Richard B. Parkinson

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Bridget Leach and Richard Parkinson at the Egyptological Colloquium 2009.

Richard Bruce Parkinson (born 25 May 1963) is a British Egyptologist and academic. He is Professor of Egyptology at the University of Oxford and a fellow of The Queen's College, Oxford. Until December 2013 he was a curator in the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan, British Museum.

Early life[edit]

Parkinson was born on 25 May 1963.[1] He was a student at Barnard Castle School, County Durham, The Queen's College, University of Oxford. In 1985, he graduated Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Oriental Studies (Egyptology with Coptic).[1] He then undertook research for his Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) degree. His doctoral thesis was a commentary on The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant and was submitted in 1988.[2]

Academic career[edit]

Parkinson was a Teaching Fellow at the Oriental Institute, University of Oxford from 1988 to 1989. From 1989 to 1991, he worked at the Department of Egyptian Antiquities, British Museum as a Special Assistant in epigraphy.[1] He then became the Lady Wallis Budge Junior Research Fellow in Egyptology at University College, Oxford.[3]

In 1991, he became a curator of the British Museum as Assistant Keeper of Ancient Egyptian pharaonic culture.[4] His responsibilities included the maintenance and publication of ancient papyri written in Egyptian hieroglyphs and cursive hieratic, as well as inscribed material such as the Rosetta stone. He was the supervisor of archived material, collections, and epigraphy, and the curator of the Nebamun wall-paintings.[4]

From 1993 to 1998, he was editor of the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology.[1] He has been a visiting lecturer of the University of Göttingen and University of Cologne.[4] On 1 October 2013, he was appointed Professor of Egyptology in the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford. Spending the first term part-time, he took on the position full-time in January 2014.[5][6] His inaugural lecture about the impact of ancient Egyptian poetry was accompanied by the actress and novelist Barbara Ewing, and was podcast:[7] He is a fellow of the Queen's College, Oxford, and has been a director of the Griffith Institute, Oxford.[8]

Parkinson's main area of research is the interpretation of Ancient Egyptian literature.[4] As well as academic monographs and articles, he has written popular books on Egyptology and also a short LGBT world history, dedicated to his husband.[9][10] In 2004 he collaborated in a translation of Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit into hieroglyphs.[11]


Parkinson was awarded an honorary doctorate from the New Bulgarian University, Sofia in 2006 for his contributions to Egyptology.[4][12]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Richard Bruce Parkinson CV" (PDF). University of Copenhagen. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Parkinson, Richard (1988), The tale of the eloquent peasant : a commentary, University of Oxford, OCLC 556429902 
  3. ^ "Richard B. Parkinson". University of Copenhagen. 2009. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Richard Parkinson". British Museum. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  5. ^ "Appointments - Humanities". University of Oxford. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  6. ^ "Richard Bruce Parkinson". University of Oxford. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  7. ^ "Inaugural lecture". University of Oxford. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "Griffith Institute". University of Oxford. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  9. ^ "Same-sex desire". British Museum. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  10. ^ "Interview with R. B. Parkinson, author of A little gay history". Columbia University Press. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  11. ^ Jack Malvern, Arts Reporter (December 31, 2004). "Potter's Peter told in Ancient Egyptian". The Times. ; Potter, Beatrix; Nunn, John F. (2006), Tale of Peter Rabbit: Hieroglyph Edition, British Museum Press, ISBN 978-0-7141-8209-4 
  12. ^ "Prof. Richard Parkinson". New Bulgarian University. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  13. ^ Richard Parkinson (14 March 2006). "Tomb Mates". The Advocate 958: 12. ISSN 0001-8996.