Department of Ancient History

Dr Alexandra Woods

ancient-staff alexandrewoodsBA (Hons), PhD Macquarie University

Director of Learning and Teaching, Academic Advisor

Contact Details:
Telephone: +61 2 9850 8850 
Office: Level 2, Australian Hearing Hub
Visit full Profile in the Macquarie University Research Portal.


Alexandra Woods is a lecturer in the Department of Ancient History, Faculty of Arts. She studied Egyptology and Ancient History at Macquarie University (2001-2003), and completed an Honours degree in Egyptology (2004) before undertaking doctoral studies at Macquarie (2005-2008) based on analysis of Old Kingdom elite tomb iconography. At Macquarie University Alex now teaches Egyptology with a focus on Egyptian archaeology, art history and Old and Middle Kingdom studies.


Alex's research focusses on the study of visual culture in ancient Egyptian temple and tomb environments, particularly during the Old to Middle Kingdom (Dynasties 3-13, c. 2686 - 1650 BCE). Alex studies:

  1. the context, function, iconographical and iconological significance of the tomb and temple imagery,
  2. artisan practices behind the portrayals to understand how the images were constructed and created within the limitations imposed by function, decorum and tradition and;
  3. visual culture as evidence for social practices, particularly agency and social identity of minority groups in ancient Egypt.

Learning and Teaching

Alex is the Director of Learning and Teaching in the Deparment of Ancient History, Academic lead for the student led Beni Hassan Research Group and convenor of the following units in the Major in Ancient History - Egypt and the Near East:

  • AHIS170: Egyptian Archaeology - An Introduction.
  • AHIS280: Ancient Egyptian Culture and Society.
  • AHIS281: Ancient Egyptian Art.

External appointments

  • Visiting lecturer, Department of Art History, Emory University, Fall Semester 2010.


  • Faculty of Arts Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning: For expertise in implementing active-learning approaches through developing and delivering a multi-media integrated flipped classroom unit to enhance student engagement and independent learning.
    • Team: Alexandra Woods, Ellen Ryan and Eve Guerry.


Since 2003 Alexandra has been involved in archaeological fieldwork in Egypt at several sites including Saqqara, Deir el-Gebrawi, Meir, Tehna and most recently Beni Hassan.

Grants Awarded

  • 2016-2018: Australian Research Council Discovery-Project Grant - 'Measuring Meaning in Egyptian Art: A new approach to an intractable problem'. In collaboration with N. Kanawati, L. Evans and J. Kamrin (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York).
  • 2015: Macquarie University Learning and Teaching Delivery Grant - 'Mediating Student Learning: Archaeology and Social Media in the 21st century: A Case study on AHIS170: Egyptian Archaeology - An Introduction.' In collaboration with P. Keegan, P. Vlachopoulos, O. Coady, M. Rampe.
  • 2011-2014: Australian Research Council Discovery-Project Grant - 'Immortal Egypt: Cultural Tradition and Transition during the First Intermediate Period at Meir'. In collaboration with N. Kanawati, L. Evans and G. Robins (Emory University).
  • 2011-2013: Macquarie University Research Development Grant - 'Civil War and its Aftermath: Interpreting the Egyptian Middle Kingdom Art and Inscriptions in the Tomb of Khnumhotep II at Beni Hassan'. In collaboration with N. Kanawati and D. Gore.
  • 2011: Macquarie University Systems Infrastructure Scheme - 'The Macquarie University Archaeological Fieldwork Laboratory'.  In collaboration with S. Lieu (CI) and Ancient History Staff.
  • 2010: CORE Start-up Grant - 'Teaching and Research Collaboration: Visiting Faculty: Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.'
  • 2008-2009: Macquarie University New Staff Grant - 'Egyptian Art at its Peak: The Case of Beni Hassan'.
  • 2005-2008: Australian Postgraduate Research Award, Macquarie University.


For a complete list of publications please visit Alex's profile on the Macquarie University Research Portal and

Conference Papers, Invited Presentations and Public Lectures

For a complete list since 2008 please refer to Alex's CV on

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