Institutions Yale University
Institution Yale University
Alma mater Yale University
|Born 1980St. Louis, Missouri|
Books Imagining the Past: Historical Fiction in New Kingdom Egypt, The great Karnak inscription of Merneptah
Colleen Manassa (born 1980, St. Louis, MO) is an American Egyptologist and the Marilyn M. and William K. Simpson Associate Professor at Yale University. She received her BA at Yale University in 2001 and her PhD from the same institution in 2005. Her areas of expertise include Late Period uses of the Underworld Books, ancient Egyptian military history, and the literature of New Kingdom Egypt. In a forthcoming book, Imagining the Past: Historical Fiction in New Kingdom Egypt (Oxford University Press), she proposes the existence of some of the first examples of historical fiction in the history of world literature. As an author, she has been largely collected by libraries worldwide.
Her research in Egyptian military history has led to the first recreation of the tactics of the Battle of Perire, ca. 1208 BCE and her study The Great Karnak Inscription of Merneptah "replaces all other earlier studies of the key historical narratives relating Merneptah's war against the Libyans." Her research on the military role that Tutankhamun might have taken on as pharaoh of Egypt contributed to Tutankhamun's Armies: Battle and Conquest in Ancient Egypt's Late Eighteenth Dynasty (co-authored with John Darnell) and was featured in the historical section of the documentary "King Tut Unwrapped." Through books and documentaries, Manassa has brought ancient Egyptian warfare and tactics to the broader public.
In Egypt, she has made several important archaeological discoveries as the director of the Moalla Survey Project, an ongoing archaeological project.
In 2013, she curated an exhibition at the Yale Peabody Museum entitled “Echoes of Egypt: Conjuring the Land of the Pharaohs."
Manassa is also a frequent contributor to the History Channel, Discovery Channel, and Science Channel, where she brings her expertise on Egyptian history, religion, mummification and military architecture to a wider audience. She currently serves on the Board of Governors to the American Research Center in Egypt.
Books and Research
Manassa is the author, co-author, or editor of five books, two of which were the recipient of the Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Publication or Research. Her over two dozen articles and book reviews cover a wide range of topics in the field of Egyptology.
Articles (edited and peer-reviewed)
In 2008, she created the Moalla Survey Project, an archaeological survey expedition in Egypt (under the auspices of the Egyptian Ministry of State for Antiquities) that has discovered several important new sites on the east bank of the Nile approximately 45 south of Luxor, ranging in date from the late Predynastic period through the late Roman period. In 2010, she discovered an extensive late Roman settlement with over a hundred distinct structures. Within the necropolis of Moalla, the Moalla Survey Project also discovered a Nubian Pan Grave cemetery (ca. 1600 BCE), and the importance of the Nubian cemetery at the site of Moalla has been recognized in other publications. In 2010, Manassa presented the first identification of Nubian (Pan Grave) pottery manufactured at the site of Umm Mawagir in Kharga Oasis. This ceramic analysis reveals new interactions between Nubian and Egyptian populations in the oases.
As curator of “Echoes of Egypt: Conjuring the Land of the Pharaohs,” Manassa assembled nearly one hundred objects, ranging from ancient Egyptian objects to pieces that span two millennia of fascination with ancient Egypt. Critically acclaimed in a review by the New York Times, the exhibition has been called “an ambitious... landmark exhibition,” with “careful curation," the exhibit has achieved critical success. The exhibition is accompanied by a print catalog and a complete online catalog, including a driving tour of Connecticut Egyptian revival buildings. The online tour of the exhibit makes "Echoes of Egypt" one of the first internationally available on-line exhibits.