Autumn has brought a rich and varied crop of material, with a slant towards more theoretically informed articles. In particular, the subject of writing comes up in several of them.

The article by Elizabeth Frood and her colleagues makes the case for an engagement with writing as a material practice, showing how temple graffiti at Karnak stand in a relationship to cult practices and the transformation of space. Discussing a group of Theban tombs, Lucía Díaz-Iglesias Llanos raises a similar point: beyond their manifest content, texts are also important for their contexts, bearing traces of specific historical, social and cultural practices.

A common form of writing are letters: Campbell Price rereads a letter by William Matthew Flinders Petrie for a new perspective on his aims and methods – but also to examine Orientalist narratives and racial stereotyping. An often overlooked perspective – the emic point of view of Egyptians – is also brought to the fore in Mohamed Abu el-Yazid and Ayman Damarany’s report on a rich yet still barely processed collection of records at Abydos on the antiquities administration of the past 100 years (a project supported by the EES).

The short piece by Gianluca Miniaci and his colleagues connects some of the issues raised: through the micro-analysis of artefacts, a newly launched research project aims to recover the traces of otherwise invisible non-elite actors involved material production and circulation.

We return to Petrie in Sylvain Dhennin’s contribution, who takes a second look at his work, revisiting one of his excavation sites to learn more about work and living conditions at a late-19th-century dig house.

But classical archaeological work, of course, features in EA 57 too: Nozomu Kawai reports on the discovery of a Roman catacomb at North Saqqara, the first of its kind. And last but by no means least, Hourig Sourouzian updates us on the ongoing conservation work at the mortuary temple of Amenhotep III at Kom el-Hettan – and develops an intriguing iconographic hypothesis.

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Read it now: Chasing shadows: graffiti in the Eighth Pylon at Karnak; Elizabeth Frood, Chiara Salvador and Ellen Jones

The discovery of a Roman catacomb at North Saqqara; Nozomu Kawai

Re-evaluating Petrie at Hawara; Campbell Price

Excavations in Petrie’s camp in Dendera; Sylvain Dhennin

EES Impact Report 2019–20

Digging Diary 2020

Egyptian voices: the Abydos Temple Paper Archive; Mohamed Abu el-Yazid and Ayman Damarany

Object biographies and human practice: launching PROCESS; Gianluca Miniaci, Camilla Saler and Vanessa Forte

Scribes at work: documenting Theban Tombs 61, 82 and 87; Lucía Díaz-Iglesias Llanos

Behold the falcon gods: new finds from Kom el-Hettan; Hourig Sourouzian