Willeke Z. Wendrich

Professor Emerita, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (NELC); Director, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology


Ph.D., Leiden University, 1999

Areas of Interest

Social context of crafts organization and specialization, ethnoarchaeology, practical use of symbolic space, visual archaeology and the study of regionality versus long distance contacts.


Since 2002 field work concentrates on the Fayum oasis, a cooperation between UCLA and the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (RUG). Through a regional and diachronic study of the settlement patterns, water and field systems the project sets out to understand the development of agriculture and its role in sustenance and political power play. In conjunction with the field seasons the UCLA/RUG team teaches field schools for the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities. This project followed eight years of field work at the Greco-Roman harbor town of Berenike. 


Fayum Project 

Berenike Project 

Ancient Apprenticeship 

Mobile People 

Egyptology at UCLA 

Near Eastern Languages and Cultures


2020       Emmitt, Joshua, Rebecca Phillipps, Annelies Koopman, Matthew Barrett, Willeke Wendrich and Simon Holdaway, KomW and X Basin: Erosion, Deposition, and the Potential for Village Occupation. In: African Archaeological Review, February 2020,  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10437-020-09370-1


2019       Placentas, Sieves and the Ancestors. In: S. Valentini and G. Guarducci (eds), Between Syria and the Highlands. Studies in Honor of Giorgio Buccellati & Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati, Studies on the Ancient Near East and the Mediterranean 3, Rome: Arbor Sapientiae Editore, pp. 389-394.


2019       Preliminary Report on the 2018 survey and excavations of the UCLA Shire Archaeological Project.


2018       Mutuality in Exploring the Past: Ethno-Experimental and Community Archaeology. In: Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 17, pp 188-201.


2018       Lincoln H. Blumell, Emily Cole and Willeke Wendrich, Another Letter from Antonius Longus to his Mother Nilous. In: Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 55, pp. 45-57. https://doi.org/10.2143/BASP.55.0.3285011


2018       Simon Holdaway, Rebecca Phillipps, Joshua Emmitt,  Willeke Wendrich. E29G1 revisited: the current state of the surface  archaeology of western regions of the Fayum North shore, Egypt. In: Desert and the Nile. Prehistory of the Nile Basin and the Sahara. Papers in honour of Fred Wendorf Studies in African Archaeology 15, Poznań: Poznań Archaeological Museum 2018


2018       Willeke Wendrich, Simon Holdaway, René Cappers, Rebecca Phillipps. A Research Design to Investigate the Fayum Neolithic. In: Yann Tristant, Matthieu Ghilardi eds. Landscape Archaeology. Egypt and the Mediterranean World, Bibliothèque d’Étude 169, Cairo: Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale, pp. 43-58.


2018       Preliminary Report on the 2018 survey and excavations of the UCLA Shire Archaeological Project.


2017       Digital Media. In: The SAS Encyclopedia of Archaeological Sciences


2017       Lercari, N., J. Shulze, W. Wendrich, B. Porter, M. Burton, and T. E. Levy, 3-D Digital Preservation of At-Risk Global Cultural Heritage, in: C. E. Catalano and L. De Luca (Editors) EUROGRAPHICS Workshop on Graphics and Cultural Heritage (2016)


2017       Tamborrino, Rosa and Willeke Wendrich, “Cultural heritage in context: the temples of Nubia, digital technologies and the future of conservation,” Journal of the Institute of Conservation, 40:2, 168-182. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19455224.2017.1321562


2017       Review of Mifsas Bari: A Late Aksumite frontier community in the mountains of southern Tigray: survey, excavation and analysis, 2013-16  Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0067270X.2017.1379740


2017       Preliminary Report on the 2016 excavations in Mai Adrasha, Ethiopia.


2017       Wendrich, Willeke and Simon J. Holdaway. Basket use, raw materials and arguments on early and Middle Holocene mobility in the Fayum, Egypt. Quaternary International. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2017.01.010


2017       Marston, John M., Simon J. Holdaway, and Willeke Wendrich. Early and Middle Holocene wood exploitation in the Fayum basin, Egypt. The Holocene. https://doi.org/10.1177/095968361770844


2017       Simon Holdaway and Willeke Wendrich eds., The Desert Fayum Revisited, the Early to Mid-Holocene Landscape Archaeology of the Fayum North Shore, Egypt. Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press.


