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Barry Kemp

Barry Kemp

British Egyptologist
Barry Kemp
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro British Egyptologist
Is Anthropologist Archaeologist Egyptologist
From United Kingdom
Type Social science
Gender male
Birth 1940
Age 80 years
Commander of the Order of the British Empire  
Fellow of the British Academy  
Barry Kemp
The details


Barry John Kemp, CBE, FBA is an English archaeologist and Egyptologist. He is Professor Emeritus of Egyptology at the University of Cambridge and directing excavations at Amarna in Egypt. His widely renowned book Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilisation is a core text of Egyptology and many Ancient History courses.

Academic career

Barry Kemp graduated at the University of Liverpool in 1962. The next year, he became a Lecturer at the University of Cambridge and later became a Professor there. From 1977 until 2008, he has been the director of excavation and archaeological survey at Amarna for the Egypt Exploration Society. In 1990, Kemp was elected a Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge. He was Professor of Egyptology at the University of Cambridge until his retirement in 2007. In 2008, he became a Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. Professor Kemp continues his research of the Amarna Period of ancient Egypt as director of the Amarna Project and secretary of the Amarna Trust.

He has also contributed to many highly regarded and widely used Egyptology texts, including Civilisations of the Ancient Near East, edited by Jack Sasson. He is a co-author of Bruce Trigger's Ancient Egypt: A Social History, which incorporates the work of many leading Egyptologists and addresses recent trends in the subject. Kemp states to be interested in developing a holistic picture of Ancient Egyptian society rather than focussing on the elite culture that dominates the archaeological record: "This holistic approach involves explaining the present appearance of the site in terms of all the agencies at work..."


Kemp was elected Fellow of the British Academy (FBA) in 1992. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2011 New Year Honours for services to archaeology, education and international relations in Egypt.


  • Barry Kemp. Amarna Reports, parts 1–5. Egypt Exploration Society.
  • Barry Kemp(2015).Ancient Egypt:All that matters. Quercus. ISBN 978-1-44418620-8.
  • Barry Kemp (2012). The City of Akhenaten and Nefertiti: Armana and Its People. Thames & Hudson. ISBN 978-0-500-29120-7.
  • Barry Kemp (2007). The Egyptian Book of the Dead. Granta Books. ISBN 978-1-86207-913-7.
  • Barry Kemp (2005). Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilisation (2nd ed.). Routledge. ISBN 0-415-23550-2.
  • Barry Kemp (2005). 100 Hieroglyphs: Think Like an Egyptian. Granta Books. ISBN 1-86207-658-8.
  • Barry Kemp (2000). Bricks and metaphor. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 10, 335–46. A comparative essay on the theme 'Were cities built as images?'.
  • Barry Kemp (1998). More of Amarna's city plan. Egyptian Archaeology 13, 17–18.
  • Barry Kemp (1992). Amarna from the air. Egyptian Archaeology 2, 15–17.
  • Barry Kemp (1986). Tell el-Amarna, 4000 word entry in the Lexikon der Ägyptologie, ed. W. Helck and W. Westendorf, Band VI. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 309–19.
  • Barry Kemp (1983). Tell el-'Amarna. In H.S. Smith and R.M. Hall, ed., Ancient Centres of Egyptian Civilization, pp. 57–72. London: Egyptian Education Bureau.
  • Barry Kemp (1981). The character of the South Suburb at Tell el-'Amarna. Mitteilungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft zu Berlin 113, 81–97.
  • Barry Kemp (1977). The city of el-Amarna as a source for the study of urban society in ancient Egypt in World Archaeology 9, 123–39.
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