Janet Richards


  • Email: jerichar@umich.edu
  • Phone: 734.647.0444
  • Office:
    • Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, Kelsey, 434 South State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1390
    • Department of Middle East Studies, 202 South Thayer Street, 4159 STB
  • Ph.D. 1992, University of Pennsylvania

Research Interests


  • Ancient northeast African archaeology and history
  • Conceptual landscapes
  • Biography
  • Political crisis
  • Cultural heritage
  • Local saint cults, past and present


  • Egypt

Research Projects

Research Description

Janet Richards specializes in ancient northeast African archaeology and history, with special emphasis on conceptual landscapes, ideologies of power and responses to political crisis, the purposes of biography, and social transformations over time as materialized in mortuary and votive contexts. Since 1995, Richards has directed the University of Michigan Abydos Middle Cemetery Project, a large-scale investigation of a late Old Kingdom mortuary landscape. She has also participated in excavations in southern Illinois, and at Amarna, Deir el Ballas, and East Karnak, Egypt. She has curated several exhibitions at the Kelsey Museum including the recent new wing installation of the permanent galleries of dynastic Egyptian artifacts. Her publications include Society and Death in Ancient Egypt: mortuary landscapes of the Middle Kingdom (2005), and two co-edited volume Order, Legitimacy, and a co-edited volume, Wealth in Ancient States (2000) as well as a series of essays on ancient Egyptian archaeology and history. She is currently working on Writing Ancient Lives: Weni the Elder and Ancient Egyptian Responses to Political Crisis, a monograph under contract to Cambridge University Press.