2016       Elgewely, Eiman and Willeke Wendrich. Virtually United in Real Time: Museum Collections and Archaeological Context Explored. Digital Heritage 2015.  IEEE Xplore (2016)

DOI 10.1109/DigitalHeritage.2015.7419592


2016       Koopman, Annelies, Sjoerd Kluiving, Simon Holdaway, and Willeke Wendrich, “The Effects of Holocene Landscape Changes on the Formation of the Archaeological Record in the Fayum Basin, Egypt”, Geoarchaeology 31 pp. 17–33. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gea.21538


2016       Linseele, Veerle, Simon J. Holdaway, Willeke Wendrich. The earliest phase of introduction of Southwest Asian domesticated animals into Africa. New evidence from the Fayum Oasis in Egypt and its implications. Quaternary International part B 412, 11-21      http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2015.12.028


2016       Phillipps, R, Holdaway, S, Ramsay, R, Emmitt, J, Wendrich, W and Linseele, V. Lake Level Changes, Lake Edge Basins and the Paleoenvironment of the Fayum North Shore, Egypt, during the Early to Mid-Holocene. Open Quaternary, 2: 2, pp. 1–12, http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/oq.19


2016       H. Barnard, W.Z. Wendrich, A. Winkels, J.E.M.F. Bos, B.L. Simpson, and R.T.J. Cappers. The Preservation of Exposed Mudbrick Architecture in Karanis (Kom Aushim), Egypt. Journal of Field Archaeology 41:1, pp. 84-100.


2016       Holdaway S, Phillipps R, Emmitt J et al. The Fayum revisited: Reconsidering the role of the Neolithic package, Fayum north shore, Egypt. Quaternary International Online 410, pp. 173-180. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2015.11.072


2015       Hans Barnard, Willeke Z. Wendrich, Ben T. Nigra, Bethany L. Simpson, and René T.J. Cappers “The Fourth-century AD Expansion of the Graeco-Roman Settlement of Karanis (Kom Aushim) in the Northern Fayum.” Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 101 (2015), pp. 51-67.


2015       Wendrich, Willeke, Jacco Dieleman and Elizabeth Waraksa. Ideas Concerning a New Egyptological Knowledge Base: The UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology (UEE). In: P. Kousoulis and N. Lazaridis. Proceedings of the Tenth International Congress of Egyptologists. University of the Aegean, Rhodes, 22-29 May 2008.  Leuven: Peeters, pp. 2234-2241


2015       Shirai, Noriyuki, Willeke Wendrich and René Cappers. An Archaeological Survey in the Northeastern Part of the Fayum. In: P. Kousoulis and N. Lazaridis. Proceedings of the Tenth International Congress of Egyptologists. University of the Aegean, Rhodes, 22-29 May 2008. Leuven: Peeters. pp. 459-474.


2015       Elaine Sullivan, Willeke Wendrich. Time, Aggregation, and Analysis: Designing Effective Digital Cultural Mapping Projects. in David MacLennan, W.F. Garrett-Petts, and Nancy Duxbury (eds.), Cultural Mapping as Cultural Inquiry, New York: Routledge, pp. 233-253.


2015     Elgewely, Eiman and Willeke Wendrich, “Reviving Karanis in 4D: Reconstruction of Space through Time”, Proceedings of the Conference on Cultural Heritage and New Technologies, Vienna: CHNT (2015).


2014       Linseele, Veerle, Wim Van Neer, Sofie Thys, Rene Cappers, Willeke Wendrich, Simon Holdaway, “New Archaeozoological Data from the Fayum “Neolithic” with a Critical Asessment of the Evidence for Early Stock Keeping in Egypt. PLOS one, http://doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0108517


2014       Willeke Wendrich, Bethany Simpson, Eiman Elgewely, Karanis in 3D: Recording, Monitoring, Recontextualizing, and the Representation of Knowledge and Conjecture. In: Near Eastern Archaeology 77, 3 pp. 244-248.


2014       “Visualizing the Dynamics of Monumentality”, in: James Osborne (ed.), Approaching Monumentality in Archaeology. Proceedings of the IEMA Postdoctoral Visiting Scholar Conference on Theories and Methods in Archaeology, Buffalo NY: IEMA, pp. 409-430.


2013       “The Relevance of Ethnoarchaeology: An Egyptian Perspective”, in: Contesting Ethnoarchaeologies. Edited by Arkadiusz Marciniak and Nurcan Yalman. One World Archaeology Vol. 7, pp. 191-209, Springer.


2013       “Organizing the world: classification, typology, and taxonomy in the past, present, and future.” In: Decorum and experience. Essays in ancient culture for John Baines. Edited by Elizabeth Frood and Angela McDonald. With the editorial assistance of R. Gareth Roberts. Griffith Institute, Oxford 2013, pp. 86-92.


