Aleksandra Ksiezak, a field archaeologist, Egyptologist and ceramicist specializing in macro- and microscopic analyses of Egyptian and Nubian pottery, is the 2022-23 W. Benson Harer Egyptology Scholar in Residence at Cal State San Bernardino.

Joining the university this fall semester, Ksiezak is teaching an upper-division course, “In the Land of Stone and Copper: An Introduction to Ancient Egyptian Technology,” for history, anthropology and art majors who are interested in learning how ancient peoples used the materials of their world.

In addition, she will present a keynote lecture, “A gateway into the desert: History, exploration, and cyclical rediscovery of Wadi Tumilat,” at the Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art on Oct. 27. This community lecture mixes international connections between Egypt and the larger ancient Mediterranean worlds, while also excavating the history of Egyptology, the building of modern Egypt, and even the digging of the Suez Canal. 

Her talk will be presented live at RAFFMA as well as livestreamed.

“We are so excited to have Dr. Ksiezak at CSUSB! Her presence offers an incredible opportunity for our students to learn from prominent and pioneering scholars,” said Kate Liszka, associate professor of history, and the and Benson and Pamela Harer Fellow in Egyptology. “The program also benefits RAFFMA with specialized knowledge as well as interdisciplinary and scientific approaches to studying the collection.”

Ksiezak obtained her Ph.D. in Egyptology at the University of Toronto and her MA and BA from the University of Warsaw. Her research focuses on the issues of migration and mobility in antiquity in north-western Africa, the Sinai Peninsula and the Levant. She is interested in the broader question of social and economic relations across the continent in the context of migration and the development and maintenance of trade networks in the Near and Middle East.  

This coming year she will also use her expertise to study metal objects at RAFFMA using an XRF machine to be able to examine the chemical makeup of various coppers and bronzes in the collection to learn more about how ancient craftsmen alloyed and created objects. She said she is delighted to join the history department as CSUSB’s next W. Benson Harer Egyptology Scholar in Residence, and she is looking forward to working with all its faculty and staff. 

The W. Benson Harer Egyptology Scholar in Residence is an annual endowed position for a prestigious or up-and-coming Egyptologist that has brought innovative and world-renowned scholars to CSUSB since 2017. This position coincides with the building of the study of Egyptology at CSUSB that began in 2015. 

Several different classes in ancient Egyptian art, archaeology and history are taught by the Benson and Pamela Harer Fellow in Egyptology, currently held by Liszka. In the last two years, the CSUSB Department of History has launched its Certificate in Egyptology and Advanced Certificate in Egyptology. RAFFMA has also expanded the online resources by sharing CSUSB’s ancient Egyptian objects with the world through videos, virtual events, 3D models and a 3D experiential tours of the exhibition, “Journey to the Beyond.”