Willeke Wendrich

A photo of Willeke Wendrich

Professor Emerita

Fields of Interest: Ethno-archaeology, Egypt in Africa, Digital Humanities, Crafts Organization and Specialization, Symbolic Space, Visual Archaeology, Regionality


  • PhD, Egyptian Archaeology, Leiden University, 1999
  • MA, History of Religion, 1988


Since 2002 field work concentrates on the Fayum oasis, a cooperation between UCLA and the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (RUG). Through a regional and diachronic study of the settlement patterns, water and field systems the project sets out to understand the development of agriculture and its role in sustenance and political power play. In conjunction with the field seasons the UCLA/RUG team teaches field schools for the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities. This project followed eight years of field work at the Greco-Roman harbor town of Berenike.


Selected Publications

  • Emmitt, Joshua, Rebecca Phillipps, Annelies Koopman, Matthew Barrett, Willeke Wendrich and Simon Holdaway, KomW and X Basin: Erosion, Deposition, and the Potential for Village Occupation. In: African Archaeological Review (February 2020)  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10437-020-09370-1
  • Placentas, Sieves and the Ancestors. In: S. Valentini and G. Guarducci (eds), Between Syria and the Highlands. Studies in Honor of Giorgio Buccellati & Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati, Studies on the Ancient Near East and the Mediterranean 3, Rome: Arbor Sapientiae Editore (2019). pp. 389-394.
  • Preliminary Report on the 2018 survey and excavations of the UCLA Shire Archaeological Project, 2019.
  • Mutuality in Exploring the Past: Ethno-Experimental and Community Archaeology. In: Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 17 (2018). pp 188-201.
  • Lincoln H. Blumell, Emily Cole and Willeke Wendrich, Another Letter from Antonius Longus to his Mother Nilous. In: Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 55, (2018). pp. 45-57. https://doi.org/10.2143/BASP.55.0.3285011
  • Simon Holdaway, Rebecca Phillipps, Joshua Emmitt,  Willeke Wendrich. E29G1 revisited: the current state of the surface  archaeology of western regions of the Fayum North shore, Egypt. In: Desert and the Nile. Prehistory of the Nile Basin and the Sahara. Papers in honour of Fred Wendorf Studies in African Archaeology 15, Poznań: Poznań Archaeological Museum, 2018
  • Barnard, W.Z. Wendrich, A. Winkels, J.E.M.F. Bos, B.L. Simpson, and R.T.J. Cappers. “The Preservation of Exposed Mudbrick Architecture in Karanis (Kom Aushim), Egypt.” Journal of Field Archaeology 40, issue 3 (2016).
  • Wendrich, Willeke, Jacco Dieleman and Elizabeth Waraksa. Ideas Concerning a New Egyptological Knowledge Base: The UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology (UEE). In: P. Kousoulis and N. Lazaridis. Proceedings of the Tenth International Congress of Egyptologists. University of the Aegean, Rhodes, 22-29 May 2008. Vol. 1. pp. 2234-2241 Leuven, Paris, Bristol, CT: Peeters, 2015.
  • Shirai, Noriyuki, Willeke Wendrich and René Cappers. An Archaeological Survey in the Northeastern Part of the Fayum. In: P. Kousoulis and N. Lazaridis. Proceedings of the Tenth International Congress of Egyptologists. University of the Aegean, Rhodes, 22-29 May 2008. Vol. I. pp. 459-474. Leuven, Paris, Bristol, CT: Peeters. pp. 459-474.
  • Elgewely, Eiman and Willeke Wendrich. Virtually United in Real Time: Museum Collections and Archaeological Context Explored. Digital Heritage 2015.
  • Willeke Wendrich, Bethany Simpson, Eiman Elgewely, Karanis in 3D: Recording, Monitoring, Recontextualizing, and the Representation of Knowledge and Conjecture. In: Near Eastern Archaeology 77, 3 (2014). pp. 244-248.
  • “Visualizing the Dynamics of Monumentality”, in: James Osborne (ed.), Approaching Monumentality in Archaeology. Proceedings of the IEMA Postdoctoral Visiting Scholar Conference on Theories and Methods in Archaeology, Buffalo NY: IEMA, 2014. pp. 409-430.
  • “The Relevance of Ethnoarchaeology: An Egyptian Perspective”, in: Contesting Ethnoarchaeologies. Edited by Arkadiusz Marciniak and Nurcan Yalman. One World Archaeology Vol. 7, (2013) pp. 191-209, Springer.
  • “Organizing the world: classification, typology, and taxonomy in the past, present, and future.” In: Decorum and experience. Essays in ancient culture for John Baines. Edited by Elizabeth Frood and Angela McDonald. With the editorial assistance of R. Gareth Roberts. Griffith Institute, Oxford 2013, pp. 86-92.
  • René Cappers, Emily Cole, Daniel Jones, Simon Holdaway, Willeke Wendrich, 2013, “The Fayyûm Desert as an Agricultural Landscape”, in Carolin Artl and Martin Stadler, (eds.) Das Fayyûm in Hellenismus und Kaiserzeit. Fallstudien zu multikulturellem Leben in der Antike pp. 37-50, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2013.
  • Antiquarianism in Egypt: The Importance of Re”. In: Alain Schnapp (ed.) with Lothar von Falkenhausen, Peter N. Miller, and Tim Murray, World Antiquarianism, Comparative Perspectives, pp. 140-158. Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2013.
  • Noriyuki Shirai, Willeke Wendrich, and René Cappers, “An archaeological survey in the northeastern part of the Fayum”. in: Proceedings of the In: Nikola Lazaridis and P. Kousoulis (eds.), Proceedings of the Tenth International Congress of Egyptologists, University of the Aegean, Rhodes, 22-29 May 2008. pp. Leuven: Peeters, 2013.
  • Willeke Wendrich, Jacco Dieleman and Elizabeth Waraksa, “Ideas Concerning a New Egyptological Knowledge Base; The UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology (UEE)”, In:  Nikola Lazaridis and P. Kousoulis (eds.), Proceedings of the Tenth International Congress of Egyptologists, University of the Aegean, Rhodes, 22-29 May 2008, pp. Leuven: Peeters, 2012.
  • “Archaeology and Apprenticeship. Body Knowledge, Identity and Communities of Practice”. In: Willeke Wendrich ed. Archaeology and Apprenticeship. Body Knowledge, Identity and Communities of Practice, pp. 1-19. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 2012.
  • “Recognizing Knowledge Transfer in the Archaeological Record”. In: Willeke Wendrich ed. Archaeology and Apprenticeship. Body Knowledge, Identity and Communities of Practice, pp. 255-263. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 2012.
  • W. Wendrich and P. Ryan, “Phytoliths and Basketry Materials at Çatalhöyük (Turkey): Timelines of growth, harvest and objects life histories”, Paleorient vo. 38 I (2012), pp. 57-65
  • R. Phillipps, S. Holdaway, W. Wendrich, R. Cappers, “Mid Holocene Occupation of Egypt and Global Climatic Change”, in: Quaternary International 251 (2012)pp. 64-76.  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1040618211002138#
  • “A Second Chance? Preserving the Value of the Desert North and East of Lake Qarun”, in: Rosanna Pirelli (ed.), Natural and Cultural Landscapes in the Fayoum: The Safeguarding and Management of  Archaeological Sites and Natural Environments. Cairo, UNESCO, 2011.
  • “Crumbling Challenge and Presentation Puzzle: the Karanis Site Management Project” in: Bulletin of the American Research Center in Egypt 199, Fall 2011.
  • UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology, Archaeological Data, and Web 2.0. In: Eric C. Kansa, Sarah Witcher Kansa, Ethan Watrell, Archaeology 2.0, New Approaches to Communication and Collaboration. Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Digital Series 1, 2011. http://escholarship.org/uc/item/1r6137tb
  • “From Practical Knowledge to Empowered Communication: Field Schools of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt.” in: Controlling the Past, Owning the Future: The Political Uses of Archaeology in the Middle  East. R. Boytner, L. Schwarz-Dodd, and B. J. Parker, eds. pp. 178-195. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2010.
  • S. Holdaway, W. Wendrich and R. Phillipps, “Identifying low-level food producers: detecting mobility from lithics”, Antiquity 84 (2010), 185-194.
  • “Chapter 1: Egyptian Archaeology from Text to Context” (pp. 1-14), “Chapter 11, Identity and Personhood” (pp. 200-219) and “Chapter 15: Epilogue: Eternal Egypt Deconstructed” (pp. 274-278) in: Willeke Wendrich (ed.), Egyptian Archaeology, Blackwell Studies in Global Archaeology, Oxford: Wiley- Blackwell, 2010.
  • “Visual Archaeology” in Beyond the Horizon: Studies in Egyptian Art, Archaeology and History in Honour of Barry J. Kemp. Edited by Salima Ikram and Aidan Dodson, 2009. pp. 582-603.
  • Elaine Sullivan and Willeke Wendrich, “An offering to Amun-Ra: Building a Virtual Reality Model of Karnak”, in: N. Strudwick (ed.) Information Technology and Egyptology in 2008. Gorgias Press, Piscataway, 2009.
  • “Chapter 1, The Archaeology of Mobility: Definitions and Research Approaches” (with Hans Barnard), pp. 1-21 and “Chapter 23, From Object to Agent: the Ababda Nomads and the Interpretation of the Past” pp. 509-542 in: Hans Barnard and Willeke Wendrich (eds.), The Archaeology of Mobility: Nomads in the Old and in the New World. Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Publications, 2008.
  • “Gertrude Caton Thompson (1888-1985). Famous Footsteps to Fill”, Archéonil 17 (2007), pp. 89-106.
  • “Mud Brick and Good Manners: the Karanis Site Management Project”, ARCE Bulletin 192 (2007). pp. 12-15.
  • S.E. Sidebotham and W.Z. Wendrich (eds.), Berenike 1999 / 2000, Report on the Excavations at Berenike, including Excavations in Wadi Kalalat and Siket and the Survey of the Emerald Mine Settlements of the Mons Smaragdus Region, Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Publications, 2007.
  • “Basketry”, in: Charles Le Quesne, Quseir, an Ottoman and Napoleonic Fortress on the Red Sea Coast of Egypt, ARCE Conservation Series 2, Cairo, New York: AUC Press, 2007.
  • “Neolithische Korbflechterei”, in: Vor 12.000 Jahren in Anatolien. Die ältesten Monumente der Menschheit. Karlsruhe: Badisches Landesmuseum, 2007. pp. 230-235.
  • W.Z. Wendrich, J.E.M.F. Bos, K.M. Pansire, VR Modeling in Research, Instruction, Presentation and Cultural Heritage Management: the Case of Karanis (Egypt), in: M. Ioannides, D. Arnold, F. Niccoucci, K. Mania (eds.), The 7th International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage VAST (2006), Budapest, pp. 225-230.
  • “Body knowledge. Ethnoarchaeological Learning and the Interpretation of Ancient Technology”, in: Bernard Mathieu, Dimitri Meeks, Myriam Wissa, éd. L’apport de l’Égypte à l’histoire des techniques. Cairo: Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale, 2006, pp. 267-275.
  • “The Çatalhöyük Basketry” In: I. Hodder (ed.) Changing Materialities at Çatalhöyük. Reports from the 1995–99 Seasons. Cambridge: Mac Donald Institute for Archaeology, 2006. pp. 419-424.
  • “Entangled, connected or protected? The power of knots and knotting in ancient Egypt In: Szpakowska, K., ed. Through a Glass Darkly: Magic, Dreams, and Prophecy in Ancient Egypt. Swansea, Wales: The Classical Press of Wales, 2006. pp. 243-269.
  • “Archaeology and Sustainable Tourism in Egypt: Protecting Community, Antiquities, and Environment”. In: N. Agnew and J. Bridgland eds Of the Past, for the Future: Integrating Archaeology and Conservation, pp. 184-190. Los Angeles, The Getty Conservation Institute, 2006.
  • “Egyptian Religion, History of Study”, in: Encyclopedia of Religion, second edition (Editor in Chief Lindsay Jones), Macmillan, 2005. pp. 2727-2737.
  • W.Z. Wendrich and R.T.J. Cappers, “Egypt’s earliest granaries: evidence from the Fayum”. In: Egyptian Archaeology 27, Autumn 2005, pp. 12-15.
  • “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs”, Near Eastern Archaeology 67:4 (2004), pp. 226-228.
  • “Basketry” in: B. Fagan (ed.) The 70 Greatest Inventions, London: Thames & Hudson, 2004. pp. 34-36.
  • W.Z. Wendrich, R.S. Tomber, S.E. Sidebotham, R.T.J. Cappers, R.S. Bagnall, “Berenike Crossroads: the Integration of Information” Journal of the Economic & Social History of the Orient Volume 46, Number 1 (2003), pp. 46-87.