2013       René Cappers, Emily Cole, Daniel Jones, Simon Holdaway, Willeke Wendrich,  2013, “The Fayyûm Desert as an Agricultural Landscape”, in Carolin Artl and Martin Stadler, (eds.)  Das Fayyûm in Hellenismus und Kaiserzeit. Fallstudien zu multikulturellem Leben in der Antike  pp. 37-50, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.


2013       Antiquarianism in Egypt: The Importance of Re”. In: Alain Schnapp (ed.) with Lothar von Falkenhausen, Peter N. Miller, and Tim Murray, World Antiquarianism, Comparative Perspectives, pp. 140-158. Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute.


2013       Noriyuki Shirai, Willeke Wendrich, and René Cappers, “An archaeological survey in the northeastern part of the Fayum”. in: Proceedings of the In: Nikola Lazaridis and P. Kousoulis (eds.), Proceedings of the Tenth International Congress of Egyptologists, University of the Aegean, Rhodes, 22-29 May 2008. pp. Leuven: Peeters.


2012       Willeke Wendrich, Jacco Dieleman and Elizabeth Waraksa, “Ideas Concerning a New Egyptological Knowledge Base; The UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology (UEE)”, In: Nikola Lazaridis and P. Kousoulis (eds.), Proceedings of the Tenth International Congress of Egyptologists, University of the Aegean, Rhodes, 22-29 May 2008, pp. . Leuven: Peeters.


2012       “Archaeology and Apprenticeship. Body Knowledge, Identity and Communities of Practice”. In: Willeke Wendrich ed. Archaeology and Apprenticeship. Body Knowledge, Identity and Communities of Practice, pp. 1-19. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press.


2012       “Recognizing Knowledge Transfer in the Archaeological Record”. In: Willeke Wendrich ed. Archaeology and Apprenticeship. Body Knowledge, Identity and Communities of Practice, pp. 255-263. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press.


2012       W. Wendrich and P. Ryan, “Phytoliths and Basketry Materials at Çatalhöyük (Turkey): Timelines of growth, harvest and objects life histories”, Paleorient vo. 38 I, pp. 57-65


2012       R. Phillipps, S. Holdaway, W. Wendrich, R. Cappers, “Mid Holocene Occupation of Egypt and Global Climatic Change”, in: Quaternary International 251, pp. 64-76. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1040618211002138#


2011       “A Second Chance? Preserving the Value of the Desert North and East of Lake Qarun”, in: Rosanna Pirelli (ed.), Natural and Cultural Landscapes in the Fayoum: The Safeguarding and Management of Archaeological Sites and Natural Environments. Cairo, UNESCO.


2011       “Crumbling Challenge and Presentation Puzzle: the Karanis Site Management Project” in: Bulletin of the American Research Center in Egypt 199, Fall 2011.


2011       UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology, Archaeological Data, and Web 2.0. In: Eric C. Kansa, Sarah Witcher Kansa, Ethan Watrell, Archaeology 2.0, New Approaches to Communication and Collaboration. Cotsen Institute of Archaelogy Digital Series 1. http://escholarship.org/uc/item/1r6137tb


2010       Wendrich W, Taylor R and Southon J  Dating stratified settlement sites at Kom K and Kom W: Fifth millennium BCE radiocarbon ages for the Fayum Neolithic. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms 268: 999-1002.


2010       “From Practical Knowledge to Empowered Communication: Field Schools of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt.”  in: Controlling the Past, Owning the Future: The Political Uses of Archaeology in the Middle East. R. Boytner, L. Schwarz-Dodd, and B. J. Parker, eds. pp. 178-195. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.


2010       S. Holdaway, W. Wendrich and R. Phillipps, “Identifying low-level food producers: detecting mobility from lithics”, Antiquity 84, 185-194.


2010       “Chapter 1: Egyptian Archaeology from Text to Context” (pp. 1-14), “Chapter 11, Identity and Personhood” (pp. 200-219) and "Chapter 15: Epilogue: Eternal Egypt Deconstructed" (pp. 274-278) in: Willeke Wendrich (ed.), Egyptian Archaeology, Blackwell Studies in Global Archaeology, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.


2009       “Visual Archaeology” in Beyond the Horizon: Studies in Egyptian Art, Archaeology and History in Honour of Barry J. Kemp. Edited by Salima Ikram and Aidan Dodson. pp. 582-603.


