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Tomoaki Nakano

MA, PhD (Nanzan, Japan)


I am an Egyptologist with particular interests in the rise and fall of the unique civilisation which lasted over three thousand years. I studied at Nanzan university in Japan, at the first department of anthropology in the country, and after earning my BA there I came to St Edmund Hall, Oxford as a visiting graduate student of Egyptology for two years. My MA thesis at Nanzan was about the controversial location of the first dynasty royal tombs and through the analyses of about 150 pieces of unpublished Syro-Palestinian pottery kept in the Ashmolean museum of Oxford and Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology in London, I concluded that the tombs at Abydos which have the so-called ‘Abydos Ware’ placed near the king’s body were royal, whereas the tombs at Saqqara with no ‘Abydos Ware’ were non-royal. I then studied the Saqqara archaic cemetery from written evidence, tomb architecture, finds and so on and clarified that the cemetery actually consists of two parts: the areas of royal family and of high officials. Upon the results of the studies, I received the first PhD of the department at Nanzan in 2000.

During the researches, I was twice elected as a Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, for Doctoral and Post-doctoral fellows, and received a prize for young Orientalists from the Society for the Near Eastern Studies in Japan. As Egyptology is a still developing academic subject in Japan and regrettably there have been still no department of Egyptology until now, I also teach at such universities as Nanzan, Kyoto, and over ten other universities as a visiting lecturer.

Research Interests

In the field, I joined various archaeological excavations and surveys in Japan from Jomon to Edo period. In Egypt, I was assistant director of the 3D Laser Scanning Survey of the Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara. Currently I also work as assistant director for the investigation of a Graeco-Roman temple called ‘El-Zayyan’ in Kharga Oasis. Because of the political unrest of the country in this five years, however, the investigation has been suspended.

My current project is about the largest collection of Egyptian materials in Japan. Kyoto university has over 1000 Egyptian objects given by the Egypt Exploration Fund and the British School of Archaeology in Egypt about a hundred years ago but they had been unpublished until quite recently. In 2016 I published its first catalogue in Japanese as supervisor after seven years' research. During my Fellowship at St Edmund Hall I am going to work for a future English version of the catalogue with more references which reflect the results of recent studies.

Before moving to my current position as Professor in the College of International Studies at Chubu University in Nagoya, I worked for the Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts and was associate curator at the Ancient Orient Museum in Tokyo. As a curator I supervised several Egyptian exhibitions in the country and am planning exhibitions for future, too. Coming back to Teddy Hall brings back memories and unspeakable joy, without doubt. 

Published Papers and Books (selected)

Catalogue of the Egyptian Collection in the Kyoto University Museum.
NAKANO Tomoaki (Supervisor)
Kyoto University Museum, Feb 2016.

“Ancient Egypt in the 19th Century Britain and France.”
NAKANO Tomoaki
Boekihu(Journal of the International Studies, Chubu Univ.)10: 217-228, Mar 2015.

EL-ZAYYAN 2007-2010.
KAMEI Hiroyuki and NAKANO Tomoaki (eds.)
Tokyo Institute of Technology (Kamei Lab.), Mar 2012.

Egyptian Antiquiities of Kyoto University: entrusted Dreams from Petrie to Hamada, Two Giants of Archaeology (Japanese Title:『埃及考古』Egyptian Archaeology).
NAKANO Tomoaki (Supervisor)
Kyoto University Museum, Oct 2011.

“Interpretation of Water Environment around El-Zayyan Temple in Kharga Oasis, Western Desert, Egypt - from a Tentative Environmental Map based on ALOS Pan-Sharpened Imagery.”
WATANABE Makiko, KOGAWA Katsura, SUGIMURA Toshiro, NAKANO Tomoaki, TSUKAMOTO Toshio, and KAMEI Hiroyuki
Journal of the Remote Sensing Society of Japan 30(1): 11-18, Jan 2010.

“Saqqara Laser Scanning Survey.”
KAWAE Yukinori, SATO Kousuke, KAMEI Hiroyuki, NAKANO Tomoaki, and KANAYA Ichiroh
Giza Occasional Papers (4): 63-71, May 2009.

Beauty of Ancient Egypt – Egyptian Collection from Eton College and Durham University.
NAKANO Tomoaki (Supervisor of the Catalogue)
Ancient Orient Museum Tokyo, Oct 2008.

“On the Composition of the Relief of Pasherieniset in Tanis, Egypt.”
NAKANO Tomoaki
Bulletin of the Ancient Orient Museum XXVI: 27-36, Mar 2007.

Master Works from the Age of the Pyramids.
NAKANO Tomoaki (Supervisor of the Catalogue)
Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts, June 2001.

“An Undiscovered Representation of Egyptian Kingship? - The Diamond Motif of the Kings' Belts.”
NAKANO Tomoaki
ORIENT XXXV: 23-34, May 2000.

A Re-examination of the First Dynasty Cemetery at Saqqara (PhD Thesis). NAKANO Tomoaki
Graduate School of Literature, Nanzan University, Oct 1999.

“Abydos Ware and the Location of the Egyptian First Dynasty Royal Tombs.” NAKANO Tomoaki
ORIENT  XXXIII: 1-32, May 1998.