Meet the scholar: Katherine Slinger, Egyptology

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Katherine Slinger on a dig in Egypt

Thanks to the Sir Joseph Rotblat Alumni Scholarship, PhD student, Katherine Slinger (BA Hons Oriental Studies, 2014), is conducting research into the arrangement and location of ancient tombs in the Theban necropolis.

Why did you want to study Egyptology?

I wanted to study Egyptology after starting my first degree at Liverpool, when I had to choose a subsidiary subject in my first year. From that point I was hooked. I loved the modules, read every Egyptology book I could and eventually visited Egypt for the first time. Years later I took the decision to follow my heart and go back to university to study Egyptology - a decision I have never regretted.

How would you describe your research project?

My research involves looking at the organisation of the necropolis of private tombs at Thebes (modern day Luxor). I am investigating patterns between tomb locations, studying whether individuals were buried in occupational clusters, family groups or among people who lived during the same reign. I’m also looking at whether they were adjacent to particular natural or manmade features of the landscape, or located near, or orientated towards, festival processional ways.

What are the potential uses/findings of your research?

My research will allow Egyptologists to consider the sacred landscape of Thebes in a different way, allowing us to have a deeper understanding of how the necropolis functioned. This information will enable us to understand how the necropolis was organised, and provide clues about how tombs were allocated. These findings could theoretically be used to locate undiscovered and 'lost' tombs.

What does it mean to you to be supported by the Sir Joseph Rotblat alumni scholarship?

The scholarship has made such a huge difference to my life. During my undergraduate degree I supported myself by working three jobs in addition to full-time education, and during my master’s degree I was working three days a week in addition to my full-time studies. Without this scholarship I would have had to work full-time and undertake my PhD part-time, thus doubling the length of my course and postponing my future career. Now that I have this scholarship I can finally concentrate on my studies.

Find out more about the Rotblat Schoalrship here.