Zena Kamash

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Zena Kamash

Zena Kamash (1).jpg
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Oxford
ThesisWater supply and management in the Near East, 63 BC-AD 636
Academic work
Sub-disciplineRoman Archaeology
InstitutionsRoyal Holloway, University of London

Zena Kamash FSA is a British Iraqi archaeologist and senior lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her research topics include water, food, memory, the Roman period in the Middle East and Britain.


Kamash studied for a BA Hons in Classics at the University of Oxford.[1] Kamash completed a DPhil at the University of Oxford in 2007 entitled Water supply and management in the Near East, 63 BC-AD 636.[2]


An early research focus was on archaeological evidence for water management in the Roman Middle East, including dams, irrigation technology and toilets.[3] From 2011-2014 she worked on the ERC funded English Landscapes and Identity Project, directed by Chris Gosden.[4] She was the Director of Studies in Archaeology at Magdalen College.[5]

She was appointed as a lecturer in Roman Art and Archaeology at Royal Holloway. More recently, her research has focused on post conflict reconstruction in the Middle East, including an investigation into the public response to the reconstruction of Monumental Arch of Palmyra.[6] The project Rematerialising Mosul Museum utilised crafting as a response to cultural heritage destruction in Iraq, collaborating with the artist Karin Celestine.[7] Another research focus has been the role of food in the construction of memory and identity.[8]

Honours and awards[edit]

Kamash was elected as a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 2016.[9] Kamash delivered the keynote address at the 2019 Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference.[10]

Selected publications[edit]

Journal articles[edit]

  • Kamash, Zena. 2009. “What Lies beneath ? Perceptions of the Ontological Paradox of Water.” World Archaeology 40 (2): 224–37.
  • Kamash, Z, C Gosden, and G Lock. 2010. “Continuity and Religious Practices in Roman Britain: The Case of the Rural Religious Complex at Marcham/Frilford, Oxfordshire.” Britannia 41: 95–125.
  • Kamash, Zena. 2012. Irrigation technology, society and environment in the Roman Near East. Journal of Arid Environments. 86, p. 65-74
  • Kamash, Zena. 2017. 'Postcard to Palmyra’: bringing the public into debates over post-conflict reconstruction in the Middle East. World Archaeology 49, 5, p. 608-622
  • Kamash, Zena et al. 2017 Remembering the Romans in the Middle East and North Africa: memories and reflections from a museum-based public engagement project. Epoiesen: Journal for Creative Engagement in History and Archaeology.
  • Kamash, Z. 2018. ‘Sweet and Delicious, he who Tastes it will Go Back to it’: Food, Memory and Religion in the Roman Middle East. Theoretical Roman Archaeology Journal.
  • Baird, J and Z Kamash. 2019. 'Remembering Roman Syria: Valuing Tadmor‐Palmyra, from ‘Discovery’ to Destruction' Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies 62.1, p.1-29


  • Kamash, Z. 2010. Archaeologies of Water in the Roman Near East. Gorgias Press.


  1. ^ "Gorgias Press". www.gorgiaspress.com. Retrieved 2019-04-16.
  2. ^ "Water supply and management in the Near East, 63 BC-AD 636". solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk. Retrieved 2019-04-16.
  3. ^ Kamash, Z. Archaeologies of water in the Roman Near East : 63 BC-AD 636. ISBN 1611434211. OCLC 908641634.
  4. ^ "About". English Landscape and Identities. 2011-11-24. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  5. ^ Cooper, Anwen; Green, Chris; Kamash, Zena; Harkel, Letty ten (2013-06-01). "Afterword". Landscapes. 14 (1): 113–114. doi:10.1179/1466203513Z.00000000011. ISSN 1466-2035.
  6. ^ Kamash, Zena (2017-10-20). "'Postcard to Palmyra': bringing the public into debates over post-conflict reconstruction in the Middle East". World Archaeology. 49 (5): 608–622. doi:10.1080/00438243.2017.1406399. ISSN 0043-8243.
  7. ^ "Using craft and textiles to 'rematerialse' Mosul Museum". Talking Humanities. 2018-10-09. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  8. ^ Kamash, Zena (2018-10-03). "'Sweet and Delicious, he who Tastes it will Go Back to it': Food, Memory and Religion in the Roman Middle East". Theoretical Roman Archaeology Journal. 1 (1): 7. doi:10.16995/traj.146. ISSN 2515-2289.
  9. ^ "Fellows Directory - Society of Antiquaries". www.sal.org.uk. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  10. ^ "TRAC 2019". TRAC. 2018-06-13. Retrieved 2019-04-11.