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Mennat-Allah El Dorry

  • Position: Assistant Professor, Chair of Coptic Studies
  • Department: Department of Sociology, Egyptology and Anthropology
Brief Biography

Mennat-Allah El Dorry is an archaeobotanist specialised in Egyptian food and agricultural history. She has worked extensively on archaeological sites across Egypt from different time periods, and focuses on monastic archaeology sites in Egypt, such as the settlement of St. John the Little in Wadi al-Natrun, Dayr Anba Hadra in Aswan, and in Bahareya Oasis. Her publications on Egyptian monastic archaeology vary from articles on wine production to manufacture of fuel in Coptic monastic settlements.

Trained initially as an Egyptologist at The American University in Cairo (class of ‘05, with minors in coptic studies and film studies), El Dorry studied archaeology/archaeobotany at University College London, from where she received her MA in 2007. She completed her PhD at the Institut für Ägyptologie und Koptologie at Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster with a work entitled “Monks and Plants: A Study of Plant Foodways and Agricultural Practices in Egyptian Monastic Settlements” (summa cum laude, funded by the Gertrud-und-Alexander-Böhlig-Stiftung). 

El Dorry worked for almost 15 years at the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities on various projects and has held different positions, the last of which was head of the minister’s scientific office. She has been awarded fellowships in Berlin, Lyon, Brussels, and Cairo, and was appointed lecturer of archaeobotany at Ain Shams University in 2021, teaching both undergraduate and graduate classes.

Research Interest



Culinary History

Wine Production and Economy

Cotton Textile Production and Economy


PhD in Egyptology, Institut für Ägyptologie und Koptologie at Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, 2015.

MA in Egyptian Archaeology: University College London, 2007. 

BA in Egyptology (minors in Coptic Studies and Film Studies), American University in Cairo, 2005.

Colin, Frédéric, Anita Quiles, Mathieu Schuster, Dominique Schwartz, Catherine Duvette, Sylvie Marchand, Mennat-Allah El Dorry, and Johan van Heesch. 2019. The End of the “Green Oasis”. Chronological Bayesian Modeling of Human and Environmental Dynamics in Bahariya (Egyptian Sahara) from Pharaonic Third Intermediate Period until Medieval Times Radiocarbon 00 (00): 1–25. 

Dorghamy, Yasmine, and Mennat-Allah El Dorry. 2019. Egypt’s Culinary History. Vol. 10. Rawi: Egypt’s Heritage Review. Cairo: Rawi.

El Dorry, Mennat-Allah. 2014. ‘Appendix 3: The Objects’. In Excavations in the Khalid Ibn El-Waleed Garden, Luxor, Avenue of the Sphinxes, edited by Freya Sadarangani and James S. Taylor, 38–43. Annales Du Service Des Antiquités de l’Égypte.

2016 Wine Production in Medieval Egypt: The Case of the Coptic Church. In Studies in Coptic Culture: Transmission and Interaction, edited by Mariam F. Ayad, 92–106. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press.

2018. Grapes, Raisins and Wine? Archaeobotanical Finds from an Egyptian Monastery. In Plants and People in the African Past: Progress in African Archaeobotany, edited by Anna Maria Mercuri, A. Catherine D’Andrea, Rita Fornaciari, and Alexa Höhn, 90–99. Switzerland: Springer. 

2023. It’s a Dung Job: Exploring Fuel Disc Production in Egyptian Monasteries. In Monastic Economies in Late Antique Egypt and Palestine, edited by Jennifer Cromwell and Louise Blanke, 212–32. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

ed. In Press. Food and Drink in Egypt and Sudan: Selected Studies in Archaeology, Culture, and History. Bibliothèque d’Étude. Cairo: Institut français d’archéologie orientale.

In Press. Forbidden, Sprouted, Stewed: An Archaeobotanical and Historical Overview of Fava Beans in Ancient Egypt. In Food and Drink in Egypt and Sudan: Selected Studies in Archaeology, Culture, and History, edited by Mennat-Allah El Dorry. Bibliothèque d’Étude. Cairo: Institut français d’archéologie orientale.

Mazou, Loïc, Pascale Ballet, Jean-Luc Fournet, Mennat-Allah El Dorry, Guy Lecuyot, and Lucia Rossi. 2019. Un thesauros/grenier à Bouto. Approches préliminaires sur l’écosystème du site à l’époque impériale. Bulletin de l’Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale. 

Warden, Leslie Anne, Nicolas S. Picardo, Louise Bertini, May Pwint Thair Chu, Emily Coate, Mennat-Allah El Dorry, Elizabeth Hart, and Tomasz Herbich. Accepted. Expanding Our Data from the Old-Middle Kingdom Western Delta: First Analyses of the Kom El-Hisn Provincialism Project. Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt.