Toby Wilkinson

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Toby Wilkinson

Toby Wilkinson.jpg
Born1969 (age 5455)
Awards Hessell-Tiltman Prize (2011)
Academic background
Alma mater Downing College, Cambridge
Christ's College, Cambridge

Toby Alexander Howard Wilkinson, FSA , FRHistS (born 1969) is an English Egyptologist and academic. After studying Egyptology at the University of Cambridge, he was Lady Wallis Budge Research Fellow in Egyptology at Christ's College, Cambridge (1993 to 1997) and then a research fellow at the University of Durham (1997 to 1999). He became a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge in 2003. He was Deputy Vice Chancellor (External Relations) at the University of Lincoln from 2017 to 2021, and then Vice Chancellor of Fiji National University from January 2021 to December 2021. Since 2022, he has been Fellow for Development at Clare College, Cambridge.


Wilkinson was awarded the 2011 Hessell-Tiltman Prize for his book The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt: the History of a Civilisation from 3000 BC to Cleopatra.

Early life

Wilkinson was born in 1969. He read Egyptology at Downing College, Cambridge. [1] He graduated with a first class Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree, [2] and was awarded the Thomas Mulvey Egyptology Prize. [1] He completed his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree at Christ's College, Cambridge in 1993, [3] with a doctoral thesis titled "Egypt in transition: predynastic-early dynastic chronology and the effects of state formation". [4]

Academic career

Wilkinson's first academic position, from 1993 to 1997, was as Lady Wallis Budge Research Fellow in Egyptology at Christ's College, Cambridge. From 1997 to 1999, he was Leverhulme Special Research Fellow at the University of Durham. [3] After this he decided to change direction from academia. [5]

Wilkinson returned to Cambridge and became a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge in 2003. [6] He set up the college's development office, focusing on communications, fundraising and external relations, and served as director of development from 2003 to 2010. [5] He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Egyptian History. [7] He is an honorary research fellow in the Department of Archaeology, University of Durham. [8] In July 2011, he became head of the International Strategy Office at the University of Cambridge. In this position, he developed the university's international strategy and helped facilitate international collaborations. [9]

In 2017, he became Deputy Vice Chancellor (External Relations) at the University of Lincoln. [10] In January 2021, he moved to the South Pacific to become Vice Chancellor of Fiji National University. However, in August 2021, it was announced that he was to step down in December 2021 due to "personal family reasons", and he subsequently returned to the United Kingdom. [11] In March 2022, it was announced that he would return to Clare College, Cambridge as Fellow for Development: he took up the appointment on 3 May 2022. [12]


In 2011, Wilkinson won the Hessell-Tiltman Prize, awarded to the best work of non-fiction of historical content, for his book The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt: the History of a Civilisation from 3000 BC to Cleopatra. [13]

On 3 March 2017, Wilkinson was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London (FSA). [14] He is also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. [15]

Selected works

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pharaoh</span> Title of Ancient Egyptian rulers

Pharaoh is the vernacular term often used for the monarchs of ancient Egypt, who ruled from the First Dynasty until the annexation of Egypt by the Roman Empire in 30 BCE. However, regardless of gender, "king" was the term used most frequently by the ancient Egyptians for their monarchs through the middle of the Eighteenth Dynasty during the New Kingdom. The earliest confirmed instances of "pharaoh" used contemporaneously for a ruler were a letter to Akhenaten or an inscription possibly referring to Thutmose III.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Min (god)</span> Ancient Egyptian deity

Min is an ancient Egyptian god whose cult originated in the predynastic period. He was represented in many different forms, but was most often represented in male human form, shown with an erect penis which he holds in his right hand and an upheld left arm holding a flail.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Djoser</span> Ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 3rd dynasty

Djoser was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 3rd Dynasty during the Old Kingdom, and was the founder of that epoch. He is also known by his Hellenized names Tosorthros and Sesorthos. He was the son of King Khasekhemwy and Queen Nimaathap, but whether he was also the direct successor to their throne is unclear. Most Ramesside king lists identify a king named Nebka as preceding him, but there are difficulties in connecting that name with contemporary Horus names, so some Egyptologists question the received throne sequence. Djoser is known for his step pyramid, which is the earliest colossal stone building in ancient Egypt.

The Hessell-Tiltman History Prize is awarded to the best work of non-fiction of historical content covering a period up to and including World War II, and published in the year of the award. The books are to be of high literary merit, but not primarily academic. The prize is organized by the English PEN. Marjorie Hessell-Tiltman was a member of PEN during the 1960s and 1970s; on her death in 1999 she bequeathed £100,000 to the PEN Literary Foundation to found a prize in her name. Each year's winner receives £2,000.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Narmer Palette</span> Egyptian archaeological artifact

The Narmer Palette, also known as the Great Hierakonpolis Palette or the Palette of Narmer, is a significant Egyptian archaeological find, dating from about the 31st century BC, belonging, at least nominally, to the category of cosmetic palettes. It contains some of the earliest hieroglyphic inscriptions ever found. The tablet is thought by some to depict the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the king Narmer. Along with the Scorpion Macehead and the Narmer Maceheads, also found together in the main deposit at Nekhen, the Narmer Palette provides one of the earliest known depictions of an Egyptian king. On one side, the king is depicted with the bulbed White Crown of Upper (southern) Egypt, and the other side depicts the king wearing the level Red Crown of Lower (northern) Egypt, which also makes it the earliest known example of a king wearing both types of headdress. The Palette shows many of the classic conventions of Ancient Egyptian art, which must already have been formalized by the time of the Palette's creation. The Egyptologist Bob Brier has referred to the Narmer Palette as "the first historical document in the world".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Palermo Stone</span> Fragment of a stele known as the Royal Annals of the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt

