Archaeology, University of Birmingham
This project examines the practice of adding additional burials into existing mortuary spaces, like tombs, during the Egyptian Old through Early Middle Kingdoms (c.2686–c.1991 BCE) to understand how the ancient Egyptians engaged with physical space to create a sense of ‘place.’
The project specifically uses alterations to mortuary space as a medium to explore ancient Egyptian engagements with these spaces.
Alteration broadly refers to changes that are done to the original, physical burial space. For example, changes made to accommodate new burials, like decorative/textual changes and the addition of burial shafts, are an example of alteration.
Using an original, interdisciplinary framework, my thesis explores how and why additional burials were integrated into existing mortuary spaces. My thesis also redresses and reframes prevailing colonial narratives regarding these alterations in modern academic discourse.
Most studies of additional burial generally categorise these additional burials as ‘intrusive’ or ‘secondary.’ A close analysis of Egyptian engagement with these spaces, however, shows that these burials were considered integral to the continuation of individual mortuary cults.
Redressing colonial interpretations critically reframes additional burials in scholarship to show that these burials are not inherently bad as often described.
Hutchinson-Wong, R.G., and G. Boswijk, 'Uncompromisingly unique: Tracing the origins of Waikūmete Cemetery in Auckland, New Zealand, 1870-1886.'
New Zealand Egyptology Society (2022–)
Kia ora! 你好! Hello!
My name is Reuben, an ancient historian from Aotearoa New Zealand who specialises in the study of ancient Egypt.
I am of mixed Pākehā–Chinese descent. Pākehā means New Zealand European in te reo Māori, the Māori language.
Before I joined the University of Birmingham as a doctoral researcher, I studied at Waipapa Taumata Rau, University of Auckland, New Zealand, where I completed my:
My master's thesis explored local Egyptian identity, memory, and relationships to landscape during the late Old Kingdom and early First Intermediate Period (c.2278–c.2150 BCE) at Qubbet el-Hawa, an ancient Egyptian cemetery near modern-day Aswan, Egypt.
In my earlier studies, I undertook research into colonial New Zealand cemeteries in Auckland and Whangārei. These studies explored the influence of national and international trends in the treatment of the dead, and placement and layout of cemeteries during the second half of the nineteenth century.
I also wrote a dissertation examining what the titularies of royal women during the Early Dynastic Period and Old Kingdom (c.3000–c.2200 BCE) said about their status in society.
Since completing my studies, I have worked as a researcher for the History of Egypt podcast, specialising in research of Old Kingdom and First Intermediate Period scholarship.
I also worked at the University of Auckland as a Content Curator where I curated web and email content for student use, including the need for accessibility, student voice, and use of plain language.
In my spare time, I enjoy learning about nineteenth century colonial New Zealand history. Most recently, I researched a little known Māori woman, Katerina Nikorima, and her ambiguous position in colonial New Zealand history. This is to reclaim her story from history and make it available for future generations.
I am also an avid genealogist, especially my ancestor's life histories. I am particularly interested in the journeys that my ancestors made to Aotearoa New Zealand over the last 230 years from Britain, Germany, and China, either directly or via Australia and Malaysia.
Researcher for History of Egypt podcast, (2021–), specialising in Old Kingdom and First Intermediate Period.
Waipapa Taumata Rau, University of Auckland