2009       Elaine Sullivan and Willeke Wendrich, “An offering to Amun-Ra: Building a Virtual Reality Model of Karnak”, in: N. Strudwick (ed.) Information Technology and Egyptology in 2008. Gorgias Press, Piscataway


2008       “Chapter 1, The Archaeology of Mobility: Definitions and Research Approaches” (with Hans Barnard), pp. 1-21 and “Chapter 23, From Object to Agent: the  Ababda Nomads and the Interpretation of the Past” pp. 509-542 in: Hans Barnard and Willeke Wendrich (eds.),  The Archaeology of Mobility: Nomads in the Old and in the New World.. Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Publications.


2007       “Gertrude Caton Thompson (1888-1985). Famous Footsteps to Fill”, Archéonil 17, pp. 89-106.


2007       “Mud Brick and Good Manners: the Karanis Site Management Project”, ARCE Bulletin 192, pp. 12-15.


2007       S.E. Sidebotham and W.Z. Wendrich (eds.), Berenike 1999 / 2000, Report on the Excavations at Berenike, including Excavations in Wadi Kalalat and Siket and the Survey of the Emerald Mine Settlements of the Mons Smaragdus Region, Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Publications.


2007       “Basketry”, in: Charles Le Quesne, Quseir, an Ottoman and Napoleonic Fortress on the Red Sea Coast of Egypt, ARCE Conservation Series 2, Cairo, New York: AUC Press.


2007       “Neolithische Korbflechterei”, in: Vor 12.000 Jahren in Anatolien. Die ältesten Monumente der Menschheit. Karlsruhe: Badisches Landesmuseum. pp. 230-235.


2006       W.Z. Wendrich, J.E.M.F. Bos, K.M. Pansire, VR Modeling in Research, Instruction, Presentation and Cultural Heritage Management: the Case of Karanis (Egypt), in: M. Ioannides, D. Arnold, F. Niccoucci, K. Mania (eds.), The 7th International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage VAST (2006), Budapest, pp. 225-230. 

2006       Willemina Z. Wendrich, Roger S. Bagnall, René T. J. Cappers, James A. Harrell, Steven E. Sidebotham, and Roberta S. Tomber, “Berenike Crossroads: The Integration of Information” In: Norman Yoffee and Bradley L. Crowell, editors. Excavating Asian history : interdisciplinary studies in archaeology and history, pp. 15-66. 

2006       “Body knowledge. Ethnoarchaeological Learning and the Interpretation of Ancient Technology”, in: Bernard Mathieu, Dimitri Meeks, Myriam Wissa, éd. L’apport de l’Égypte à l’histoire des techniques. Cairo: Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale, 2006, pp. 267-275.


2006       "The Çatalhöyük Basketry" In: I. Hodder (ed.) Changing Materialities at Çatalhöyük Reports from the 1995–99 Seasons. Cambridge: Mac Donald Institute for Archaeology, pp. 419-424.


2006       “Entangled, connected or protected? The power of knots and knotting in ancient Egypt In: Szpakowska, K., ed. Through a Glass Darkly: Magic, Dreams, and Prophecy in Ancient Egypt. Swansea, Wales: The Classical Press of Wales, pp. 243-269.


2006       “Archaeology and Sustainable Tourism in Egypt: Protecting Community, Antiquities, and Environment”. In: N. Agnew and J. Bridgland eds Of the Past, for the Future: Integrating Archaeology and Conservation, pp. 184-190. Los Angeles, The Getty Conservation Institute.


2005       “Egyptian Religion, History of Study”, in: Encyclopedia of Religion, second edition (Editor in Chief Lindsay Jones), Macmillan, pp. 2727-2737.


2005       W.Z. Wendrich and R.T.J. Cappers, “Egypt’s earliest granaries: evidence from the Fayum”. In: Egyptian Archaeology 27, Autumn 2005, pp. 12-15.


2004       “ Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs”, Near Eastern Archaeology 67: 4, pp. 226-228.


2004       “Basketry” in: B. Fagan (ed.) The 70 Greatest Inventions, London: Thames & Hudson, pp. 34-36.


2003       W.Z. Wendrich, R.S. Tomber, S.E. Sidebotham, R.T.J. Cappers, R.S. Bagnall, “Berenike Crossroads: the Integration of Information” Journal of the Economic & Social History of the Orient Volume 46, Number 1, pp. 46-87.


2002       W.Z. Wendrich and G.J. van der Kooij (eds.), Moving Matters, Proceedings of the Seminar on Ethno-archaeology in the Middle East, Cairo-Leiden: NVIC-CNWS.


2002       S.E. Sidebotham and W.Z. Wendrich: “Berenike, Archaeological fieldwork at a Ptolemaic-Roman port on the Red Sea coast of Egypt 1999-2001”, Sahara 13, pp. 23-50.


2000       “Basketry” in: P.T. Nicholson, I. Shaw eds: Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology, pp. 254‑267, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


2000       S.E. Sidebotham and W.Z. Wendrich, Berenike 1998, Report of the 1998 Excavations at Berenike and the Survey of the Egyptian Eastern Desert, including Excavations in Wadi Kalalat, CNWS Special Series no. 5, Leiden: Research School for Asian, African and Amerindian Studies (CNWS).


1999       S.E. Sidebotham and W.Z. Wendrich, Berenike 1997, Report of  the 1997 Excavations at Berenike and the Survey of the Egyptian Eastern Desert, including Excavations at Shenshef, Leiden: Research School for Asian, African and Amerindian Studies (CNWS).


1999       W.Z. Wendrich, H. Barnard and R.M. Bridgman. Report of the Baynun Mapping Project, Yemen 1998, Cairo-Leiden: NVIC-CNWS.


1999       The World According to Basketry; an Ethnoarchaeological Interpretation of Basketry Production in Egypt, CNWS publication series no. 83), with a 60 minutes video tape of present-day Egyptian basket makers, Leiden: Research School for Asian, African and Amerindian Studies (CNWS).


1998       S.E. Sidebotham and W.Z. Wendrich, Berenike '96, Report on the Excavations at Berenike (Egyptian Red Sea Coast) and the Survey of the Eastern Desert, Leiden: Research School for Asian, African and Amerindian Studies (CNWS).


1998       “Introduction” and “Fringes are Anchored in Warp and Weft” in O. Kaper (ed.), Life on the Fringe, Cairo-Leiden: NVIC-CNWS.


1997       “Manden en touw” in: De Oudheid Verpakt, catalogue of an Exhibition in the Allard Pierson Museum Amsterdam, pp. 42-51, Voorhout: Topa.


1996       "Ancient Egyptian Rope and Knots", in: J.C. Turner, P. van  de Griend eds. History and Science of Knots, pp. 43-70, London: World Scientific.


1996       S.E. Sidebotham and W.Z. Wendrich, eds. Berenike '95, Preliminary Report of the Excavations at Berenike (Egyptian Red Sea Coast) and the Survey of the Eastern Desert, Leiden: Research School for Asian, African and Amerindian Studies (CNWS).


1995       "Basketry and cordage", entry in: I. Shaw, P.T. Nicholson, British Museum Dictionary of Ancient Egypt, p. 49, London: Trustees of the British Museum.


1995       "Van vindplaats tot rustplaats" in: Het behoud van etnografische collecties, Themadag 23, pp. 69-77, Amsterdam: Centraal Laboratorium voor Onderzoek van Voorwerpen van Kunst en Wetenschap.


1995       S.E. Sidebotham and W.Z. Wendrich, Berenike '94, Preliminary Report of the Excavations at Berenike (Egyptian Red Sea Coast) and the Survey of the Eastern Desert, Leiden: Research School for Asian, African and Amerindian Studies (CNWS).


1994       "Recording the 1990 Qasr Ibrim Basketry: a matter of edging" in: Ch. Bonnet, ed. Etudes Nubiennes, Actes du VIIe Congrès international d'études nubiennes, 3-8 septembre 1990 Volume II, pp. 205-207.


1994       G.M. Vogelsang-Eastwood, W.Z. Wendrich "Schoeisel" in: De Kleren van de Farao, pp. 139-149, Amsterdam: De Bataafsche Leeuw.


1993       "Mats, baskets and plastic bags", in: Egyptian Archaeology no. 3, pp. 39-40, London: Egypt Exploration Society.


1992       "Basketry analysis; beyond recording" in: Sesto Congresso Internazionale di Egittologia Atti, Volume I, pp. 657-659, Turin.

1991       "The cordage", in: D.A. Welsby, C.A. Daniels, Soba, Archaeological Research at a Medieval Capital on the Blue Nile, pp. 308-309 London: The Britisch Institute in Eastern Africa.


1991       "Basketry, a textile technique?", in: Archaeological Textile Newsletter no. 12, pp. 18-20.


1991       "Basketry versus Textile: on terms" in: Archaeological Textile Newsletter no. 13, pp. 9,10.


1991       Who is afraid of basketry? a guide to recording basketry and cordage for archaeologists and ethnographers, CNWS-series no. 6, Leiden: Research School for Asian, African and Amerindian Studies (CNWS).


1990       "Vlechtwerk, de zelfkant van het specialisme textiel?", OMRO no. 10, pp. 211-216, Leiden: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden;


1989       "Preliminary report on the Amarna basketry and cordage", in: B.J. Kemp, Amarna Reports V, London: Egypt Exploration Society;