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Nico Staring

Guest Researcher

Dr. N.T.B. Staring
+31 71 527 2727

I am an archaeologist specialising in pharaonic Egyptian art, material culture and social history, especially of the New Kingdom (c. 1539-1078 BCE). The main focus of my research is on the ancient necropolis of Saqqara near modern-day Cairo. I have been involved in archaeological fieldwork at the site since 2007. My present affiliation is with the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (LIAS).

More information about Nico Staring

Fields of interest

  • Egypt in the New Kingdom
  • Funerary art and architecture
  • Memphite necropolis
  • Egypt in the Old Kingdom
  • Settlement archaeology
  • Ethnoarchaeology
  • History of Egyptology
  • Early photography
  • History of museums and collecting
  • Prosopography
  • Archaeological theory
  • Ancient graffiti


My PhD thesis (Maquarie University, Sydney) set as its main aim the study of tombs, tomb owners and the use of sacred space in the Saqqara New Kingdom necropolis by examining, as a point of departure, the sources pertaining to the early (Nineteenth Century) exploration of the site. This multidisciplinary approach involved the analysis of unpublished archive material, archaeological data and inscriptional evidence. My dissertation took the form of a thesis-by-publication and includes nine articles published in various peer-reviewed academic journals.
The PhD project also lay the foundation for my current postdoctoral research fellowship at Leiden University within the research project, The Walking Dead at Saqqara: The Making of a Cultural Geography. As part of this project, I am building a theoretical framework inspired by the interdisciplinary biography-of-landscape approach, which aims at a better understanding of the long-term development of the Memphite necropolis in the New Kingdom. The project’s deliverables include a monograph, the organisation of two international conferences, edited proceedings, and a museum exhibition.

Teaching activities and supervision

I welcome (Research) students who wish to focus on subjects related to the archaeology, (funerary) art and material culture of Ancient Egypt, in particular the New Kingdom.


PhD in Ancient History (Egyptology), Macquarie University, Sydney (2016)
Master of Arts, Archaeology of the Near East, Leiden University (2008)

Postdoctoral research fellow, Leiden University (2017-present)
Visiting scholar, Leiden University, LIAS (2016-2017)
Web editor, Leiden University Expertise Centre Student and Educational Affairs (2016-2017)
Programme coordinator and lecturer, Leiden University & KU Leuven (2014)
Project assistant collection digitisation project, NCB Naturalis, Leiden (2011-2012)
Lecturer in Egyptian Archaeology, Art and Material Culture, Leiden University (2009-2010)

Associations, boards, committees:
Academic Committee, International Congress of Egyptologists, Leiden 2023 (2019–present)
Scientific advisory committee, Friends of Saqqara foundation (2019–present)
Advisory council, Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (2018–present)
Council member as elected national representative, International Association of Egyptologists (2015–present)
Managing editor, Ta-Mery Magazine (2011–present)
Chairman, Huis van Horus foundation (2011–present)
Chairman organising committee, Current Research in Egyptology XI conference (2009–2010)

Grants and awards

Individual grants and scholarships:
Friends of Saqqara Foundation research grant (2018)
Prof. dr. A.W. Byvanck Fonds (Leiden University Fund) research grant (2017)
Department HDR research grant (Macquarie University) (2013 & 2013)
Macquarie University Research Excellence Scholarship (2012)
International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (2012)
Lutfia Rabbani Foundation travel scholarship (2011)
Various small research grants <€1.000 (2005–2010)

Grants as co-applicant:
2017: NWO Vidi Talent Scheme research grant €800.000 (with Lara Weiss (PI) and Ramadan Hussein)

Key publications

Staring, N. 2019. From Landscape Biography to the Social Dimension of Burial. A View from Memphis, c. 1539-1078 BCE. In Perspectives on Lived Religion. Practices – Transmission – Landscape, PALMA 21. N. Staring, H. Twiston Davies, and L. Weiss (eds), 207–223. Leiden.

Staring N. 2018. Products of the Physical Engagement with Sacred Space: the New Kingdom Non-textual Tomb-graffiti at Saqqara. In Decoding Signs of Identity. Egyptian Workmen's Marks in Archaeological, Historical, Comparative and Theoretical Perspective. Proceedings of a Conference in Leiden, 13-15 December 2013, Egyptologische Uitgaven 32. Haring B.J.J., Moezel K.V.J. van der, Soliman D.M. (eds), 79-112. Leiden-Leuven.

Staring, N. 2016. The Tomb of Ptahemwia, ‘Great Overseer of Cattle’ and ‘Overseer of the Treasury of the Ramesseum’, at Saqqara. Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 102: 145–170.

Staring, N. 2015. The Title HA.ty-a.w HA inb.w n.w PtH, “Mayor of Beyond the Walls of Ptah”, and Early 19th Dynasty Temple Building at Memphis. Zeitschrift für Ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde 142/2: 167–190.

Staring N. 2014. The Tomb of Ptahmose, Mayor of Memphis. Analysis of an Early 19th Dynasty Funerary Monument at Saqqara. Bulletin de l'Institut Français Archéologie Orientale 114/2: 455-518.

Guest Researcher

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


  • International Association of Egyptologists (IAE) Council Member
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