The Netherlands Institute for the Near East

Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten  -  Institut néerlandais du Proche-Orient

1 May 2024 General

New NINO Director starting September 2024: Miriam Müller

Miriam Müller has been chosen as new Director of the NINO Research Centre, starting 1 September 2024. The rotating post is currently occupied by Willemijn Waal, who will return to her other duties at Leiden University.

Miriam is university lecturer at Leiden University, specializing in Egyptian Archaeology, Art and Material Culture. After obtaining her MA from the University of Heidelberg and her PhD from the University of Vienna, she has been a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Yale University, the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World at Brown University and the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.


As an Egyptian archaeologist she is especially interested in the spatial organization of domestic architecture in the pharaonic period and its social implications. She is currently working on aspects of the formation of identity at the household level, in particular through ancestor cults.

Miriam has also worked on settlements from different time periods, from core and periphery of the Egyptian empire, and participated in excavations in Egypt, Sudan, Israel, Austria and Germany. Through her work at Tell el-Dabʿa Miriam has gained a broad knowledge of the Near East and Mediterranean, especially of Levantine archaeology.


Miriam’s dissertation, a study into material from the Austrian Archaeological Institute’s excavations in Tell el-Dabʿa in the eastern Nile delta, is published as Tell el-Dabʿa XIV.2: Das Stadtviertel F/I in Tell el-Dab'a/Auaris – multikulturelles Leben in einer Stadt des späten Mittleren Reiches und der Zweiten Zwischenzeit. On the basis of the documentation and finds of a residential area she explored the field of household archaeology and its benefits for Egyptian archaeology.

In August 2023, the 13th International Congress of Egyptologists was held at Leiden University – NINO being one of the supporting institutions. As a member of the Organizing Committee, Miriam is now one of the editors of the Proceedings of the Congress which are to be published soon.

Full publication list on Leiden University profile page.

Plans for NINO

The NINO Research Centre is set to move in the Herta Mohr Building in June 2024. The new environment will certainly pose new challenges as well as opportunities for the new director. Among Miriam’s plans for the near future are a new lecture series, renewing the Visiting Professorship scheme, senior research fellowships, a larger funding scheme for excavations, early career mentoring opportunities, and further NINO community building.