The Palermo Stone is one of seven surviving fragments of a stele known as the Royal Annals of the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. The stele contained a list of the kings of Egypt from the First Dynasty through to the early part of the Fifth Dynasty and noted significant events in each year of their reigns. It was probably made during the Fifth Dynasty. The Palermo Stone is held in the Regional Archeological Museum Antonio Salinas in the city of Palermo, Italy, from which it derives its name.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Djer</span> First dynasty Pharaoh of Egypt

Djer is considered the third pharaoh of the First Dynasty of ancient Egypt in current Egyptology. He lived around the mid 31st century BC and reigned for c. 40 years. A mummified forearm of Djer or his wife was discovered by Egyptologist Flinders Petrie, but was discarded by Émile Brugsch.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hor-Aha</span> Egyptian pharaoh (First Dynasty)

Hor-Aha is considered the second pharaoh of the First Dynasty of Egypt by some Egyptologists, while others consider him the first one and corresponding to Menes. He lived around the 31st century BC and is thought to have had a long reign.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alan Gardiner</span> English egyptologist and philologist (1879–1963)

Sir Alan Henderson Gardiner, was an English Egyptologist, linguist, philologist, and independent scholar. He is regarded as one of the premier Egyptologists of the early and mid-20th century.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Djet</span> Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh of first dynasty

Djet, also known as Wadj, Zet, and Uadji, was the fourth pharaoh of the First Dynasty, successor of Djer. Djet's Horus name means "Horus Cobra" or "Serpent of Horus".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Deshret</span> Red crown of Lower Egypt

Deshret was the Red Crown of Lower Egypt. When combined with the Hedjet of Upper Egypt, it forms the Pschent, in ancient Egyptian called the sekhemti.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Salima Ikram</span> Pakistani egyptologist

Salima Ikram is a Pakistani professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo, a participant in many Egyptian archaeological projects, the author of several books on Egyptian archaeology, a contributor to various magazines and a guest on pertinent television programs.

The dynastic race theory was the earliest thesis to attempt to explain how predynastic Egypt developed into the sophisticated monarchy of Dynastic Egypt. The theory holds that the earliest roots of the ancient Egyptian dynastic civilisation were imported by invaders from Mesopotamia who then founded the First Dynasty and brought culture to the indigenous population. This theory had strong supporters in the Egyptological community in the first half of the 20th century, but has since lost mainstream support.

Khenti-Amentiu, also Khentiamentiu, Khenti-Amenti, Kenti-Amentiu and many other spellings, is an ancient Egyptian deity whose name was also used as a title for Osiris and Anubis. The name means "Foremost of the Westerners" or "Chief of the Westerners", where "Westerners" refers to the dead.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vic Gatrell</span> British historian

Vic Gatrell is a British historian. He is a Life Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Population history of Egypt</span>

Egypt has a long and involved demographic history. This is partly due to the territory's geographical location at the crossroads of several major cultural areas: North Africa, the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, Egypt has experienced several invasions and being part of many regional empires during its long history, including by the Canaanites, the Ancient Libyans, the Assyrians, the Kushites, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, and the Arabs.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hemaka</span>

Hemaka was an important official during the long reign of the First Dynasty Egyptian pharaoh Den. Radiocarbon dating research undertaken during the 1950s suggested a date for Hemaka lifetime ca. 3100 BC. One of Hemaka's titles was that of "seal-bearer of the king of Lower Egypt", effectively making him chancellor and second in power only to the king.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fiji National University</span>

Fiji National University is a public university in Fiji that was formally constituted on 15 February 2010 by the Fiji National University Act 2009.

Aidan Mark Dodson is an English Egyptologist and historian. He has been honorary professor of Egyptology at the University of Bristol since 1 August 2018.


  1. 1 2 "Toby Wilkinson Biography". BookBrowse. 3 November 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  2. Genesis of the Pharaohs: Dramatic New Discoveries That Rewrite the Origins of Ancient Egypt. ASIN   0500051224.
  3. 1 2 "Biography". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  4. Wilkinson, Toby Alexander Howard (1993). Egypt in transition : predynastic-early dynastic chronology and the effects of state formation. E-Thesis Online Service (Ph.D). The British Library Board. doi:10.17863/CAM.19658 . Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  5. 1 2 "Caistor Grammar School Awards Evening: speech delivered by Professor Toby Wilkinson" (PDF). Caistor Grammar School. 20 September 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  6. "Master and Fellows". Clare College Cambridge. 1 October 2012. Archived from the original on 20 February 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  7. "Toby Wilkinson". Bloomsbury Publishing. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  8. "Honorary Fellows". Durham University. 3 November 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  9. "Dr Toby Wilkinson". The Centre for Science and Policy, University of Cambridge. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  10. Jones, Laura (31 May 2017). "Award-winning historian joins senior team at Lincoln". University of Lincoln. Archived from the original on 11 November 2020. Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  11. Deo, Dhanjay (28 August 2021). "FNU's Vice Chancellor Toby Wilkinson to step down from his position". Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  12. "Professor Toby Wilkinson appointed Fellow for Development". Clare College News. Clare College, Cambridge. 30 March 2022. Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  13. "Hessell-Tiltman Prize". English PEN. Archived from the original on 13 February 2015. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  14. "Prof Toby Wilkinson". Society of Antiquaries of London. Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  15. Fifi National University (26 October 2020). "Professor Toby Wilkinson Appointed As Fiji National University's Vice-Chancellor". Fiji Sun.