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Melanie Pitkin

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Dr Melanie Pitkin

Dr Melanie Pitkin is a Research Associate in Egyptian Antiquities at the Fitzwilliam Museum and, since January 2018, a core member of the Museum’s ancient Egyptian coffins project. She holds a PhD in Egyptology from Macquarie University where she focused on the history and chronology of Egypt’s First Intermediate Period (c. 2150-2000 BC) through a study of its false doors and stelae, and a Masters in Museum Studies from the University of Sydney.

Since joining the Museum, Melanie has been involved in translating the hieroglyphic texts and describing the iconography of the coffin sets of Pakepu and Nespawershefyt, and making the Museum’s coffins research more accessible and engaging to diverse audiences. This has primarily been through an online resource (, the development of a ‘Pop-Up’ Museum delivered in culturally underprivileged parts of the UK and Egypt, and training initiatives in coffin research methodologies and outreach with curators and conservators at the Egyptian Museum Cairo. Melanie was also a Postdoctoral Fellow on the 2019 AHRC Creative Economy Engagement project.

Prior to joining the Fitzwilliam Museum, Melanie worked for more than a decade as a museum curator in Australia where she worked on many high profile exhibitions. She is a Board Member of CIPEG (ICOM’s international committee for ancient Egyptian and Sudanese collections) and a tour leader to Egypt.

Job title: Research Associate



  • Pitkin, Melanie, Egypt in the First Intermediate Period: An historical and chronological examination of its false doors and stelae, to be published by Golden House Publishing (Middle Kingdom Series) (in preparation).  

Book chapters

  • Pett, Daniel, Cooper, Catriona, Glen, Abigail, Pitkin, Melanie & Wexler, Jennifer., “Fad Touch:  The value of creative industry collaboration in 3D printing and associated technologies for public engagement” in Cheng, E, Chapman, H, Gaffney, V & Wilson, A (eds.)., Visual Heritage: Digital  Reproduction and Contextualization in Heritage Science (forthcoming).  

Journal articles

  • Pitkin, Melanie, Strudwick, Helen, Dawson, Julie & Hany Abed, Sara, “Engaging audiences in areas of low cultural provision: the concept of the ‘Pop-Up’ museum experience, CIPEG Journal  (under review).  

Conference proceedings

  • Pitkin, Melanie, ‘Stelae of the Upper Egyptian Bowmen in the First Intermediate Period’ in Proceedings of the Beyond Memphis: The Transition of the Late Old Kingdom to the First Intermediate Period as reflected in provincial cemeteries conference, University of Würzburg 31  Aug – 3 Sep 2017 (forthcoming).
  • Pitkin, Melanie, ‘Wedjat-eyes as a dating criterion for false doors and stelae to the early Middle Kingdom’ in Proceedings of the XIth International Congress for Egyptologists, Florence, Italy 23- 30 August 2015 (Oxford, 2017): 499-506. 
  • Pitkin, Melanie, “The distribution and dating of Egyptian false doors and funerary stelae of the First Intermediate Period” in Proceedings of the XVth Current Research in Egyptology (CRE)  conference in London, England, April 9-12 , 2014 (Oxford, 2015): 261-277 
  • Pitkin, Melanie, “Invisible History: The First Intermediate Period in UK Museums” in Knoblauch, C & Gill, J (eds.)., Egyptology in Australia and New Zealand 2009: Proceedings of  the Conference Held in Melbourne September 4 -6 , 2009 (BAR series, 2012): 125-133  

Digital resources

  • Fitzwilliam Museum Egyptian Coffins Research Project (online resource – developed in collaboration with the project team), (launched December 2018).
  • St. Edmund's College

Associated Research Projects

Associated Departments

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