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Janet Richards

Janet Richards is Professor of Egyptology in the Department of Near Eastern Studies and Curator for Dynastic Egypt at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan. Educated at Northwestern University and the University of Pennsylvania in anthropology and Egyptology, she specializes in ancient northeast African archaeology and history, with special emphasis on conceptual landscapes, ideologies of power and responses to political crisis, the purposes of biography, and social transformations over time as materialized in mortuary and votive contexts. Since 1995 Richards has directed the University of Michigan Abydos Middle Cemetery Project, a large-scale investigation of a mid-third to mid-second millennium BCE mortuary and cultic landscape. She has curated several exhibitions at the Kelsey Museum most recently “Discovery! Excavating the Ancient World,” exploring current research questions and methods in archaeology. Her publications include the co-edited volume Order, Legitimacy, and Wealth in Ancient States (2000) and Society and Death in Ancient Egypt: mortuary landscapes of the Middle Kingdom (2005); her current project is Writing Ancient Lives: Weni the Elder and ancient Egyptian responses to political crisis.