Research in Ancient History includes archaeological, linguistic, and textual studies of the history and society of a range of cultures from early ancient through to medieval times. Areas of particular research strength include ancient Egypt; the Greek, Hellenistic, and especially Roman Mediterranean periods; Late Antiquity, Coptic Egypt, early medieval Europe, and Byzantium; early Christianity; Archaeology and Artefact studies; and Language studies.

Research clusters


Our research in Egyptology includes extensive on-site fieldwork (7 current sites in Egypt, the only concessions held by an Australian institution), employing scientific archaeology and art historical and linguistic approaches.  Fieldwork findings and other evidence are employed for research on human settlement patterns, cultural transmission, philology, and cultural practices including religious practices (Naguib Kanawati, Boyo Ockinga, Yann Tristant, Susanne Binder, Alexandra Woods).  Other current projects address the cultural portrayal of human-animal interactions, environmental history, and biochemical analysis of mummification processes (Linda Evans, Jana Jones).  A new research program explores the role of Egyptian artefacts in Australian museums.

Roman, Greek, and Hellenistic Studies

The Roman research group uses a range of approaches to study social history issues (including gender history) and political history issues for the late Republic and early imperial periods.  These approaches include material analyses (graffito epigraphy, non-destructive analysis of ceramics, and archaeological fieldwork) as well as taxonomical approaches in prosopography (Tom Hillard, Lea Beness, Peter Keegan, Jaye McKenzie-Clarke).  A new research program will develop the site of Carsulae in central Italy as a major archaeological research location.  Research on Greek and Hellenistic history focuses on interactions throughout the Hellenistic eastern Mediterranean, examining bilingualism, the lexical analysis of Greek papyri in Egypt, Ptolemeic Egypt, and the Greek reception of Egyptian religion (Trevor Evans, Paul McKechnie, Ian Plant).  A research program based in the Australian Centre for Ancient Numismatic Studies uses numismatic and metallurgical approaches to examine the financial foundations of classical Athens and Greek colonies (Ken Sheedy, Gil Davis).

Ancient Near East and Early Christianity

The new program in ancient Near East archaeology includes one focus on ancient Elamite and early Persian civilizations examined through both artefactual and textual studies, and another on ancient Israel archaeology, examining evidence for the development of early administration.  Other research explores philological and literary evidence of the Old Testament (Javier Alvarez-Mon, Kyle Keimer).  Research on Early Christianity explores papyrological and epigraphic evidence for the dating of early Christian texts, and for the spread of Christianity in the ancient world (Brent Nongbri, Paul McKechnie, Alanna Nobbs, Stephen Llewelyn, Chris Forbes).

Coptic Studies and Late Antiquity

Research in Coptic Studies includes papyrology and archaeological fieldwork as well as editorial work, examining communication networks, monastic settlement patterns, bilingualism, scribal practice and textual production (Malcolm Choat, Victor Ghica).  A major area of research in Late Antiquity is the spread of religions from the eastern Mediterranean through to China, in particular Manichaeism but also forms of Christianity in India (Sam Lieu, Gunnar Mikkelsen, Ken Parry).  A second focus of research in Late Antiquity is political and cultural relations among empires and peripheries: relations between the late Roman empire and Sasanian Iran, and among the post-Roman early medieval European states, and identity formation of European groups outside the Roman empire (Andrew Gillett, Peter Edwell, Danijel Dzino)

Archaeology and Artefact Studies

Research in most clusters includes fieldwork and related archaeological study, in Egypt, Italy, and Israel.  An emerging area of research innovation is the development and application of frontier technology to artefact studies and fieldwork, undertaken with partners in leading scientific and medical research institutions.  These technologies include methods for non-destructive analysis of inorganic artefacts (CT scanning, Dual Energy Computed Tomography, high resolution Cone Beam Computed Tomography), for analysis of metallurgical composition (Neutron Activation techniques, XRF analysis), and for examination of organic materials (biochemical analysis microscopy) (Yann Tristant, Ken Sheedy, GIl Davis, Jaye McKenzie Clarke, Jana Jones).

Language Studies

Every program involves intensive linguistic work in one or more of a broad range of ancient languages (including ancient Egyptian in Hieroglyph and script, ancient Greek, Latin, Coptic, Hebrew, Elamite and ancient Persian, ancient Chinese and Central Asian languages).  Several programs, however, address language specifically as dynamic evidence for social and historical change.  Interactions in textual artefacts between linguistic variation and development, inscribed materials, and social and historical change are exploited to further understanding of ancient culture.  The development over large periods of time of language use, particularly Egyptian and ancient Greek, is tracked in lexicographic projects (Trevor Evans, Boyo Ockinga, Malcolm Choat).

Research areas

Regions and Cultures

Egyptology: Archaeology, Art History, History, Language

Prof Naguib Kanawati, Assoc Prof Boyo Ockinga, Dr Alexandra Woods, Dr Yann Tristant, Dr Susanna Binder, Dr Linda Evans, Dr Jana Jones

Roman Republic and Empire: History, Archaeology

Assoc Prof Thomas Hillard, Dr Lea Beness, Dr Danijel Dzino, Dr Peter Keegan, Dr Jaye McKenzie-Clark, Dr Rosalinde Kearsley*, Dr Ted Nixon*

Ancient Greece and Hellenistic world: History, Archaeology

Assoc Prof Ken Sheedy, Assoc Prof Paul McKechnie, Dr Ian Plant, Dr Trevor Evans, Dr Gil Davis, Dr Blanche Menadier*, Dr John Lee*, Dr David Phillips*

Late Antiquity, Early Medieval Europe and Byzantium

Prof Sam Lieu, Assoc Prof Andrew Gillett, Dr Peter Edwell, Dr Ken Parry, Dr Danijel Dzino

Coptic Studies

Dr Malcolm Choat, Dr Victor Ghica, Prof Heike Behlmer*, Dr Jenny Cromwell*

Early Christianity, Old and New Testament Studies

Prof Alanna Nobbs, Dr Chris Forbes, Dr Brent Nongbri, Prof Edwin Judge*, Prof Larry Welborn*, Dr Don Barker

Ancient Israel and Judaism

Dr Stephen LLewelyn, Dr Kyle Keimer

China/Silk Road/Central Asia

Prof Sam Lieu, Dr Gunner Mikkelsen

Ancient Near East: Archaeology, Art History, Iran

Assoc Prof Javier Alvarez-Mon

*Adjunct or Honorary staff

Methodologies and Approaches

Archaeology and Artefact Studies: Egyptian, Ancient Near East (Iran, Israel), Mediterranean (Italy, Greece), south-east Europe, frontier technologies

