The Queen's College Crest

The Queen’s College

University of Oxford

Prof John Baines

Professor of Egyptology



Tel: 01865 278200

Faculty webpage:



I studied for my BA and doctorate in Egyptology in Oxford. Before returning to teach in Oxford in 1976 I was a lecturer at Durham University. I have held visiting appointments in universities in Egypt, France, Germany, Switzerland, and the USA.



I have taught across almost the entire range of the courses in Egyptology offered for the BA. At present my principal teaching is in Old and Middle Egyptian texts, history of art, and general themes in history and civilization. The areas I cover tend to focus in the first half of Egyptian history (roughly 3000–1500 BCE). At graduate level I teach various special options, as well as supervising doctoral theses.



My current research is on aspects of the life of ancient elites that leave little archaeological trace but were very important for the actors. These include management of landed estates, hunting, and the planning of cities. I have a second long-running project on Egyptian biography, which is the most important genre of elite public inscriptions.


Selected recent publications

  • Visual and written culture in ancient Egypt. xviii + 419 pp., 49 figs. Oxford: Oxford University Press 2007. Reprinted 2008, paperback 2009.
  • John Baines, John Bennet, and Stephen Houston (eds), The disappearance of writing systems: perspectives on literacy and communication. xviii + 378 pp. London: Equinox 2008. Paperback 2009.
  • Modelling the integration of elite and other social groups in Old Kingdom Egypt. In Juan Carlos Moreno García (ed.), Elites et pouvoir en Egypte ancienne = Cahiers de Recherche de l’Institut de Papyrologie et Egyptologie de Lille 28 (2009–10) 117–44.
  • Presenting and discussing deities in New Kingdom and Third Intermediate period Egypt. In Beate Pongratz-Leisten (ed.), Reconsidering the concept of revolutionary monotheism, 41–89. Winona Lake IN: Eisenbrauns 2011.

Fuller list of publications: