Barbara O'Neill

Barbara O’Neill is an MPhil student at the University of Winchester, following completion of the online Diploma at the Egyptology with the University of Manchester. She has lived and taught in Egypt and the Middle Eas for most of her life, and has recently returned to the United Kingdom to resume her studies.

An Exploration of the term ‘inw’  from the Early Dynastic Period to the New Kingdom

An Exploration of the term ‘inw’ from the Early Dynastic Period to the New Kingdom

The term inw has been described as ‘vexatious’ in its complexity, touching as it does on a range of intricate subjects outside the scope of this article. The following article does not claim to cover all aspects of inw. A reading list for those who wish to explore the subject in more detail, is provided at the end. [more…]

In his book ‘The Official Gift in Ancient Egypt’ (1996) Edward Bleiberg notes that there are thirty eight different interpretations for the term ‘inw’ in English, French and German. As Bleiberg notes ‘The Egyptians could not have been as vague as the numerous translations suggest’  [more…]

Figures 5 and 6.  The seal of Heqanakht and Letter III

Revisiting Heqanakht

Heqanakht’s ‘letters’ consist of a number of related papyri which have been dated to the early part of the Twelfth Dynasty (2025-1700 BC). The papyri deal with the day-to-day concerns of a well-to-do, land owning farmer who lived near Thebes and who carried out his professional duties as a kA-priest near Memphis. The letters and accounts which make up the papyri were found unopened and, apparently unread, ‘in the condition of their original shipping’ (Goedicke, 1984, p.5). In two instances, the letters still bore their original clay seals [more…]

The Papyri of Heqanakht and the Emergence of a Middle Class in Middle Kingdom Egypt

By Barbara O’Neill.  Published in Egyptological Journal Articles, Journal Edition 5. August 14th 2012 Introduction: An Individual Life The following article will focus on the life and times of an Egyptian farmer through an exploration of his letters and accounts.  Heqanakht’s papyri offer a rare glimpse into the life of a minor official during the […] [more…]

Anatomy of a Dig: Getting up Close and Personal in Thebes

Anatomy of a Dig: Getting up Close and Personal in Thebes

Before I begin this article recounting my experiences on an Egyptian excavation, I have to point out that protocol dictates that I cannot be specific about the project I worked on. That is only right and proper. When the majority of Egypt’s archaeological record remains unreported and unpublished it would be wrong of me, a novice in the business, to give details of the mission before dig leaders have had an opportunity to report officially to the SCA (the Supreme Council of Antiquities, the body which oversees all archaeological activity within Egypt). Therefore, this account will of necessity lack specific detail, although I hope that the following will provide a reasonable overview of an ‘awesome’ experience (in the true sense of this word); one which will remain with me forever. [more…]

Figure 2 - Ahmose Pyramid Complex

The Mortuary Temple of Nebpehtyre Ahmose at Abydos

By Barbara O’Neill.  Published on Egyptological, In Brief, August 14th 2012 Introduction: An Overview of the Mortuary Temple In the Old and Middle Kingdoms, pyramid complexes incorporated a mortuary chapel where cult to sustain the deceased king could be maintained.  By the Eighteenth Dynasty however, the royal-mortuary temple had evolved from an integrated part of the […] [more…]