Assoc Prof Javier Alvarez-Mon, Assoc Prof Thomas Hillard, Dr Yann Tristant, Dr Jana Jones, Dr Lea Beness, Dr Peter Edwell, Dr Jaye McKenzie-Clark, Dr Danijel Dzino, Dr Victor Ghica, Dr Kyle Keimer, Dr Blanche Menadier*

Art History

Prof Naguib Kanawati, Dr Alexandra Woods, Dr Susanna Binder, Dr Linda Evans, Dr Ken Parry, Assoc Prof Javier Alvarez-Mon


Assoc Prof Ken Sheedy, Dr Gil Davis, Dr Ted Nixon*


Prof Alanna Nobbs, Dr Malcolm Choat, Dr Brent Nongbri, Prof Edwin Judge*, Dr Don Barker*, Prof Heike Behlmer*, Dr Jenny Cromwell*

Ancient Languages (Egyptian Hieroglyphs, Ancient Greek, Latin, Coptic, Hebrew, Ancient Chinese and Central Asian languages, including Lexicology and Lexicography)

Assoc Prof Boyo Ockinga, Dr Trevor Evans, Dr Malcolm Choat, Dr Victor Ghica, Dr Stephen LLewelyn, Dr Gunner Mikkelsen, Dr John Lee*

Textual Studies

Prof Sam Lieu, Assoc Prof Andrew Gillett, Dr Chris Forbes, Dr Ian Plant, Dr David Phillips*, Prof Larry Welborn*


Assoc Prof Thomas Hillard, Dr Lea Beness, Assoc Prof Paul McKechnie


Dr Peter Keegan, Dr Rosalinde Kearsley*


Prof Sam Lieu, Assoc Prof Andrew Gillett, Prof Alanna Nobbs, Dr Danijel Dzino, Dr Ted Nixon*

* Adjunct or Honorary staff

Research projects


Immortal Egypt: Tradition and transition during the First Intermediate Period at Meir (ARC DP 2011-2014)

Naguib Kanawati (Lead CI), Linda Evans (APD), Alexandra Woods (CI), and Gay Robins (PI; Emory University)

The goal of this ARC-funded project is to produce the first comprehensive archaeological and analytical study of Meir, one of the best-preserved sites in Egypt, in order to assess local community response to widespread societal disruption during the turbulent transition from the Old to the Middle Kingdom period. Our exhaustive investigation is intended to generate new information about the social and political mechanisms that enabled Egypt's unique cultural traditions to endure. In addition, Evans (APD) is preparing An Environmental History of Ancient Egypt, which summarises current scientific understanding of the country's geography, climate, flora, and fauna during the pharaonic period, and evaluates the impact of natural phenomena on Egyptian cultural expression, with a special focus on the site of Meir. To date, two excavation volumes have been published, while a third is in preparation:

Kanawati, N., The Cemetery of Meir Vol. I: The Tomb of Pepyankh the Middle (ACE Reports 31; Oxford, 2012) (which includes a book chapter on 'Architecture' by CI Woods).

Kanawati, N. and Evans, L., The Cemetery of Meir Vol. II: Pepyankh the Black (ACE Reports 34; Oxford, 2014).

Let the walls speak! The tombs of Beni Hassan

Naguib Kanawati, Linda Evans, Alex Woods

Work is currently underway at the site of Beni Hassan, an elite provincial cemetery of the Middle Kingdom period, for which Macquarie alone has been granted permission to excavate and/or record by the Egyptian government. Unlike elsewhere in Egypt, here the painted walls of the tombs have survived intact in dazzling colour, revealing detailed images of life along the Nile over 4,000 years ago. The project began in 2010, following successful MQRDG funding awarded to Alex Woods, Naguib Kanawati, and Damian Gore (Environment and Geography) to examine the tomb of Khnumhotep II (no. 3), a former governor of the local area. Since then, the tomb of Amenemhat (no. 2) has also been recorded. The project will produce a series of volumes devoted to the tombs, with the first slated for publication in late 2014, and applications for external funding are pending to allow the remaining structures at the site to be recorded in full.

An elite 1st dynasty cemetery at Abu Rawash (Egypt, Memphite area)

Yann Tristant

Situated 8km to the northwest of the Giza Plateau and 15km to the West of Cairo, the archaeological region of Abu Rawash belongs to the northern end of the Memphite Necropolis region. The Abu Rawash area is made up of archaeological sites that include many different periods, ranging from the Predynastic through until the Coptic Period. The earliest occupation corresponds to the Early Dynastic 'M' Cemetery, which is situated upon a small knoll east of the plateau of Abu Rawash. Although investigated by Pierre Montet in 1913 and 1914, the results remain largely unpublished. On behalf of the French Archaeological Institute (IFAO), the intent of the project (originally started in 2007) is to initiate a re-excavation of the 1st Dynasty M Cemetery, which will enable better understanding of the earliest activity in the area, its relationship to the Early Dynastic Period and the region as a whole.

Archaeological survey of the Wadi Araba (Eastern Desert)

Yann Tristant

The aim of the project is to record all the extant archaeological sites present in the Wadî 'Araba valley. Work thus far has focused on the middle part of the survey area, between Wadî Birayda, Gebel Galala North and the northern part of the Zafarana-Koreimat asphalt road. The area covered is c. 25 x 20km (500 km²). In 2011, a total of 104 new sites/archaeological features were examined, including pharaonic sites and tracks; ancient and modern Bedouin camps; rock art engravings; visual landmarks; unidentified cairns and stone features; modern abandoned military camps.

Strangers in a strange land: The ancient Egyptian mummies of Macquarie University

Yann Tristant

This project is an interdisciplinary research partnership between the Department of Ancient History and Macquarie Medical Imaging, Macquarie University Hospital. The project aims to undertake scientific investigation of archaeologically derived human remains from ancient Egypt using non-invasive diagnostic medical technologies, including ultra-high resolution CT scanning. This is the first time an Egyptologist has undertaken biocultural studies of curated human remains in Australia. Findings derived from scientific investigations will be placed within their historical context, enabling original contributions regarding Egyptian palaeo-health, demography, nutrition and socioeconomics, and cultural/religious/technological findings regarding mummification practices. Outcomes include publications in leading Egyptological, bioanthropological, and medical journals.

Roman, Greek, and Hellenistic Studies

The Dictionary of Roman Biography Project

Assoc Prof Tom Hillard Dr Lea Beness

This Project is directed by Emeritus Professor E.A. Judge and Prof. Alanna Nobbs. The Chief Investigators are Associate Prof. Tom Hillard and Dr Lea Beness. An initial databank was compiled with the generous financial aid of Dr Colleen McCullough-Robinson. The initial focus is upon the second century
B.C., the period of the fundamental transformations of the Republic which presaged the even more dramatic, violent and better-known events of the first century.

The principal aim of this Project is to produce a Dictionary of Roman Social and Political Biography covering the years 168-111 B.C. It will comprise approximately 1500 entries, embracing all bearers of Roman citizenship (office-bearers and private citizens) throughout the Mediterranean in the period
168-111 known from the surviving evidence by name or other signifier, together with any members of their households (e.g. slaves) known by name. The format is prosopographical; the focus political, social and cultural.

In the interim, the chief investigators are publishing the fruits of their independent research in a series of articles in prestigious international journals.

Graffiti under the Caesars: Recovering non-elite Roman culture in late republican and early imperial Latin texts and images

Dr Peter Keegan

MURF Funded Project 2006-2008.

How can we recover the ideas and feelings of ordinary people from a past forever lost to us? Scratched as graffiti into the walls of ancient Pompeii, the lives of Roman men and women still survive.

Based on a representative sample of private and public places in Pompeii, this project aims

  • to identify the form and assess the function of graffiti inscribed by ordinary men and women living in Pompeii under almost two centuries of Roman government;
  • to provide a new view of how and why these ordinary men and women formulated written and visual messages about themselves and the world around them as graffiti;
  • to situate the manner and subject of this private and public communication within the historical, cultural and archaeological contexts from which the practice of inscribing graffiti emerged;
  • to highlight and assess the relationship between the representations of Roman identity in graffiti and the nature of urban society in Roman Pompeii within which these representations were produced.

Combining digital technology and cutting-edge critical methodology, this project will study the form and function of Pompeian graffiti dating from late republican to early imperial times (90 BC - AD 79). As the first historical study of ancient graffiti contextualized by culture, it will alter our understanding of the ways in which ordinary Romans understood and represented their world, each other
and themselves.

Inscriptions in the Private Sphere in the Graeco-Roman World

Dr Peter Keegan (Macquarie University) and Rebecca Benefiel (Washington and Lee University, Virginia)

When one thinks of inscriptions produced under the Roman Empire, public inscribed monuments are likely to come to mind. Prominent dedicatory inscriptions on building architraves, statue bases listing the achievements and cursus honorum of an honorand, funerary monuments recording years lived and relationships
left behind - these are the concrete results of an explosive interest in monumentalizing text that is commonly referred to as the epigraphic habit. Hundreds of thousands of such inscriptions are known from across the breadth of the Roman Empire, preserved because they were created of durable material
or were reused in subsequent building.

This project (the findings of which will be published by Brill in 2015) looks at another aspect of epigraphic creation and explores the presence of inscriptions in the private sphere. The types of inscriptions that occurred in private spaces tend to be far more portable, fragile, or ephemeral, and as
such they are preserved in a much smaller quantity; in most instances, it is remarkable that they have survived at all. Yet from handwritten messages traced on wall-plaster to letters and symbols scratched on pottery, from domestic sculptures labelled with texts to displays of official patronage posted
in homes, a range of inscriptions appeared within the private sphere in the Greco-Roman world. Chance finds, such as the graffiti etched into the floor in a house in classical Attica or a group of inscribed potsherds from a workshop in sixth century Crete, offer glimpses into the type of inscriptions
that might be found in the private sphere in the Greek world. Archaeological sites of the Roman Empire present a wider variety, with inscribed domestic sculpture, bronze tablets, and graffiti written on the walls of homes; all together these offer a look into the types of text that might surround an
individual at home. The project's ambit represents a spectrum of private spaces - from the household latrines that feature graffiti privatissimi to the patronage tablets that straddle the private/public divide, produced in duplicate copies so that one could be displayed in the home of the patronus while
the other went on public display in the issuing city. The geographical areas included here as well, from Spain to Italy to Dura Europus, further reveal that writing in private spaces was very much a part of the epigraphic culture of the Roman Empire.

Ancient Near East and Early Christianity

Papyri from the Rise of Christianity in Egypt

Professor Alanna Nobbs, Emeritus Professor Edwin Judge, Dr Malcolm Choat, Dr Don Barker

This collaborative project within the Ancient History Documentary Research Centre analyses the papyrus texts documenting Christianity in Egypt before the victory of Constantine (324), providing text, translation, and commentary on the relevant documents and literary texts. The volume will be published
by Cambridge University Press.

Link to further information on Papyri from the Rise of Christianity in Egypt

Publishing God's Papyri: A Reassessment of Dates Assigned to Christian Papyri and a Social History of their Editing and Publication

Dr Brent Nongbri

Ancient Greek papyri from Egypt are one of our most important witnesses to the text of the New Testament. Biblical papyri have fascinated both scholars and the general public, largely because of the early dates often assigned to them by the analysis of handwriting or palaeography. However, palaeography is an imprecise science that produces only ranges of possible dates, not the highly specific dates often assigned to biblical papyri. This project pairs a fresh investigation of the earliest remains of the New Testament, built on a new methodology for dating the texts, with a historiographical analysis of their use in the academic world and popular media.

Forgotten Empire: the Art and Culture of the Elamite Civilization (ca. 4000-525 BCE)

Associate Professor Dr. Javier Alvarez-Mon

The Elamite civilisation (ca. 4000 to 525 BCE) formed a remarkably rich but almost unexplored background to later Persian imperialism. This ancient Iranian culture, whose importance has never been recognized, is characterized by a remarkable longevity and an outstanding combination of highland and lowland
artistic and cultural traditions. The aim of this project is to articulate the history of the art and culture of the Elamite civilization for the first time based on analysis, interpretation and publication of its archaeological and artistic record.

Coptic Studies and Late Antiquity

Communication Networks in Upper Egyptian Monasteries

Drs Heike Behlmer and Malcolm Choat

This collaborative project, utilising the resources of both the Australian Centre for Egyptology and the Ancient History Documentary Research Centre, analyses the letters (primarily on ostraca) sent between monasteries in the Theban region, especially the monastery of Epiphanius, monastery of Severus
(Sheikh Abd el-Qurna) and the Deir el-Bakhit and satellite monastic cells in tombs in the Dra' Abu el-Naga. It includes the first edition of the papyri and ostraca from the Dra' Abu el-Naga excavated by a Macquarie team under Assoc. Prof. Boyo Ockinga.

Communication and Media in the Development of the Post-Roman/Early Medieval and Byzantine World (fifth to eighth centuries)

Assoc Prof Andrew Gillett

ARC Funded Project (2004-2010)

This project considers how, after the fragmentation of the Roman empire in the fifth century, the Mediterranean world and its hinterland nevertheless continued in many ways to be a cultural 'bloc,' demonstrating parallel developments in culture, religion, and social structure among its various components,
Byzantium and the western European kingdoms. The project examines processes and patterns of communication between these regions, as the vectors of both cultural cohesion and change. Specific studies address dossiers of 'diplomatic' correspondence, used as templates for the conduct of relations not only
'horizontally' between rulers, but also 'vertically' between all levels of social elite; developments in other forms of public discourse, including panegyric; and the role of ancient cultural and literary tropes, in particular ethnographic thought, in shaping modes of communication.

Mission and Inculturation: the Manichaean and Nestorian experience in China - a textual, icono-graphical and epigraphical investigation

Professor Sam Lieu, Professor Majella Franzmann (UNE), Associate Professor Iain Gardner (USyd.)

ARC Funded Project (2005-2009)

This is a UNESCO-sponsored project conducted by a team of senior Australian and international scholars in conjunction with the Quanzhou Museum of Maritime Contacts in China and the Manichaean Documentation Centre at Macquarie to investigate missionary techniques and issues of inculturation experienced
by Manichaeans and Nestorians in China from literary (both doctrinal and liturgical texts), historical and iconographical sources. The results will be published in relevant volumes of the international Corpus Fontium Manichaeorum and the Christianity East of the Euphrates projects and also made available
to the wider public in an ongoing series of exhibitions.

Visit the project website

East of the Euphrates - China and the Ancient Mediterranean World

Professor Sam Lieu, Dr Lance Eccles, Dr Jonathan Markley (APDF)

ARC Funded Project (2007-2010)

This is an official project of the International Union of Academies which aims to foster research collaboration between Ancient Historians and Classical scholars in China and those in the developed world. While the project will focus on both the literary and archaeological evidence on cultural, commercial
and religious contacts between the Romano-Byzantine Empire and China, the Australian team will concentrate on the analysis of Greek. Latin, Middle Iranian, Syriac and Chinese texts on the historical geography of Central Asia and on the diffusion of 'Western' religions.

City of Constantine

Dr Ken Parry (in conjunction with the Centre for Flexible Learning)

The research project City of Constantine will result in a new postgraduate course dealing with the history of the Constantinople and the publication of a sourcebook relating to the city during the Byzantine period. As a city that has been continually settled for more than two and a half thousand years,
Constantinople has a long and fascinating history. Known as Byzantium to the classical world, it was renamed Constantinople in 330, and it subsequently became the centre of the Roman Empire in the East and the heart of Greek Christian civilization. In 1453 the city was captured by the Ottoman Turks who
later called it Istanbul. Today most of Istanbul's Byzantine monuments are still only known to specialists. However, the rediscovery of Byzantine culture and civilization in the twentieth century, and the growth of Byzantine Studies since WWII, have reinvigorated interest in the city of Constantine.

Language Studies

The Language of Individuals and Social Groups in the Zenon Archive

Dr Trevor Evans

This project, ARC-funded in the period 2004-6, combines prosopographic, palaeographic, and linguistic analysis of a remarkable corpus of Greek non-literary papyri from third-century BCE Egypt. The project exploits new technological developments which are revolutionizing papyrological research, especially the digital imaging of papyri. The aim is to isolate and assess the language of individuals and social groups in the Zenon Archive, one of the oldest and largest Greek archives recovered by modern excavators. The study has broad implications for our understanding of the Greek language within its changing cultural contexts.

Words from the Sand: A Lexical Analysis of Early Greek Papyri

Dr Trevor Evans and Dr John Lee

The discovery of the ancient Greek papyri from Egypt has opened a remarkable window on our deep human past. Every scrap of papyrus extracted from the Egyptian sand has the potential to change the way we think about some aspect of ancient culture. Yet there is a fundamental problem affecting all research into this material: our incomplete and unsatisfactory understanding of the vocabulary of these fragile textual artefacts renders a vast amount of evidence uncertain and its significance therefore ambiguous. The 'Words from the Sand' project (ARC-funded 2010-14), addresses that problem. By applying innovative methodologies we aim to produce a state of the art lexical analysis of early Greek papyri, offering a key contribution to the larger study of the ancient Greek language and lexicon.

Archaeology and Artefact Studies

See also: under "Egyptology: "Archaeological survey of the Wadi Araba (Eastern Desert)" and "Strangers in a strange land: The ancient Egyptian mummies of Macquarie University"

FAIMS Project: Digital Data Collection

A/Prof Shawn Ross, Dr. Adela Sobotkova, Dr. Brian Ballsun-Stanton

The Federated Archaeological Information Management Systems Project builds tools for digital data collection in the field, and online processing and archiving of the resulting data. Project staff also advise researchers concerning the development of data management strategies that meet the requirements of major grant schemes and improve research outcomes.

The FAIMS project launched in June 2012, funded by the National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources program. FAIMS developed a mobile, offline, multi-user collection platform for structured, free-text, geospatial, and multimedia data. The project also supported enhancements to the Heurist online data refinement and analysis service developed at the University of Sydney, and established an Australian implementation of the Digital Archaeological Record, an online data archive developed by Digital Antiquity (USA).

Current operations are funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage Infrastructure Equipment and Facilities grant. During 2014-2016, FAIMS is supporting field deployments at partner institutions. Experience gained from these deployments is being used to improve the mobile data collection platform.

This project is led by Macquarie University in collaboration with ten Australian and overseas university partners.

HDR research projects

Higher Degree Research candidates in the Department of Ancient History write theses at three levels (PhD. MPhil, and MRes). They conduct research on the histories, languages, and religions of a wide range of ancient cultures, including Greece and Rome from archaic Greece to the Medieval and Byzantine periods; Egyptian history and language from the Pre-Dynastic period to Late Antiquity; the Ancient Near East; Early Christianity and Judaism; and the Silk Road across to China. Current HDR research may be found in the lists below.

PhD Students

Last name (A-M)

Candidate Supervisor Name Thesis Title
Agaiby, Elizabeth  Choat, Malcolm History and Monastic Space: A study on the First Christian Monastic Settlement in the World.
Anderson, Donald  Piggin, Stuart The Sydney Anglican Schools Corporation and Its Contribution to Christian Education 1946-2009
Arden-Wong, Lyndon  Mikkelsen, Gunner The Eastern Uighur Khaganate: An Exploration of Inner Asian Architectural and Cultural Exchange
Baker, Alice  McKechnie, Paul Founding in the Life of Antony: A literary analysis of the Athanasian Life of Antony as Greco-Roman founding narrative
Barnes, Bruce  Choat, Malcolm Personhood within coptic hagiography: strategies of characterisation and rhetoric.
Bennett, Cassandra  Ghica, Victor The religious beliefs of the pre-Islamic Bedouin of North Arabia
Betts, Ian  Keegan, Peter The origins development and context of the laws relating  to ambitus("Bribery") in public life in the late Roman Republic.
Briscoe, Timothy  Edwell, Peter Roman Representation of their Sasaulan Enemy
Brown, Ian  Ockinga, Boyo A Prosopographical study of priests of the mansions of millions of years of the ramesside period.
Burn, John  Kanawati, Naguib Climate change and regime change; an investigation into the changing ecology of late old kingdom Egypt
Choi, Hyung Guen  Nobbs, Alanna The Bible and spiritual guidance in the correspondence of Barsanuphius and John of Gaza
Clarke, Therese  Woods, Alex Interrelations between the provinces and Memphis during Egypt's Old Kingdom
Cooper, Julien  Ockinga, Boyo The eastern desert, Red Sea and beyond:  Toponyms, Ethnonyms and Cosmography
Darlow, Steven  Kanawati, Naguib A Chronological Analysis of Middle Kingdom Tombs at Meir
de Souza, Aaron  Tristant, Yann C-Group? Or PAN GRAVE: Establishing relationships in the Ceramic Traditions of the C-Group and Pan Grave Cultures
Debenham, Ian Plant, Ian The Roman shipbuilding industry
Dodd, Emlyn  Keegan, Peter The wine production and trade of rough cilicia:  An archaeological study from Antiochia ad Cragum
Dosoo, Raymond  Choat, Malcolm Context and development of the PGM/PDM.
Downes, Alan  Mikkelsen, Gunner Xixia script
Dowton, Joshua  Llewelyn, Stephen Subverting Empire: The Book of Revelation as the Most Powerful Piece of Political Resistance Literature in the Early Empire.
Drummond, Amanda  Hillard, Thomas Writing the Emperors: Plutarch's and Suetonius' Treatment of Rome's Leaders.
Dunnicliff, Samantha  Kanawati, Naguib Sport and games in the old and middle kingdoms
Eiszele-Evans, Suzanne  Kanawati, Naguib The Influences and Life of Mereruka Using Tomb Art
Engdahl, Nils  Plant, Ian Hoplite Shield Emblems.
Evans, Natasha Woods, Alex Djedkare to Unis: The Development of Artistic Traditions
Feltham, Martin  Piggin, Stuart A literary and historical analysis of the first letter to Timothy
Ferber, Jenny  Ghica, Victor Islamisation of former Byzantine lands in the 7th-9th centuries: continuity, refoundation, blending.
Ford, Graeme  Mikkelsen, Gunner Persian texts from the Ming court
Gersbach, James  Keegan, Peter Battle-Expression in the Ancient Mediterranean
Gibson, James  Piggin, Stuart The Development of the "sensus divinitatis" and the Propagation of the Christian Gospel.
Gillett, Miriam  McKechnie, Paul Inventing Identities: Graeco-Roman Constructions of the Etruscans
Gore-Jones, Lydia  Llewelyn, Stephen Judaisms without the temple.
Gosbell, Louise  Nongbri, Brent Disability in the Gospel of Luke
Gray, Lynne  Piggin, Stuart The visitation in Australia
Gulesserian, Elizabeth  Kanawati, Naguib Artistic and Architectural Innovations in the TETI Cemetry at Saqqara.
Harding, Raymond  Parry, Kenneth Byzantine theatre - the missing link in the western cultural tradition
Hardtke, Frederick  Tristant, Yann Early Egyptian culture and society: Gleanings from rock art in the environs of the upper Egyptian Nile Valley
Hartley, Mary  Tristant, Yann Pause in the sand: dog burials in Egyptian archaeological record
Hope, Deborah  Edwell, Peter Lustre: The pearl trade in antiquity.
Hreszczuk, Adam  Choat, Malcolm Ritual, Religion, And Magic: A Neurobiological and Cognitive Approach To Religious Practice In Roman Egypt
Irving, Jennifer  Plant, Ian The Greek epigraphic evidence for healer women in the Graeco-Roman world
Jones, Paul  Kanawati, Naguib Animal Husbandry During the Old Kingdom to Middle Kingdom in Ancient Egypt.
Jones, Timothy  Keegan, Peter Sejanus and the succession to Tibersus: a reconsideration.
Keith, Michelle  Kanawati, Naguib Fish and Fishing in Old Kingdom Tombs
Kepreotes, James  Parry, Kenneth A diachronic study of Greek paideia - its psychosomatic dimension in Plato, Photios the Great and Nicodemos the Athonite
Kidson, Lyn  Nobbs, Alanna Proclaming Christ as king without an apostle in 1 Timothy
Kirk, Emma  Mikkelsen, Gunner Chinese and Biblical Creation Myths.
Kooyman, Milena  Ockinga, Boyo The title "Elder of the Portal"(smsw hzy.t): Its meaning, function and significance in ancient Egyptian society.
Kulikovsky, Mark  Llewelyn, Stephen The Relation Between Truth and Love in the Letters of John
Lashien, Miral  Kanawati, Naguib The Nobles of El-Qusiya in the Sixth Dynasty: Archaelogical and Historical Study
Loftus, Susan  Nobbs, Alanna The Construction of Episcopal Authority in Late Antique Gaul: A Case Study the Role of Canon Law From the Sixth Century
Lukabyo, Ruth  Piggin, Stuart Youth in the churches in Sydney 1930-1950
MacDonald, Seumas  Nobbs, Alanna A comparative study of Hilary of Poitiers and Basil of Caesarea.
Mackay, George  Evans, Trevor Ancient Greek documentary papyri: The Pragmatics of letter writing in third century B.C.E. Egypt.
Mair, Christine  Ghica, Victor The condition of women in the oases of the Western Desert of Egypt in Late Antiquity and Byzantine Period.
McClymont, Alice  Ockinga, Boyo The classification and interpretation of inscriptional and pictorial erasures in tombs of the Theban Necropolis
Michie, Ian  Parry, Kenneth Philosophers in the Desert: The Origins and Development of the Monastic Worldview held by Evagrius Ponticus and John Cassian
Mourad, Anna-Latifa  Kanawati, Naguib Rise of the Hyksos: Egypt and the Levant from the Middle Kingdom to the early Second Intermediate Period
Murphy, Edwina  McKechnie, Paul Cyprian's use of Paul

Last name (N-Z)

Candidate Supervisor Name Thesis Title
Nasoraia, Brikha  Mikkelsen, Gunner A Critical Edition of the Secret Mandean Nasoraean Scroll
Orucu, Ferim  Woods, Alexandra Funerary Rites in Old-Middle Kingdoms
Overcash, Benjamin  Llewelyn, Stephen The name of God and the name of Christ: convergence and divergence in early Judaeo-Christian 'Name" Christologies.
Parker, Robert  Kanawati, Naguib A History and Chronology of the Governors of Beni Hassan during the Middle Kingdom
Patrick, Timothy  Piggin, Stuart Resurrection and Eschatology in the Reformation Formularies of the Church of England, 1536-1571
Peacock, John  Llewelyn, Stephen Judaic and Christian renewal in divergence: apocalyptic indicators in the revelation of John
Petrakis, Vicki  Parry, Kenneth St Gregory the Theologians Doctrine of the Logos and its Antecedents
Petras, Michael  Piggin, Stuart The growth of Baptists in America & Australia
Petrou, Irene  Piggin, Stuart A study of holiness in the Christian Tradition:  Augustine, Maximus the Confessor & Jonathan Edwards
Pettett, David  Piggin, Stuart The Sermons of the Rev. Samuel Marsden
Pitkin, Melanie  Kanawati, Naguib Egyptian false doors and funerary stelae of the First Intermediate Period: a typological analysis;;
Pleffer, Andrew  Llewelyn, Stephen Judah in the Persian Period: The Return
Robinson, Alexandra  Llewelyn, Stephen A linguistic analysis of the Greek text of the epistle of Jude.
Roe, Paul  Piggin, Stuart telling the story of Australia's christian heritage through the medium of a museum
Rowling, Giles  McKechnie, Paul How was Roman Law Received Into the Province of Arabia
Ryan, Ellen  Ockinga, Boyo Voicing Vocations and Virtues: The Development of Language and Narrative in the Biographies of 18th Dynasty Egypt
Sanderson, Bianca  Keegan, Peter The Role and Portrayal of Women at Critical Points in Roman History
Scott, Timothy  Gillett, Andrew Constructing the 'Germanic' barbarian in contemporary German language scholarship
Senn, Heidi  McKechnie, Paul Military organisation and defence in subordinate poleis of Archaic Greece
Shannahan, John  McKechnie, Paul The reign and influence of Artaxerxes II
Shiner, Rory  Nobbs, Alanna Origins, Development, Influence: An historical account of D. W. B. Robinson's New Testament scholarship
Smith, William  Kanawati, Naguib The Egyptian monarchy and the end of the old kingdom
Sowden, Laura  Mikkelsen, Gunner Political Women in Early Imperial China.
Spalding-Stracey, Gillian  Ghica, Victor Coptic Crosses: A window into Egyptian Christianity
St Demiana, Antonia  Ghica, Victor "According to What is Written...": The Coptic Bible in Monastic Letters and Documents from Late Antique and Early Islamic Egypt.
St Shenouda, Anthony  Choat, Malcolm The Development of Coptic Hagiography
Staring, Nico  Ockinga, Boyo Beyond the Grave: New Kingdom Tombs at Saqqara, Egypt as Shrines of Cultural Memory
Stockdale, Elizabeth  Plant, Ian Contextual purpose and representation of Helen in literature and art from Homeric to Classical era
Stoddart, Lindsay  Piggin, Stuart Reflections on the place of christian women in Sydney society through the lens of Anglican Deaconess Ministries
Theodoridis, Ioannis  Parry, Kenneth The Introduction of Coenobitic Monasticism on Mount Athos
Toomey Westcott, Alexander  Bosworth, Albert Motivating makedones: reasons for service in the Macedonian army, 359 - 168 B.C.
Turner, Susan  Ockinga, Boyo The introduction, nature, role and impact of the horse in New Kingdom Egypt
Unwin, James  Forbes, Christopher Death, identify, and self-presentation:  a conversation between Seneca and Paul
Wade, Janet  Parry, Kenneth Maritime culture of constantinople from 330CE to 565CE.
Wearne, Gareth  Llewelyn, Stephen Uses of writing in the first millennium BCE: iron age plaster inscriptions from Palestine & Jordan
West, Glennise  Kanawati, Naguib The Teknu
Willis, Joyce  Llewelyn, Stephen The Characterisation of David
Wright, Claire  Edwell, Peter Ancient Rome and orientalism.
Yeates, Paul Henry  Llewelyn, Stephen The Meaning and Function of the Resolution of the Tension Between Heaven and Earth in the Book of Revelation.
Youkhanis, Narsai  Parry, Kenneth Ecclesiastical Architecture of the Assyrian Church of the East

MPhil Students

Anagnostou, Evangelia  Llewelyn, Stephen In the garden of the gods: Sex, death, and kingship from the Sumerians to the Seleucids
Armstrong, Grahame  Woods, Alexandra The innovation of art in provincial cemeteries of the old kingdom-Akhmin: A case study
Farquharson, Paul  Nobbs, Alanna Investigation of Natural Phenomena in Historical Sources
Halaka, Mervat  Choat, Malcolm Confessors - Late Antique Egypt
Morrison, Stephen  Forbes, Christopher Paul's Initial Preaching to Gentiles

MRes Students

Barnett Charles Assoc Prof Gillett Andrew Alcoholic beverages and resistance to Roman Imperialism
Blizzard Timothy Dr Keegan Peter  The reform of large unit tactics in the Roman Army 218 - 146 BC
Bryant Hannah Profe Kanawati Naguib  Assassination, Betrayal and the Reaction of Pepy I
Burke John Dr Woods Alexandra  A Statistical Approach to Dating Old Kingdom Memphite Tombs
Commons Sean Dr Edwell Peter  Internal influence and inspiration: The Roman conception of a diplomatic relationship with Sasanian Persia
Cosgrove Charles Dr Choat Malcolm  Fragment of Nineveh and Nuzi
Cross Rodney Dr Keegan Peter  This blows: Social and cultural perceptions of Ancient Roman Brass instruments and musicians
De Rosa Keira Assoc Prof Hillard Thomas  Thin-walled ware at carsulae: A typological and compositional analysis
Dew Brenan Assoc Prof Ockinga Boyo  Investigating the Nature of Regnal Dating of Public Monuments from the New Kingdom
Fazzolari Adam Dr Tristant Yann  War and conflict in Ancient Egypt: Its role in the foundation of the State
George Matthew Dr Tristant Yann  The structure and function of the Egyptian Administration from the Late Predynastic period to the beginning of the Old Kingdom
Guzman Lucinda Dr Plant Ian  Hera's lettuce. Women and the peculiar role of fruit and vegetables in Ancient Greek festivals for women
Haddad Christopher Dr Evans Trevor  Phraseology and expression in official republican Roman documents in Greek
Harding Erik Dr Keegan Peter  The Training and martial arts of the Roman gladiators
Knowles Talia Assoc Prof Sheedy Kenneth  Alexander I: Coinage and Kingdom
Leary Nicolle Dr Woods Alexandra  "A walk on the wild side": Animal figures and the canon of proportion in Middle Kingdom wall scenes at Meir
Leong Nicole Profe Kanawati Naguib  Old Kingdom or first intermediate period? Establishing a chronology for Deir El-Gebrawi
Lisle Meg Assoc Ockinga Boyo  The presence and roles of women in the New Kingdom religious sphere
Livingstone-Thomas Jason Dr Woods Alexandra  An evaluation of social status in Old Kingdom Art
Maxwell Julia Assoc Prof Gillett Andrew  The importance of female Merovingian communities: Identity, Power, and social communication
Miles Nicole Assoc Prof Gillett Andrew  From statues to altars: sanctuary and slavery in Christianised Rome AD275-450
Moffatt Nicole Dr Parry Kenneth  Beyond State Welfare: Philanthopia and the Byzantine Elite
Newell Charlotte Assoc Prof Ockinga Boyo  The significance of Anubis as seen in the coffin texts
O'Farrell Matthew Dr Gillett Andrew  Pre-Islamic Persian Historiography
Paull Aymie Prof Kanawati Naguib  The family as represented in the Middle Kingdom tombs of Middle Egypt
Price Susan Dr Ghica Victor  Orthography of the vowel glides in three early Sadidic manuscripts: Variation and Standardisation
Rochecouste Olivier Dr Tristant Yann  Tomb story: The Elite of Early Egypt
Sass Danielle Assoc Prof Ockinga Boyo  Messengers, emissaries, slaughterers and wanderers. A study of the role and significance of demons in ancient Egyptian thought
Smith Elizabeth Dr Beness Jillian  Untangling the curtain: Head coverings as a developmental socio-cultural practise across the elite in ancient Rome
Wood Alexander Dr Choat Malcolm  Unidentified Christian Literary Papyri in the 4th -6th Centuries C.E.
Wrathall Alexandra Dr Llewelyn Stephen  Literary analysis of the Dier Alla inscription

Past HDR students

2014 completions

Ayer Kavita PhD  Associate Professor Hillard, Thomas Measuring Worth: Articulations of Poverty and Identity in the Late Roman Republic
Bryant Kerry PhD  Professor Welborn, Laurence Imploding Dominium Ideology: The Rise of the Slave in Romans 6:12-23
Heslehurst Raymond PhD  Associate Professor Piggin, Stuart 'Sons of the Prophets': Continuity and change in Clapham Evangelicalism
Leiper Kay PhD  Dr Plant, Ian Education, literacy and its cognitive effects: Problem-solving and decision-making in Homer and Archaic and Fifth Century BC Athens
Moore Peter PhD  Associate Professor Piggin, Stuart Gold without Dross: An assessment of the debt to John Chrysostom in John Calvin's oratory
Ogereau Julien PhD  Dr Keegan, Peter Paul's a with the Philippians: A Socio- Historical Investigation of a Pauline Economic Partnership
Shin Min Seok PhD  Associate Professor McKechnie, Paul A Historical Re-Examination of the Persecution of 303 to 313
White Adam PhD  Dr Forbes, Christopher Where is the Wise Man? Graeco-Roman Education as a Background to the Divisions in 1 Corinthians 1-4
Fitzpatrick Graham Mphil  Professor Nobbs, Alanna Tacitus' more negative sceptical representations of Augustus' political career contrasted to portrayals by the Res Gestae, Velleius, Suetonius and Cassius Dio
Sinclair Neil MPhil  Associate Professor Ockinga, Boyo The development and decline of provincial rule from the Old to the Middle Kingdom: An analysis of the tombs and titles of the

