Department of Ancient History

Dr Jennifer Cromwell

ancient-staff jennifer
BA, MA, PhD Liverpool (UK).

Telephone: +61 2 9850 8863
Fax: +61 2 9850 8240
Office: W6A 501



Dr Jennifer Cromwell is a Macquarie University Research Fellow in the Department of Ancient History. She studied for her BA and MA in Egyptology at the University of Liverpool (2000-2004), before undertaking her PhD, on individual scribal practice in 8th century western Thebes, at the same institution (2004-2008). Subsequently, she was the Lady Wallis Budge Junior Research Fellow in Egyptology at University College, Oxford (2007-2010), where she also taught Coptic.

Her fields of research are centered on life in Egypt during the late Byzantine and early Islamic periods (ca. 5th - 9th centuries CE), both in towns and monasteries, on the basis of the papryological and archaeological record. She particularly focuses on the role of Coptic scribes in each community, and the issue of scribal training and networks. Throughout the course of her Research Fellowship, her primary research program will focus on the control of scribes in the 8th century as a means of administrative control by the new Islamic government, taking the situation in western Thebes as her main case study.

In addition, she is currently involved with:

  • The edition of the Coptic documentary material in the University of Copenhagen (P.Hauniensis Copt 1-31 and P.Carlsberg 435-8, 443, 510, 808-11). Many of these texts are connected with a heretofore unknown monastery at Gebelein (southern Egypt).
  • The published and unpublished textual material from Wadi Sarga held in the collection of the British Museum, focusing on the economic reality of the monastery of Apa Thomas during the 6th-8th centuries CE.

Awards and Grants

  • 2011-2014 Macquarie University Research Fellowship: "Scribal Control in Early Islamic Egypt: Integration and Effect of the Administration of a New Regime".
  • 2010 Egypt Exploration Society Centenary Award.
  • 2007-2010 Lady Wallis Budge Junior Research Fellow in Egyptology, University College, Oxford.
  • 2004-2008 Arts and Humanities Research Council postgraduate research Grant.
  • 2012-2014: ARC Discovery Project Grant (with M. Choat): "Knowledge transfer and administrative professionalism in a pre-typographic society: observing the scribe at work in Roman and early Islamic Egypt


Book Chapters

'Aristophanes son of Johannes: An 8th Century Bilingual Scribe?', in A. Papaconstantinou (ed.) The Multilingual Experience in Egypt from the Ptolemies to the Abassids. (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2010), 221-232. (by invitation).


  • 'Palaeography, Scribal Practice, and Chronological Issues in Coptic Documentary Texts', Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 46 (2010) [2011]. 1-16.
  • (with E. Grossman), 'Condition(al)s of Payment: P.CLT 10 Reconsidered', Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 96 (2010), 149-160, pl. III.
  • 'Variation and Specificity in Christian Invocation Formulae from Thebes',Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 174 (2010) 151-5.
  • 'Djême Documents in the Bodleian Library, Oxford', Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 168 (2009) 286.

Papers in Published Conference Proceedings

  • 'The Family of Germanos from Jeme: An 8th Century Coptic Family', in M. Ayad (ed.) Coptic Culture: Past, Present, and Future (Stevanage: Coptic Centre, 2010 [2011]). In print.
  • 'Unpublished Coptic Limbo in Manchester's John Rylands Library', in J. Finch and V. Gashe (eds) Current Research in Egyptology 2008: Proceedings of the Ninth Annual Symposium (Bolton: Rutherford Press) 25-30.
  • 'The Provenance and Acquisition of Coptic Documents from Jeme held in the British Library', in M. Cannata (ed.) Current Research in Egyptology 2006: Proceedings of the Seventh Annual Symposium (Oxford: Oxbow) 54-65.




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