Hans Barnard

Research Associate, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA

Like my greatest examples in the field, Michael Ventris and Eugen Strouhal, I was not initially trained as an archaeologist, an anthropologist or a historian, but as a Medical Doctor. After finishing Medical School of Leiden University (the Netherlands), in June 1990, I worked as such until I moved to Cairo (Egypt) at the very end of 1994. As part of my medical studies I participated in the British archaeological project to Qasr Ibrim (Egyptian Nubia) and those are still the happiest days in my life.

Once in Cairo I earned a living as a local officer at the Royal Netherlands Embassy and joined many archaeological expeditions, as surveyor, photographer, planner or physical anthropologist. From the Egyptian deserts, my experience later brought me to places as diverse as Yemen, Iceland and Los Angeles.

In the fall of 2000 I did not move back to the Netherlands, as planned, but to Los Angeles instead. As a Visiting Scholar at the Department for Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA I finished some of the research, medical as well as archaeological, that I started in Egypt. After two years I was ready to initiate new research, as a Research Associate of the Cotsen Institute. Here I study the pottery made in the 4th-6th centuries AD by the dwellers of the desert between the Red Sea and the Nile who, according to Pliny the Elder, roam that area without a head.

Sometimes, however, my research leads my out of the Cotsen Institute. To the Pacific beach, for instance, where I try to fire the pots that I have made out of the clay collected locally by David Verity and myself. My aim is to find out how much time, resources and experience it would have taken to produce the ancient Eastern Desert Ware.

Other places that I frequently visit are the mass spectrometry  laboratories of CSU Long Beach and UCLA where I try to find out where the ancient vessels were made and what they once contained. And obviously I travel through the Eastern Desert as often as I can. Not only to look for more archaeological information, but also to study the modern dwellers of the area and find possible links to the past.

A331 Fowler


Egypt, archaeological survey, ceramic analysis, nomadism


° Survey Work

° Epigraphy

° Eastern Desert Ware

° Cotsen Advanced Seminar

° Publications

° Personal Home Page


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