2013 completions

Bitner Bradley PhD  Professor Welborn, Laurence Constitution and Covenant: Paul's engagement with Roman law in 1 Corinthians 1:1-4:6
Cooper Paul PhD  Associate Professor Piggin, Stuart John and Ann Goodlet: A Study in Colonial Christian Philanthropy.
Egan Paul Francis PhD  Associate Professor Piggin, Stuart The development of, and opposition to, Healing Ministries in the Anglican Diocese of Sydney with special reference to the Healing Ministry at St Andrew's Cathedral 1960-2010
Gonzalez Eliezer PhD  Professor Nobbs, Alanna The passion of Perpetua and Felicitas and the fate of the dead: Ideologies and trajectories of the afterlife in early third-century north Africa and early Christianity
Hampson Michelle PhD  Professor Kanawati, Naguib 'Men At Work' - A comparative study of workshop scenes in the tombs of the Old Kingdom: Applying an anatomisation approach
Hebblewhite Mark PhD  Dr Edwell, Peter Loyalty, the Emperor and the Roman Army, AD 235-395
La Loggia Angela PhD  Dr Tristant, Yann Engineering and Construction in Egypt's Early Dynastic Period. A Review of Mortuary Structures.
Lowe Bruce PhD  Dr Forbes, Christopher St Paul's letter to the Romans: A Rhetorical Historical and Theological Study
Radford Fiona PhD  Dr Beness, Jillian The many legends of Spartacus: The production history of a film
Windon Bradley PhD  Professor Nobbs, Alanna A landscape for belonging: The narrative representation of the Other as illegitimate thinker in Tertullian
Young Genevieve PhD  Dr Parry, Kenneth Changing religious identities: The representation of Heresy and Orthodoxy in the church histories of Socrates and Sozomen
Yuen-Collingridge Rachel PhD  Dr Llewelyn, Stephen Historical Lexicology and the Origins of Philosophy: Herodotus' use of fsfe,sfst, and cognates
James Dylan MPhil  Professor Bosworth, Albert Language, Identity and Narrative in Alexander Historiography

2012 completions

Almond Mathew PhD  Dr Choat, Malcolm A comparative study of loanword integration in fourth-century Coptic literature
Apps Arwen PhD  Associate Professor Hillard, Thomas Gaius Iulius Solinus and his Polyhistor
Brown Benjamin PhD  Dr Phillips, David The Mirror of Epic: The Iliad as Historical Evidence
Burns Ross Austin PhD  Professor Lieu, Samuel Colonnaded streets in the cities of the East under Rome
Davis Gillan PhD  Dr Phillips, David Law, money, and the transformation of Athens in the sixth century B.C.E.
Doherty Bernard PhD  Associate Professor McKechnie, Paul The Montanist Milieu: History and historiography in the study of Montanism
Harper Vernon PhD  Associate Professor Piggin, Stuart Prophetism in America: The culture of prophecy and inspiration in four 19th Century religious movements
Jones Jana PhD  Associate Professor Ockinga, Boyo Textiles in early Egyptian funerary contexts: Analysis of the epigraphic and archaeological evidence
Kim Hyeong PhD  Associate Professor Piggin, Stuart The role of preaching in church growth in Korea, with special reference to the leadership of Dr Cho (Yoido Full Gospel Church) and Dr Ha (Onnuri Church)
Lyzwa-Piber Anetta Irena PhD  Dr Choat, Malcolm Life in isolation: Daily life in Old Qasr (Dakhleh Oasis) in the 19th - early 20th century AD
Paproth Darrell PhD  Associate Professor Piggin, Stuart The character of evangelism in colonial Melbourne: Activism, initiative and leadership
Power Ronika PhD  Dr Tristant, Yann From the Cradle to the Grave: Child, Infant and Foetal Burials in the Egyptian Archaeological Record from the Early Dynastic Period to the Middle Kingdom (ca. 3300-1650 BC).
Westcott Ellen PhD  Associate Professor Hillard, Thomas Memoriae Sacrum: Commemorative Practice on the Sacred Island
Hardtke Frederick MA Egypt Dr Tristant, Yann Society and culture in the Western desert of Egypt during the Pharaonic period

2011 completions

Bolle Helena PhD  Dr Llewelyn, Stephen Hebrew bodies:  Metaphor and corporeal criticism
Bridge Edward PhD  Dr Llewelyn, Stephen The use of slave terms in deference and in relation to God in Hebrew Bible
Burge David PhD  Dr Llewelyn, Stephen First-Century Guides to Life and Death in the Roman East: A   Comparative Study of Epictetus, Philo and Peter
Keenan-Jones Duncan PhD  Associate Professor Hillard, Thomas The Aqua Augusta: regional water supply in Roman and late antique Campania.
Maric Lazar PhD  Dr Gillett, Andrew Humans, beastly men and the Roman state: The politics of humanity from Cicero to Persius
McCorquodale Kim PhD  Professor Kanawati, Naguib Representations of the family in the Old Kingdom: Women and marriage
Sheldon John PhD  Professor Lieu, Samuel Commentary on Greek and Latin texts relating to the Far East
Wright Nicholas PhD  Dr Edwell, Peter Religion in seleukid Syria: Gods at the crossroads (301-64 BC)
Sims Martin MPhil  Associate Professor Piggin, Stuart Campbell West-Watson, Primate of New Zealand: A biographical study with special reference to his Episcopal roles and his contribution to Ecumenism

2010 completions

Roy Jane PhD Dr Kohler, Eva Egypt and the A-group in Lower Nubia - Contact and exchange
Swinton Joyce PhD Professor Kanawati, Naguib Egyptian resources and their management as shown in Tomb Scenes and inscriptions in the Old Kingdom
Donker Gerald PhD Dr Llewelyn, Stephen The text of the Apostolos in Athanasius of Alexandria
Gillen Todd PhD Associate Professor Ockinga, Boyo Narrative, rhetoric and the historical inscriptions of Ramses III at Medinet Habu
Guerry Eve PhD Associate Professor Ockinga, Boyo Terms for transgression: A lexical study of ancient Egyptian words for wrongdoing and evil
Matthew Christopher PhD Dr Plant, Ian A storm of spears:  a reappraisal of Hoplite combat
Morris Sally PhD Dr Phillips, David Hera & Ares. The making and breaking of the divine mother and son relationship in ancient Greece
Rowan Clare PhD Professor Lieu, Samuel 'Under Divine Auspices'. Patron deities and the visualisation of imperial power in the Severan period
Stephens Mark PhD Dr Forbes, Christopher Destroying the destroyers of the earth: The meaning and function of new creation in the Book of Revelation
Thompson Elizabeth PhD Professor Kanawati, Naguib The depiction of the tomb owner in the Old Kingdom cemetery of El-Hawawish in upper Egypt
Stephens Michael MA(H) Dr Kohler, Eva A categorisation and examination of Egyptian ships and boats from the rise of the Old to the end of the Middle Kingdoms

2009 completions

Di Biase-Dyson Camilla PhD  Associate Professor Ockinga, Boyo Characterisation across frontiers: Foreigners and Egyptians in the Late Egyptian stories from linguistic and literary perspectives
Howse Paul PhD  Professor Nobbs, Alanna The corpse, the community and the bereaved. A thanatology of the late Roman Republic and Early Empire
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