Anne-Claire SALMAS


Assistant Professor of Egyptology
Department of Sociology, Egyptology and Anthropology


Brief Biography

While having a well-rounded academic background in history, art history and philology, Salmas chose to specialize in Egyptology for her doctoral studies and she completed her PhD in 2011 at Sorbonne University (Paris). Her doctoral dissertation, entitled The Perception of Daily Temporal Rhythms in ancient Egypt, was devoted to understanding daily temporal phenomena, in particular, their anthropological aspects. This research was mainly focused on the little-studied daily life experiences, in contrast to the well-researched “ideological” or “received” time analyzed for its philosophical nature or from a cosmic perspective. Two main lines of research were explored, one based on “etymographic” (Assmann), lexicographic, and textual studies, the other based on historical and anthropological studies. Analyzing texts, images and, to a lesser extent, archaeological data, and reinforced by theoretical approaches that transcend the field of Egyptology, the doctoral thesis resulted in an exhaustive portrait of the miscellaneous daily times and a comprehensive picture of the methods of time distribution during the day as well as the night.

This initial research has led Salmas to establish a framework in which to pursue her current work, still on daily life, but concentrating on spatial practices. This new line of investigation is entirely in keeping with the previous one, for time and space are intimately connected with one another as they naturally frame everyday life. This research deals with spatial practices in ancient Egypt and aims to question the notion of space as it was perceived, experienced and (re-)constructed by individuals and communities in ancient Egypt. As a category of thought, the notion of space is at a crossroads, where several spheres are intertwined: the spatial one admittedly, but also the social, economic, political, and cultural ones. Each of them impacts the way of perceiving and occupying a place. Salmas conducted the first step on this extensive project as a postdoctoral research associate at the Department of Egyptology and Assyriology of Brown University, with a research project entitled Life Space(s) at Deir el-Medina: Construction of Social Fabric and Patterns of Coexistence.

Along with her own research, Salmas has always made a point of exploring other facets of the field of Egyptology. As such, she acted for two years as the Managing Editor of the Online Egyptological Bibliography and the Topographical Bibliography at the Griffith Institute, University of Oxford; by working on these two crucial Egyptological projects, she gained managerial experience and developed editorial skills. Salmas has also made a point of confronting herself with the materiality of her object of study, by partaking in several archaeological missions in Egypt, mostly as an epigraphist (Balat, Dakhla oasis (IFAO); Saqqara (French-Swiss mission); Deir el-Medina (IFAO). At Deir el-Medina in particular, she has been entrusted by the French Institute in Cairo (IFAO) with the publication of Theban Tomb 2–2B (TT2–TT2B), a complex and intriguing funerary monument erected on the initiative of two workmen brothers, both sons of Sennedjem.

Finally, for more than fifteen years, Salmas has been working as a lecturer in France (École du Louvre, Université de Poitiers), the United States (Brown University), and the United Kingdom (punctual classes at the University of Oxford). These diverse experiences, which have allowed her to explore different academic systems, have shaped her teaching philosophy, combining various educational methods.

  • Forthcoming, with Kathrin Gabler. “‘Make yourself at home’: Some ‘House Biographies’ from Deir el-Medina, with a Special Focus on the Domestic (and Funerary) Spaces of Sennedjem’s Family”, Proceedings of the International Conference Deir el-Medina through the Kaleidoscope, Rivista del Museo Egizio.

    Forthcoming, with Jennifer Thum. “Narrating Temporality: Three Short Stories about Egyptian Royal Living-Rock Stelae”, in F. Rojas and J. Ben-Dov (eds), Proceedings of the International Conference Carving In and Out of Time (Brown University), Brill – Culture and History in the Ancient Near East.

    2019, with F. Bosch-Puche, E. Flemig, and C. Warsi. “Les archives Carter et le ‘dossier Toutankhamon’ au Griffith Institute, University of Oxford”, in S. Connor and D. Laboury, Toutankhamon: à la recherche du pharaon oublié. Exposition organisée à l’espace Europa expo à la gare TGV des Guillemins, Liège, 14 décembre 2019 31 mai 2010, Liège, pp 62–67.

    Also in English for the English translation of the catalogue.

    2018. “Morceaux de bravoure et traits d’humour. À propos de deux peintures de Bernard Bruyère dans la maison de fouilles de Deir el-Medina, BIFAO 118, pp 403–440.

    2018. “Space and Society at Deir el-Medina. Delineating the Territory of a Specific ‘Social Group’”, in A. Dorn and S. Polis (eds), Outside the Box. Selected Papers from the Conference “Deir el-Medina and the Theban Necropolis in Contact”, Liège, 2729 Octobr 2014, Aegyptiaca Leodiensia 11, Liège, pp 421–445.

    2017. “Le vocabulaire égyptien de la journée. Une fenêtre vers la perception des ryhtmes quotidiens”, in P. Guisard and C. Laizé (eds), Le Temps, Paris, pp 116–175.

    2014. “La mesure du temps de la journée (2). Modules et fonctionnement des horloges à ombre récentes et des cadrans solaires”, BIFAO 114, pp. 419–446.  

    2013. “La mesure du temps de la journée (1). Modules et fonctionnement des premières horloges à ombre”, BIFAO 113, pp. 353–379.

    2013. “Fragments de statues des sanctuaires sud-est du palais et de l’enceinte nord d’Ayn Asil”, in G. Soukiassian (ed.), Balat XI. Monuments funéraires du palais et de la nécropole, FIFAO 72, Le Caire, pp 68–84.

    2013. “La perception du rythme de la nuit en Égypte ancienne”, in J.-P. Morel et A. Rouveret (eds), Le temps dans l’Antiquité, Paris, pp 195–226.

    2005. “Temps (Perception égyptienne du)”, in J. Leclant (ed.), Dictionnaire de l’Antiquité, Paris, p. 2142.

    • 2011: Research Associate, CNRS–UMR “Orient et Méditerranée”, Research Unit “Mondes Pharaoniques”, Sorbonne University, Paris.
    • 2017–2019: Managing Editor of the Online Egyptological Bibliography and the Topographical Bibliography, The Griffith Institute, University of Oxford.
    • 2015–2016: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Egyptology and Assyriology, Brown University.
    • 2011: PhD in Egyptology (The perception of Daily Temporal Rhythms in ancient Egypt), Sorbonne University, Paris.
    • 2003: Master Degree II in Egyptology (The perception of Daily Temporal Rhythms in ancient Egypt: a Preliminary Research), Sorbonne University, Paris.
    • 2002: BA in art history (with a major in Egyptian archaeology and art history), École du Louvre, Paris.
    • 2001: Master degree I in Egyptology (The Interactions between Egypt and Cyprus during the Second Millennium BC), Sorbonne University, Paris.
    • 1999: BA in history (with a minor in Latin), Sorbonne University, Paris.
Research Interest
  • The notion of “everydayness”
  • The perception of time in ancient Egypt (daily temporal rhythms)
  • The perception of space in ancient Egypt (in everyday life)
  • Cultural history
  • Deir el-Medina
  • Theban Tomb 2 – 2B at Deir el-Medina
  • Sennedjem’s family: history and spaces occupied