Emily Cole

Adjunct Lecturer Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi
Email: ec124@nyu.edu
Education: BA University of Oxford; MA and PhD University of California, Los Angeles

Research Areas: Ancient Middle East; Archaeology; Social History; Museum Studies; Egyptian Linguistics; Translation Studies; Sociolinguistics; Communication Practices


Emily Cole is a historian and archaeologist who specializes in the social landscape of the Eastern Mediterranean in the first millennia BC and AD. Drawing on a variety of disciplinary approaches, Cole focuses on mechanisms of communication at play in the ancient world. Through an exploration of multilingual texts spanning ancient Egyptian history, Cole demonstrated how translation practices were deployed by local elites as an act of resistance against Ptolemaic Greek rule. She is currently working on a project that investigates how individuals in Egypt juxtaposed various scripts in Egypt throughout the first millennium BC.

As an archaeologist, Cole is currently co-director of the Northeast Fayyūm Lakeshore Project in Egypt. Drawing on her interests in materiality, display, and communication, she is conducting fieldwork at a series of sites in the region to learn more about the means by which smaller settlements were integral to creating a network of larger sites in the Fayyūm. Her work has been funded by the Rust Family Foundation and private donation. Future fieldwork will examine intersite interaction through the exchange of both ideas (e.g., architectural styles) and goods (e.g., pottery, agricultural produce).

Prior to joining NYU Abu Dhabi, Cole was a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Center for the Tebtunis Papyri, University of California, Berkeley, where she curated an exhibit called, Object Lessons, and a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, NYU. While at ISAW, she organized a conference on the Scribal Mind, which assembled scholars in various fields of ancient study to discuss issues of literacy, text production, and transmission. She was also a lecturer in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA, where she taught courses in Egyptian language and history.

Courses