The Netherlands Institute for the Near East

Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten  -  Institut nĂ©erlandais du Proche-Orient

Carina van den Hoven is an Egyptologist who specialises in Ancient Egyptian languages and writing systems, iconography, religion and archaeology. Van den Hoven is currently Research Fellow at NINO and Chercheur Associée at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris, Équipe d’Accueil 4519 “Egypte ancienne: archéologie, langue, religion”. Since 2017 she is Director of the Leiden University Mission to the Theban Necropolis, which undertakes fieldwork in Theban Tomb 45, Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, Luxor.

Her expertise and research interests in Egyptology are in the principles and practice of temple decoration and tomb decoration, focusing on the interplay between iconography, inscriptions, architecture and religious ideas. Her research focuses not only on Pharaonic Egypt, but extends into the Graeco-Roman Period, and addresses such varied topics as textual and iconographic transmission processes, sacred architecture, archaeology of religion, ritual landscapes, and cultural memory.

Academic education and research

Van den Hoven obtained her first MA degree in French language and literature at Leiden University in 2005, specialising in 19th century French travel literature. The topic of her MA-thesis was concerned with male and female perspectives on 19th century Egypt. The analysis was based on the travel narratives of Suzanne Voilquin, Gérard de Nerval, Valérie de Gasparin, Gustave Flaubert and Maxime Du Camp.

In 2009 Van den Hoven obtained her second MA degree in Egyptology at Leiden University, with a double specialisation in Egyptian art & archaeology as well as in the entire range of ancient Egyptian languages and writing systems (6-year curriculum). The topic of her MA-thesis in Egyptology was concerned with an analysis of the decoration-system of the temple of Kalabsha and the ways in which it reflects the cultic landscape of the Dodecaschoenos and imperial religious policy in Lower-Nubia in the early Roman Period.

In 2017 Van den Hoven obtained a double PhD degree in Egyptology at Leiden University and the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris. Her PhD research was an analysis of the use of tradition and the conceptualisation of innovation in the composition of ritual texts and temple wall decoration in Ptolemaic Egypt. This analysis allowed her to identify various modes and strategies of textual and iconographic transmission that were used by the ancient scribes in the processes of composing religious ritual texts and temple wall decoration. Van den Hoven’s research was not only an analysis of the role and function of tradition in new ritual compositions, but it also examined the extent of originality of these compositions. This approach allowed her to reach new conclusions on the conceptualization of innovation in Ancient Egyptian ritual composition. Van den Hoven successfully obtained various national and international grants for this research. The results of her research have been published in several (peer reviewed) articles. She is currently preparing the publication of her PhD dissertation as a monograph.

Fieldwork, teaching, and public outreach

From 2006 onwards Van den Hoven participated in various international fieldwork projects in Egypt, including the Saqqara Project (Leiden University and National Museum of Antiquities) and the Amheida Project in Dakhleh Oasis (Columbia University and New York University). She also carried out research independently in Egypt to collect unpublished source material for her MA thesis and PhD research. Since 2017 she is Director of the Leiden University Mission to the Theban Necropolis, which undertakes fieldwork in Theban Tomb 45 in Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, Luxor.

From 2013 to 2015 Van den Hoven held a position as lecturer in Egyptology at Leiden University, teaching various courses on BA and (Research) MA levels in the multidisciplinary programs “Ancient Cultures of the Mediterranean World” and “Classics and Ancient Civilizations”.

Since 2015 Van den Hoven is a board member of Ex Oriente Lux, the Dutch-Flemish Association for Ancient Near Eastern Studies and editor-in-chief of Phoenix, a Dutch-language journal for the archaeology and history of the Ancient Near East and Egypt.

Selected publications

For a full list of publications, see profile.