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Personal profile


Alexandra Woods is a senior 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 an interpictorial analysis of Old Kingdom elite tomb imagery. At Macquarie University Alex now teaches Egyptology with a focus on Egyptian archaeology and visual culture studies.


Research | See Alex's Profile on Academia.edu

Alex's research focuses 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. 


Alex is principle supervisor to the following students:

  • John Burke – The False Door in Old Kingdom Egypt: Form, Function and Evolution. PhD. 
  • Thérèse Clarke – The Ties that Bind: Egypt’s Old Kingdom as a case study in mature early polity complexity. PhD. 
  • Nicolle Leary – Natural Selection: Examination of Animal Figures and the Canon of Proportions in Old and Middle Kingdom wall scenes. PhD. 
  • Susan Kelly – Following the Female Footprint: The Social Construction of Women in Early Egypt. PhD. 

Recent completions:

  • Alexander Devenport – 'Be A Man': Masculinity and the Intersection of Gender and Class: Eighteenth Dynasty Non-Royal Men and their Artistic Representation. MRes. 2017.
  • John Burke – The Tomb Owner at the Offering Table: A Pilot Study on applying Statistical Analysis to Dating Old Kingdom Memphite Tombs. MRes 2015.
  • Nicolle Leary – Walk on the Wild Side: Animal figures and the canon of proportion in Middle Kingdom wall scenes at Meir. MRes 2014.

Learning and Teaching

Alex is the academic lead for the student led of the 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


  • 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. Alexandra Woods, Ellen Ryan and Eve Guerry. 

External Appointments

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

Archaeological Fieldwork

Since 2003 Alexandra has been involved in archaeological fieldwork in Egypt an epigrapher at a number of 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.


Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Alex Woods is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Projects 2006 2017

Research Outputs 2005 2018

'Art', aesthetics and the functioning image in ancient Egyptian elite tombs

Woods, A. & Leary, N., 2017, Death is only the beginning: Egyptian funerary customs at the Macquarie Museum of Ancient Cultures. Tristant, Y. & Ryan, E. M. (eds.). Oxford: Aris and Phillips, p. 74-83 9 p. (The Australian Centre for Egyptology Studies; vol. 11).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

Further Evidence that Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep were twins

Evans, L. & Woods, A., 2016, In : Journal of Egyptian Archaeology. 102, 1, p. 55-72 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review



Woods, A., 2015, A Companion to Ancient Egyptian Art. Hartwig, M. K. (ed.). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, Wiley, p. 219-248 30 p. (Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

Chronological considerations: fragments from the Tomb of Hetepet at Giza

Woods, A. & Swinton, J., 2013, In : Bulletin of the Australian Centre for Egyptology. 24, p. 127-158 32 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

'A Day in the Marshes': A Study of Old Kingdom Marsh Scenes in the Tombs of the Memphite Cemeteries

Woods, A., 2018, (Accepted/In press) Wallasey: Abercromby Press.

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review


Faculty of Arts Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning

Alexandra Woods (Recipient), Ellen Ryan (Recipient) & Eve Guerry (Recipient), 1 Jun 2016



Activities 2010 2017

  • 3 Oral presentation
  • 1 Participating in a conference, workshop, ...

Grand. Simple. Tasteful.: Max Weidenbach and the Tombs at Beni Hassan

Alexandra Woods (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

The Australasian Egyptology Conference (3rd : 2014)

Alex Woods (Participant)
16 Jul 201418 Jul 2014

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipating in a conference, workshop, ...

Archaism and innovation: tomb decoration in the Middle Kingdom

Alexandra Woods (Speaker)
23 Jul 2011

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

One tomb: two owners? The case of Nefer-seshem-Ptah at Saqqara

Alexandra Woods (Speaker)
1 Jun 2010

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

Press / Media

New pyramid remains discovered south of Cairo

Alexandra Woods


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment

New 'void' discovered in the Great Pyramid at Giza

Alexandra Woods


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment

A lost tomb and an excited Aussie researcher

Alexandra Woods


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment