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Researcher of the Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures PAS since 2020
Specialization and research interests:
Archeology and material culture of Third Millennium BC Egypt; Fifth Dynasty sun temples and Royal ideology; solar religion and monumental architecture; landscape archaeology and remote sensing of the main monuments (both royal and non-royal) of the Memphite necropolis sites of Giza, Abusir and Saqqara during the Old Kingdom.
Massimiliano Nuzzolo graduated (with honors) in 2004 in Oriental Languages and Cultures at L'Orientale University of Naples, Italy, where he also got his Ph.D. in Egyptology in 2010. In the same year, he became co-director of the Italian archaeological expedition (L'Orientale University of Naples) at the sun temple of Niuserra at Abu Ghurab. In 2012, he got a post-doctorate at La Sapienza University of Rome in Classical Archaeology and in 2015 he became a scientific member of the Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale au Caire (IFAO). From 2016 to 2019 he has been research associate in Egyptology at the Czech Institute of Egyptology, Charles University Prague, where he has also directed (from 2017) a multidisciplinary research project entitled “Rise and Development of the Solar Cult and Architecture in Ancient Egypt”, funded by the Czech Science Foundation. In March 2020, he has become member of the Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, where he will direct (2020-2024) a new research project entitled “Sun Temples Project Religious spaces, ideological patterns and social dynamics of constructing the sacred landscape in Third Millennium BC Egypt", financed by the National Science Center as part of the Sonata Bis-9 call (2019/34 / E / HS3 / 00438).
• Archaeological Expedition at the sun temple of Niuserra at Abu Ghurab
Duration: 2010 – ongoing
Role: Co-Director of the project
Scope: Re-excavation, Study, Documentation and GIS-mapping of the Sun Temple of Niuserra at Abu Ghurab, Egypt
Project members: Rosanna Pirelli, Andrea D’Andrea, Patrizia Zanfagna, Giancarlo Iannone (L’Orientale University of Naples); Angela Bosco (University of Salerno); Emanuele Brienza (University of Enna Kore); Mohamed Osman (Free University Berlin); Jaromir Krejci, Katarina Arias (Charles University Prague)
Funds: L’Orientale University of Naples and Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
• Rise and Development of the Solar Cult and Architecture in Ancient Egypt
Duration: 2017 – 2020
Role: Director of the research project
Scope: Study and GIS-mapping of the evidence on the solar cult and architecture in Third Millennium BC
Project members: Jaromir Krejci, Katarina Arias, Vladimir Bruna, Marie Peterchova-Hlouchova (Charles University Prague); Rosanna Pirelli, Andrea D’Andrea, Patrizia Zanfagna (L’Orientale University of Naples); Mohamed Osman (Free University Berlin).
Funds: Czech Science Foundation
• Palermo Stone Project. Royal Annals of Ancient Egypt Revisited
Duration: 2017 – 2020
Role: Director of the research project
Scope: Reassessment and complete re-publication of the oldest royal annals of ancient Egypt, including a new historical, textual and archive analysis; photographic documentation of the fragments by means of photogrammetry and Reflectance Transformation Imaging; 3D modelling of the objects.
Project members: Kathryn E. Piquette (University College London); Mohamed Osman (Free University Berlin); Jaromir Krejci (Charles University Prague).
Funds: Charles University Prague
Duration: 2015 – ongoing
Role: member of the project, specialist in GIS mapping.
Scope: Creation of a system of Biblio-referencing, on a GIS-base (Google Earth), of all the archaeological sites of Greece, Italy and Egypt.
Project director (for Egypt): Agnès Macquin, French Institute of Oriental Archaeology in Cairo.
Funds: French Ministry of Education and Research
• (2018) The Fifth Dynasty Sun Temples. Kingship, Architecture and Religion in Third Millennium BC Egypt, Prague: Charles University (560 pp).
B. Edited volumes
• (2020) Nuzzolo, M., Krejci J. Eds., The Rise and Development of the Solar Cult and Architecture in Ancient Egypt: old evidences, new discoveries, latest approaches, Proceedings of the Workshops held in Prague in December 2017, December 2018 and June 2019, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz (327 pp).
• (2010) Raffaele, F., Nuzzolo, M., Incordino, I. Eds. Latest Research and Recent Discoveries in Egyptology. Proceedings of the First Neapolitan Congress of Egyptology, Naples 18-20 June 2008, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz (369 pp).
A. Book Chapters
• (2017) Sciamanesimo e Antico Egitto. Prospettive di Ricerca. In: Botta S., Ferrara M. (eds.), La nozione di persona nello studio dello sciamanesimo (Sapienza Sciamanica 4), Roma: Nuova Editrice Universitaria, 89-115.
• (2015) The Sed-Festival of Niuserra and the Fifth Dynasty Sun Temples. In: Schneider T., Der Manuelian P. (eds.), Towards a New History for the Egyptian Old Kingdom. Perspectives on the Pyramid Age. Leiden: Brill, 364-388.
• (2015) The Fifth Dynasty Sun Temples and Their Relationship with Contemporary Pyramids. In: I. Hein, I., Billing, N. Eds. The Pyramids: Between Life and Death, Uppsala, 163-186.
• (2014) L’oro del valore, il valore dell’oro. I molteplici significati dell’oro nella cultura dell’antico Egitto. In: Tortorelli, M. Ed. AURUM. Funzioni e simbologie dell’oro delle culture del Mediterraneo Antico, Roma: L’Erma di Bretschneider, 41-51.
• (2011) La tradizione teurgica egizia: il rituale della «apertura della bocca», in: Albanese L., Mander P., Nuzzolo M., La Teurgia nel Mondo Antico. Mesopotamia, Egitto, Oracoli Caldaici, Misteri Egiziani, Genova, 275-297.
B. Articles (peer-reviewed journals)
• (2020) La Pierre de Palerme et les fragments associés. Nouvelles découvertes sur les plus anciennes annales royales égyptiennes, Bulletin Société Française d’Egyptologie 202, 55-82
• (2018) The Search for the Lost Sun Temples: A Glimpse from the Satellite, Revue d’Egyptologie 68, 79-108 (co-authored with P. Zanfagna).
• (2017) Heliopolis and the Solar Cult in the Third Millennium BC, Ägypten und Levante 27, 357-380 (co-authored with J. Krejci).
• (2017) Glossing the past: the Fifth Dynasty sun temples, Abu Ghurab and the satellite imagery, Prague Egyptological Studies 19, 110-123 (co-authored with P. Zanfagna).
• (2016) An enigmatic graffito from the sun temple of Nyuserre and the meaning of the so-called "slaughterhouse", Prague Egyptological Studies 17, 52-66.
• (2015) The Bent Pyramid of Snefru at Dahshur. A project failure or an intentional architectural framework?, Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur 44, 259-282
• (2012) Man approaching God: some remarks on the Egyptian and Mesopotamian Rituals of the Opening/Washing of the Mouth, AION - Annali dell’Università di Napoli “L’Orientale” 72, 165-175.
• (2011) Benevento: l’Iseo dimenticato e le streghe del Sannio, Forma Urbis, Year XVI, n. 10, Rome: EES, 30-39.
• (2010) Nuove ricerche archeologiche nel tempio solare di Niuserra ad Abu Ghurab, Aegyptus LXXXIX, 67-88 (co-written with R. Pirelli).
• (2010) The Vth Dynasty Sun Temples Personnel: an overview of titles and cult practice through the epigraphic evidence, Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur 39, 289-312.
• (2007) The sun temples of the Vth dynasty: a reassessment, Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur 36, 217-247.
• (2007) Considerazioni su alcune cariche sacerdotali della V dinastia, Aegyptus LXXXVII, 215-233.
• (2005) I templi solari della V dinastia: significato e pratiche cultuali, Aegyptus LXXXV, 75-101.
C. Articles (proceedings of conferences)
• (2019) A BIM approach for the analysis of an archaeological monument, in: The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences XLII-2/W9, 165-172 (co-authored with A. Bosco, A. D'Andrea, P. Zanfagna).
• (2017) Patterns of tomb placement in the Memphite necropolis. Fifth dynasty Saqqara in context, in: Barta, M., Coppens, F. Krejci, J., eds., Abusir and Saqqara in the Year 2015, Prague: Charles University 257-292.
• (2017) Human and Divine. The King’s Two Bodies and the Royal Paradigm in Fifth Dynasty Egypt, in: Bacs T., Beinlich H. (eds.), Constructing Authority. Prestige, Reputation and the Perception of Power in Egyptian Kingship (KSG 4/5), Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 185-214.
• (2015) Sun Temples and Pyramid Texts: the king’s progress in the evolution of his cult. In: Kousoulis, P., Lazaridis, N. Eds. Proceedings of the Tenth International Congress of Egyptologists, Rhodes 22-29 May 2008, Leuven: Peeters, 1117-1134.
• (2015) Royal Authority, Divine Legitimization. Topography as an element of acquisition, confirmation and renewal of power in the Fifth Dynasty. In: Coppens, F., Janak, J., Vymazalova, H. Eds. Royal versus Divine Authority Acquisition, Legitimization and Renewal of Power (KSG 4/4), Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 289-304.
• (2013) From Lepsius to Borchardt. Archaeological investigations at the Fifth Dynasty Sun Temples in Abu Ghurab. In: Betrò, M., Miniaci, G. Eds. Talking along the Nile. Ippolito Rosellini, travellers and scholars of the 19th century in Egypt. Pisa: University Press, 163-176.
• (2011) New archaeological investigation in the sun temple of Niuserra in Abu Ghurab. In: Barta, M., Coppens, F., Krejci, J. Eds. Abusir and Saqqara in the Year 2010, Prague: Charles University, 664-679 (co-written with R. Pirelli).
• (2011) The Reserve Heads: some remarks on their function and meaning. In: Strudwick, N., Strudwick, H. Eds. Old Kingdom: New Perspectives. Art and Archaeology 2750-2150 BC., Oxford: Oxbow Books, 200-215.
• (2007) Sun Temples and Kingship in the Ancient Egyptian Kingdom. In: Cardin, C., Goyon, J.C. Eds. Proceedings of the Ninth International Congress of Egyptologists, Grenoble, 6-12 September 2004 (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 150), Leuven: Peeters, 1401-1410.
Selected list of guest lectures – last five years
• 25/09/2019: “La Pietra di Palermo: ultime ricerche e scoperte”, Museo Archeologico Nazionale A. Salinas, Palermo.
• 03/09/2019: “La Pietra di Palermo. Nuove scoperte sul più antico annale regale Egizio”, Museo Egizio Torino (https://www.facebook.com/museoegizio/videos/2170949469871712/)
• 29/05/2019: “Uncovering Secrets of Royal Annals: new technologies in Egyptian epigraphy”, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow.
• 29/05/2019: “The Sun Temple of Niuserra at Abu Ghurab: latest researches and new discoveries”, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow.
• 08/05/2019: “La Pietra di Palermo. Nuove metodologie di ricerca e recenti scoperte sul più antico annale regale Egizio”, University of Catania (https://www.facebook.com/MediterraneoAntico/videos/427892344659570/)
• 14/03/2019: “Ancient Egyptian Royal Annals: New investigation and Discoveries on the Palermo Stone and the Cairo Fragments”, Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo (NVIC).
• 19/11/2018: “Ancient Egyptian Royal Annals. New insights into the Palermo Stone and the Cairo Fragments”, Brown University, Department of Egyptology and Ancient Western Asian Studies, Providence, USA
• 28/10/2018: “The Palermo Stone and the Cairo Fragments. New Insights into the ancient Egyptian Royal Annals”, Egyptian Museum in Cairo (EMC).
• 19/09/2018: “La Pietra di Palermo. L’antico Egitto fra mito e realtà. Nuove indagini e scoperte sul più antico annale regale”, Museo Archeologico Nazionale A. Salinas, Palermo.
• 20-21/04/2018: “Priests and priestly titles in the Sed-Festival of Niuserre”, invited speaker within the 2nd conference “AFRITS. Ancient Feasts and Rituals. Iconographic and Textual Studies”, Cairo IFAO.
• 10-11/11/217: “The Sed-Festival of Niuserre: historicity, performativity and symbolism”, invited speaker within the 1st international conference “AFRITS. Ancient Feasts and Rituals. Iconographic and Textual Studies”, Munich, Maximillian University.
• 07-09/12/2017: “The Sun Temple of Niuserra: from the archaeological excavations to the virtual reconstruction”, international workshop “Italian Archaeology in Egypt and MENA Countries”, Cairo, Italian Institute of Culture.
• 24/03/2017: "When the sun rises. Architecture, Politics and Religion in Fifth Dynasty Egypt", University of Pisa, Italy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beU9fa4LqSw&t=65s).
• 22/02/2017: "Rise and Development of the Solar Cult in Old Kingdom Egypt. A view from Abu Ghurab", invited lecturer within the workshop on "Egypt in the Third Millennium BC. Current Research Perspective." Charles University Prague.
• 09/06/2016: "Court society and elite tombs in fifth dynasty Egypt”, University of Leiden, the Netherlands.
• 27/04/2016: "Spatial patterns of tomb location and court society in fifth dynasty Egypt”, French Archaeological Institute in Cairo (IFAO).
• 13/05/2015: "The offspring of the Sun. The Fifth Dynasty Sun Temples and the Royal Ideology of the Old Kingdom", Italian Institute of Culture in Cairo.
• 04/03/2015: "The sun temples of the fifth dynasty: politics and religions of fifth dynasty pharaohs”, French Archaeological Institute in Cairo (IFAO).
• 23/10/2014: "The Italian Archaeological Mission at Abu Ghurab: new data and strategies of acquisition for a virtual 3D reconstruction of the sun temple of Niuserra”, invited speaker at the Italy-Egypt 2014. Bilateral Conference on Italian Research in Egypt, Italian Cultural Institute in Cairo.
• 17/04/2014: "The Sun Temples: ideology and religion of fifth dynasty pharaohs". Rome, Egyptian Institute of Culture in Rome at the Embassy of Egypt in Italy. The conference was organized as part of the "Day of Italian-Egyptian Cooperation for the year 2014".
• 08/11/2015: THE TOMB OF NEFERTITI, in “Storie”, RAI 2, anno 31, nr. 154: duration 2’35’’ (http://www.tg2.rai.it/dl/tg2/rubriche/PublishingBlock-c252381e-7709-42df-83b6-673c53515e51.html)
• 20/10/2019: THE PALERMO STONE, in “Mediterraneo”, RAI 3, anno 22, nr. 879: duration 6’28’’ (https://www.rainews.it/tgr/rubriche/mediterraneo/video/2019/10/ContentItem-5ca228ad-94ee-45b8-bb86-c57c4567c6ce.html)
• 2018: Post-Doctoral Grant in Egyptology for the year 2018 at the Stiftungsfonds für Postgraduates der Ägyptologie (former Hans Goedicke Foundation), at the University of Vienna for the research project entitled: "Denkmaler des Alten Reiches, vol IV. Catalogue Général des antiquités Égyptienne du musée du Caire. Unpublished material from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo."
• 2014: Post-Doctoral Grant in Egyptology for the year 2015 at the Stiftungsfonds für Postgraduates der Ägyptologie (former Hans Goedicke Foundation), at the University of Vienna for the research project: "Titles, Images and Spaces: Patterns of Self-Presentation and Self-Celebration of the Elite in Old Kingdom Egypt."
• 2013: Post-Doctoral Grant at the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology in Cairo (IFAO). Research project: “Les temples solaires de la Ve dynastie: l'idéologie royale et le rôle de l'individu dans le culte et l'administration de l’Ancien Empire égyptien”.
• 2011: "Forma Urbis" 2011 Award for Archaeology for young researchers for the paper: “Beneventum: the forgotten Iseum and the witches of Samnium.”
• 2009: Doctoral Grant at the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology in Cairo (IFAO). Research project: “Les temples solaires et l’idéologie royale à l’Ancien Empire égyptien”.
• 2008-2009: "Raffaele Pettazzoni" Fellowship in the History of Religions at the National Academy of “Lincei” in Rome. Research project: “Osiris in the Pyramid Texts. Evolution and Features of One of the Main Egyptian Gods”.