In the Spotlight...the President of the Egypt Exploration Society

President of the Egypt Exploration Society, Professor Alan Lloyd


Born in Wolverhampton on September 24th, 1941, Professor Alan B Lloyd attended Tredegar Grammar School from 1953 to 1960. He graduated from University College of Swansea (now Swansea University) in 1963 (Classics) and The Queen's College Oxford in 1965 (Ancient Egyptian and Coptic). He was Laycock Student of Egyptology at Worcester College Oxford from 1965-8, where he graduated with an MA, and then a DPhil (Herodotus on Egypt) in 1972.

Professor Lloyd retired from Swansea University in 2006 after 39 years of teaching and currently holds the title of Professor Emeritus in the Department of History and Classics. He was elected FSA in 1987. Currently he is President of the Egypt Exploration Society and was the first chair of the Higher Education Credit Initiative Wales.

As a member of the Saqqara Epigraphic Project, sponsored jointly by the British Museum and the EES, Professor Lloyd worked in the Teti Pyramid Cemetery during the 1970's. He is the editor of many books for the Egypt Exploration Society and Kegan Paul International and is also the author of many publications on Egyptological and Classical subjects. He is an authority on the writings of the historian Herodotus and has served as Editor of the EES Excavation Memoirs and edited the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology from 1979 to 1985.

Professor Lloyd has also participated in many television and radio programmes on Egyptological and Classical subjects. Most recently, he acted as an adviser on the Ridley Scott film Exodus.

How did you first become interested in Egyptology?
Through an illustrated Bible which my father had. This was strengthened by the first year history classes at the grammar school I attended.

If you hadn’t followed the Egyptology career path, what else do you think that you would have chosen to do? 

Probably the law.

What were your best/worst subjects in school?
Latin my best. Music my worst.

What do you find most rewarding/challenging about being an Egyptologist?
The food for the imagination and the problem-solving challenges. The most challenging aspect would be keeping up-to-date.

What is the most memorable moment of your career so far?

Getting my DPhil at Oxford.

What is the most memorable class/lecture/talk you have ever had and why does it stick in your mind?
Of recent talks I’d rate highly Professor Stringer’s address at the opening of the Demon Conference (Swansea University 2016). It broke through the barriers which so often impede the study of religion.

If you had been around in the early days of the Egypt Exploration Society’s foundation, which member of the (then) Fund do you think you would have got along with best?
Francis Llewellyn Griffith.

What’s your take on the possibility that Tutankhamun’s tomb may reveal much more to it than previously thought?
Profound scepticism.

Do you collect anything yourself?
Postcards depicting places where I have lived.

If you could select one person from history to ask them a question, who would you choose and what would be the question?
Nelson. Why did he expose himself so obviously at Trafalgar?

Who would you most want to be stuck in an elevator with?

Rowan Atkinson.

How would your friends describe you in 3 words?
I have no idea. You’d better ask some of them.

What is your favourite word?

What would be a good theme song for your life?
‘It’s a lovely day tomorrow’, by Al Bowlly.

And finally….

What exciting things does 2016 hold in store for you?A cruise as guest lecturer in the Western Mediterranean.
A holiday in Crete in the summer.

My thanks to Professor Lloyd for taking the time to answer these questions.


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