Gregory Duncan Mumford
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF ANTHROPOLOGY & AFFILIATE FACULTY, DAAHgmumford@uab.edu Office // 320 Heritage Hall (HHB) 205.934.0490
MA, The University of Toronto; PhD, The University of Toronto
Although I was born in Canada, I grew up in Nairobi, Kenya; Niagara Falls, Canada; and Pretoria, South Africa; during which I accompanied my parents on frequent trips to archaeological sites, museums, and public lectures in these and other countries. Upon returning to Canada I pursued a long-held, childhood dream to become both an archaeologist and an Egyptologist; during my studies I expanded my interests to study Ancient Egypt and its neighbors (including Nubia, the Aegean, Anatolia, Syria-Palestine, and Mesopotamia) and began focusing upon international relations between these regions from Prehistory through the Pharaonic period (5,000-332 BCE). My other interests include architecture and the Vikings, two career options that I considered seriously, but have maintained mainly as side interests (I incorporate them into some courses).
Like most students of archaeology, archaeological fieldwork especially attracted me, and I spent many summers either enrolled in fieldwork courses (surveying and excavating in the Chilcotin region of British Columbia, Canada; excavating at Tel Miqne-Ekron), or participating in archaeological projects in diverse parts of Egypt (surveying and excavating Western Desert prehistoric sites; drawing plans and sections in Merenptah’s Tomb in the Valley of the Kings; excavating housing, forts, and tombs in Karnak [Luxor], Mendes [East Delta], and at Tel Qedwa and Tel Borg [North Sinai]). More recently, I have directed my own projects, including a 1st millennium BCE port-town at Tell Tebilla (East Delta) and a late Old Kingdom fort at Ras Budran (South Sinai).
I recommend that all my archaeology students obtain as broad an education as possible, and to pursue this sooner than later. See what regions, periods, and types of archaeology appeal most to you; encounter different peoples and cultures. Whether or not you choose to pursue a career in archaeology, you will make lifelong friends, colleagues, and gain a multitude of experiences and adventures that few other careers can furnish.
At UAB I have striven to build and expand Sterne Library’s resources for Ancient Egypt and its neighbors, and to offer students both broader backgrounds to diverse past cultures across the globe and more specialized regional courses. Such gateway courses about diverse ancient peoples and places enable students to make informed choices early on regarding what areas they might wish to focus upon as they progress through undergraduate to graduate studies. For students who desire only to reconnoiter a few past societies of interest, such course offerings furnish a set of choices limited to relatively few North American universities and programs.