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Dr. Leslie Warden

Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo Associate Professor of Art History

Department: Fine Arts
Office: 243 Olin Hall




PhD, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania (2010)

MA, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania (2008)

BA, Anthropology, University of California at Davis (2002)


Research & Teaching Interests

Dr. Warden's research focuses on social reconstruction of the Egyptian Old through Middle Kingdoms (ca. 2600-1650 BC). Her primary dataset is archaeological ceramics. Her work dissects how commodity production and distribution was related to Egyptian economic, ritual, and domestic life, providing evidence for local identities and regional continuity over time. She directs the excavations of the Kom el-Hisn Provincialism Project (KHPP) at the ancient Egyptians settlement of Kom el-Hisn in the western Nile delta; additionally, she is the head ceramicist of the North Kharga Oasis Survey (directed by Salima Ikram, American University in Cairo) and Head of Ceramics Group for the German Archaeological Institute's excavations at Elephantine (directed by Johanna Sigl). She is broadly interested in Egyptian ceramics, the relationship of the Egyptian provinces to the capital, and non-elite material culture.

Dr. Warden's classes introduce students to the discipline of archaeology in general, as well as specific archaeological and art historical sub-topics such as mortuary archaeology, settlement archaeology, Egyptian art, and museology. Students interested in archaeology may apply to be part of the Archaeology Lab, where students are trained to conduct real-world archaeological research using data brought back from Dr. Warden's fieldwork.


2021. Ceramic Perspectives on Ancient Egyptian Society. Camridge: Cambridge University Press. 

2014. Pottery and Economy in Old Kingdom Egypt. Leiden: Brill.

Recent Publications

in press. Warden, Leslie Anne, Nicholas Picardo, Louise Bertini, May Pwint Thair Chu, Emily Coate, Mennat-Allah El Dorry, Elizabeth Hart, and Tomasz Herbich. “Kom el-Hisn Provincialism Project: Seasons 2016-2019, Preliminary Analyses.” Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 59. Anticipated publication 2023.

2022. “Interpreting Rubbish in the Archaeological Record: A Case Study of Floor and Fill Deposits in House 169 on Elephantine Island, Egypt.” Journal of Urban Archaeology 6: 71-86.

2021 Ikram, Salima, Nicholas Warner, Nikolaos Lazaridis, Leslie Anne Warden, Rebecca Cook, Craig Boyer, and Judith Bunbury. “A Romano-Christian mining community in the North Kharga Oasis (Egypt).” Co-authored with Salima Ikram, Nicholas Warner, Nikolaos Lazaridis, Judith Bunbury, and Rebecca Cook. Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 57: 123-173.

2020 “Ceramics as Indicators of Complexity,” and “Manifesto.” The Gift of the Nile? Ancient Egypt and the Environment, ed. T. Schneider and C. L. Johnson. The University of Arizona Egyptian Expedition.

2020 “Where Did All the Beer Jars Go?” Guardian of Ancient Egypt, Studies in Honor of Zahi Hawass, ed. J. Kamrin, M. Bárta, S. Ikram, M. Lehner, M. Megahed. Czech Institute of Egyptology.
2020 “Poverty? Approaching Economic Disparity in Third Millennium Egypt.” Poverty and Inequality in Early Civilizations, ed. R. Bußmann and T. Helms. Habelt Publications.2019. “Tying technology to social, economic, and political change: the case of bread baking at Elephantine.” American Journal of Archaeology 123 (1).

2018. Warden, Leslie Anne, Eman elSayed Aly Khalifa, John Gait, Peter Kopp, and Valerie Steele. “Stadt und Tempel von Elephantine: Pottery studies in course of the project “Realities of Life” (Lebenswirklichkeiten) – a methodological summary and pilot project.” Slated for Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts Abteilung Kairo 74.

2018. “Ayn Gib Ceramics,” “Qasr el-Sumayra Ceramics,” “Settlement C Ceramics,” “Two Houses Ceramics,” and “Dabasheyyah Pigeon Tower Ceramics,” in North Kharga Oasis Survey, vol. 1. Edited by S. Ikram and C. Rossi.

2018.  “Grain as Wealth in Egypt: field – silos - bread and beer,” in Les céréales dans le monde antique: regards croisés sur les strategies de gestion des cultures, de leur stockage et de leurs modes de consummation (NeHeT, e-journal of Paris-Sorbonne/ULB.) Edited A. Bats. Paris: Sorbonne, 141-156. 5-WARDEN.pdf

2017. “Serdab, Cult, and ‘Home:’ Domestic arrangement in Old Kingdom Mastabas,” in Abusir and Saqqara in the Year 2015. Edited by M. Bárta, F. Coppens, and J. Krejci. Prague: Czech Institute of Egyptology, 467-488.

2015. “Central Taxation during the Old Kingdom.” in Towards a New History of the Egyptian Old Kingdom: Perspectives on the Pyramid Age, pp 473-498. Edited by Peter der Mannuelian and Thomas Schneider. Leiden: Brill.

2015. “Identifying royal and private power in Old Kingdom Egypt.” Expedition 57 (2): 24-29.

2013. “Ceramics and Status at Meidum’s Northern Cemetery.” Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Abteilung Kairo 69: 227-246.

Available as a Media resource for the following topics

Egyptian archaeology; excavations in Egypt; repatriation; ancient Egyptian society; experimental archaeology; ancient bread and beer

Willing to speak to professional, social or civic groups on

Egyptian archaeology; excavations in Egypt; repatriation; archaeological ethics; ancient Egyptian society; experimental archaeology; ancient bread and beer; ancient Egyptian history and religion