Emily K.D. Smith

Graduate Student



  • Alcohol consumption practice, identity, entanglement
  • African Archaeology, primarily centered on Egyptian and Nubian interaction near the Third Cataract of the Nile 


M.A. University of California, Santa Barbara.

B.A College of William and Mary


My research is focused on alcohol consumption practice in the ancient Nubian world. The ways in which individuals drink is socially, and culturally, constructed - patterns of behavior are distinctive, identifiable, and mark boundaries of group inclusion or exclusion. Humans have engaged with alcohols in a variety of different ways across time and space, and the different ways in which the ancient Nubians and Egyptians engaged with and consumed alcohols were reflective of deeply meaningful understandings of the myriad roles that consumption played within their broader cosmological worlds.

My current project looks at the role of wine consumption in the Egyptian colonial frontier - centered on the Egyptian fortress towns of Tombos and Aksut - in order to understand how class status and entangled ethnic relationships are reflected in the adoption, manipulation, or rejection of prestige consumption practices. 


The Tombos Archaeological Project - http://tombos.org


ANTH 138TS: This course covers selected topics on the archaeology of ancient Egypt, incorporating the latest archaeological discoveries from sites across both Egypt and Sudan. We seek to place the impressive monuments Egypt is widely known for within the context of the development of Egyptian civilization. Throughout the course of this class, we will consider: How did construction of the huge pyramids and majestic temples contribute to the power and authority of the pharaohs? What was the relationship between kings, nobles, and commoners? What was life like for the people living within Egypt throughout the length of Egyptian civilization? How has the Egyptian past been deployed in the present? How do we know what we know about ancient Egypt, and how has it been incorporated into the modern ideological landscape? ANTH 138TS explores how Egyptian society and religion evolved to meet new challenges throughout the course of the 3000 years of pharaonic history. This course places an emphasis on the study of material culture as a source of information for the political, social, and economic dynamics of ancient Egypt while seeking to place Egypt rightfully within its African context.