Professor Emerita of Archaeology and Classical Studies

Curriculum Vitae

Areas of Interest

Late prehistory of Egypt; the origins of complex societies and early states in northeast Africa: Egypt, Nubia, and northern Ethiopia/Eritrea; the Red Sea trading network in the Bronze & Iron Ages.

Excavations and Fieldwork

Co-director of the joint BU/IUO (Istituto Universitario Orientale di Napoli) project at Aksum, Ethiopia, 1993-2002. We excavated a number of sites, including a large elite residence and cemetery on Bieta Giyorgis Hill to the northwest of Aksum, dating to the late 1st millennium BC and 1st millennium AD. We are now working on compiling and editing the publication of the excavations. I was also co-director (with Rodolfo Fattovich) of excavations at the Middle Kingdom port of Wadi Gawasis, on the Red Sea in Egypt (2001-2011).


2021. Harbor of the Pharaohs to the Land of Punt II. Archaeological Investigations at Mersa/Wadi Gawasis, Egypt, 2006-2011. Co-editors: R. Fattovich & A. Manzo. Naples: UniorPress.

2018. Seafaring Expeditions to Punt in the Middle Kingdom: Excavations at Mersa/Wadi Gawasis, Egypt.  Co-author: R. Fattovich. Leiden & Boston: Koninklijke Brill NV.

2017. Political Economies of Predynastic Egypt and the Formation of the Early State, Journal of Archaeological Research 25(1): 1-36. DOI: 10.1007/s10814-016-9095-6, 2017.

2008, 2015. An Introduction to the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley Blackwell.

2014. The Chronology of Aksum (Tigrai, Ethiopia): A View from Bieta Giyorgis, co-authors: R. Fattovich, A. Manzo & C. Perlingieri, Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa 49(3): 285-316.

2013. Archeologia dell’antico Egitto. Rome: Carocci editore.

2009. Mersa/Wadi Gawasis. A Pharaonic Harbor on the Red Sea. Co-editors: R. Fattovich, R. Pirelli, & A. Manzo. Cairo: Supreme Council of Antiquities Press.

2007. Harbor of the Pharaohs to the Land of Punt. Archaeological Investigations at Mersa/Wadi Gawasis, Egypt 2001-2005. Co-editor: R. Fattovich. Naples: Università degli Studi di Napoli ‘l’Orientale.

2000. The Archaeological Area of Aksum: A Preliminary Assessment. Co-authors: R. Fattovich, L. Petrassi & V. Pisano. Naples: Istituto Universitario Orientale.

2001 Some remarks on the processes of state formation in Egypt and Ethiopia. Co-author: R. Fattovich. In Africa and Afrcans in Antiquity, E. Yamauchi, ed., pp. 276-290. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press

2000 The emergence of the Egyptian state. In The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, I. Shaw, ed., pp. 61-88. Oxford: Oxford University Press

1999 Encyclopedia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt. London: Routledge (1999).

1997 Urbanism and the rise of complex society and the early state in Egypt. In Emergence and Change in Early Urban Societies, L. Manzanilla, ed., pp. 59-86. New York: Plenum

1994 The Egyptian Predynastic: an overview, Journal of Field Archaeology 21: 265-288

1992 Toward an interpretation of the role of ideology in the evolution of complex society in Egypt, Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 11: 1-24


Recipient of the National Geographical Society’s Chairman’s Award for Exploration, 1998
Elected Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2010
University Lecture, Boston University, 2011: The Wonderful Things of Punt: Excavations at a Pharaonic Harbor on the Red Sea.


  • “Egypt’s Lost Fleet” Andrew Curry’s article in Discover magazine about Kathryn Bard’s archaeological work proving that ancient Egyptian’s mastered oceangoing technology.
  • Boston Globe Article from January 11, 2010 “Sailing into Antiquity: BU archaeologist unearths clues about ancient Egypt’s sea trade” Click here.
  • NOVA/PBS January 12, 2010 at 9 p.m. will featured “Building Pharaoh’s Ship”. Nova followed the team of archaeologist and boat builders as they reconstructed the vessel and then launched it into the Red Sea. Watch the program on line here.