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Kate Liszka

Kate Liszka

Professor, The Benson and Pamela Harer Fellow in Egyptology


Office Phone(909) 537-5437
Office LocationSB-357E


Kate Liszka received her BA in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies and International Studies at Penn State University.  Then she went on to receive a MA and PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, focusing on Egyptology from the University of Pennsylvania.  After receiving her degree in 2012, she became a Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Princeton University. She has taught a variety of classes on Ancient Egypt and Ancient History at Roosevelt University, Loyola University, and Princeton University.  Kate is interested in all things ancient and archaeological, but her specific research focuses on ancient Nubians interacting with Egyptians and the Egyptian government. She specifically examines these issues as part of two projects. She is currently finishing a monograph on the Medjay, a group of pastoral Nubians who may become an important group of soldiers in Egypt’s Middle and New Kingdoms (c. 2300-1000 BCE).  Kate also directs the Wadi el-Hudi Expedition to the Eastern Desert. This archaeological and epigraphic project looks at ancient Egyptian mining activities, their organization, and individuals who participated in them, especially in light of ancient ethnicities.


Ph.D. and M.A. University of Pennsylvania, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

B.A. Penn State University, majors in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies and International Studies


Ancient Egyptian History I, II, and III

Ancient Egyptian Archaeology

Ancient Egyptian Culture and Society

Ancient Egyptian Art

Egyptian Mining Expeditions, Their Buildings, and their Slaves

Research and Teaching Interests

See Dr. Liszka's CSUSB Faculty Feature

Ancient Egyptian Art, History, and Archaeology; Nubians in Egypt; the Medjay; Portrayal of Ethnicity and Identity in Antiquity; Multicultural Interactions in Frontier Regions; the Pangrave Archaeological Culture; Large-Scale Mining Expeditions.

Research Interests:  Since 2014, her research has focused on interactions between Nubians and Egyptians and on interactions between Nubians with the Egyptian government. This has culminated in two large research projects. First, she working on a manuscript entitled From Pastoral Nomads to Policemen: The Evolution and Role of the Medjay in Ancient Egypt and Nubia, c. 2300 to 1250 BCE. Based on her doctoral dissertation, this work examines issues of ethnic identity in antiquity as well as the role of Nubians in Egypt. Second, she directs an archaeological project in Egypt at Wadi el-Hudi. This is a series of sites in the Eastern Desert where the Egyptian government sent large expeditions to procure amethyst during the Middle Kingdom (c. 2000-1750 BCE) and the Ptolemaic-Roman Period (3rd c. BCE – 2nd cent. CE). In this project, her team is examining the organization of large-scale mining operations, as well as the role of individuals and the role of foreigners in those expeditions.

Selected, Peer-reviewed Publications:

Lisizka, Kraemer, and Brand, under review. “Organization of Amethyst Mining at Wadi el-Hudi in the Greek and Roman Periods.”  Jointly authored by Kate Liszka, Bryan Kraemer, and Meredith Brand.  In Pots, Pepper, Charcoal and Bread: The Material Economy of the Eastern Desert in the Ptolemaic and Roman Periods, ed. Jennifer Gates-Foster and Laurel Hackley. Maison de l’Orient et de la Méditerranée Editions. To appear in 2024.

Liszka, under review. “Retiring Ethnicity in Egyptology: The Unhelpful Dichotomy of Egypt versus Nubian” in (De)constructing Nubia, ed. Aaron de Souza.  To appear in 2024.

Brand, Liszka, and Kraemer, 2022. “Living and Working at the early Middle Kingdom Amethyst Mining Settlement Site 5, Wadi el-Hudi.”  Jointly authored by Meredith Brand, Bryan Kraemer, and Kate Liszka.  In Daily Life of Ancient Egyptian Settlements, ed. Johanna Sigl. SDAIK 47, Otto Harrassowitz, 41-55.

Liszka 2022, “Eight Medjay Walk into a Palace: Bureaucratic Categorization and Cultural Mistranslation of Peoples in Contact.”  In Ancient Egyptian Society: Challenging Assumptions, Exploring Approaches, edited by Danielle Candelora, Nadia Ben-Marzouk, and Kara Cooney. Taylor and Francis (2022), 122-139.

Liszka and de Souza, 2021. “Pan-Grave and Medjay: At the Intersection of Archaeology and History” The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Nubia, eds. Geoff Emberling and Bruce Williams. 227- 249. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Liszka, 2018. “Discerning Ancient Identity: The Case of Aashyet’s Sarcophagus (JE 47267)” Invited article for a special issue of the Journal of Ancient Egyptian History 11.1-2: 185-207.

Liszka, 2017. “Egyptian or Nubian?: Settlement Architecture at Wadi el-Hudi, Wadi es-Sebua, and the Eastern Desert” Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 103: 35-51.

Liszka and Kraemer, 2016. “Evidence for administration of the Nubian fortresses in the late Middle Kingdom: P. Ramesseum 18.” Journal of Egyptian History 9: 151-208.

Kraemer and Liszka, 2016. “Evidence for administration of the Nubian fortresses in the late Middle Kingdom: The Semna Dispatches.” Journal of Egyptian History 9:1-65

Liszka, 2015. “Scarab Amulets in the Egyptian Collection of the Princeton University Art Museum.” Record: Princeton University Art Museum 74:4-19.

Liszka, 2015. “Are the Bearers of the Pan-Grave Archaeological Culture Identical to the Medjay-People in the Egyptian Textual Record?” Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 7:2: 42-60.

Liszka, 2011. “‘We have come from the Well of Ibhet’: Ethnogenesis of the Medjay,” Journal of Egyptian History. 4:2: 149-171.

Liszka, 2008. “Water Basins in Middle Kingdom Planned Settlements.” In Current Research in Egyptology 2008: Proceedings of the Ninth Annual Symposium, University of Manchester, eds. V. Gashe and J. Finch, 51-68. Bolton: Rutherford Press Limited.