ symposium at Leiden

Internship at the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo

Field assistant at the archaeological mission of the Leiden National Museum of Antiquities and Leiden University at Saqqara

2007 – 2008
Co-organizer of the ‘Egyptology and Anthropology’ symposium at Leiden

Administrative assistant at Bibliotheca Orientalis, Leiden

2005 – 2006
Student counselor at the department of Egyptology at Leiden University

2005 – 2006
Co-organizer of the ‘Recent Egyptological Research’ symposium’ at Leiden

Administrative assistant at Bibliotheca Orientalis, Leiden

2004 – 2005
Board member of the Egyptological student association Pleyte, Leiden


- Horn, M., Hoven, C. van den, Kramer, J., Soliman, D., Staring, N.T.B. and Weiss, L. (eds.), Current Research in Egyptology 2010: Proceedings of the eleventh annual symposium which took place at Leiden University, The Netherlands, 5-8 January 2010 (2011)

- ‘Oorlogsscènes in Nieuwerijks tempels en afbeeldingen van de slag bij Qadesh’, Ta-Mery 1 (2008)

- Poster presentation ‘Egypt at war in the Mediterranean’, panel exhibition Ancient Egypt in the Mediterranean, Cairo, Egyptian Museum, October 26th – December 26th, 2008

Guest Researcher

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Institute for Area Studies
  • SMES Egyptologie


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