Media Guide to UCLA Experts

Kara Cooney

Associate professor / Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures

Area of Expertise: Egypt, Egyptology, archaeology

Expert's Website

Archaeologist Kara Cooney is associate professor of near eastern languages and cultures at UCLA and an expert on anciet Egypt, specifically Egyptian art and architecture. Cooney specializes in craft production, coffin studies and economies in the ancient world. Also among her areas of interest are gender issues of death in ancient Egypt, craft specialization, funerary arts in the ancient world and ritual studies.

Cooney’s first trade book, “The Woman Who Would Be King: Hatshepsut’s Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt,” was released in 2014 and benefits from her expert perspective on Egypt’s ancient history to craft an illuminating biography of its least well-known female king. As an archaeologist who spent years at various excavations in Egypt, Cooney draws from the latest field research to fill in the gaps in the historical record of Hatshepsut.

Cooney’s current research in coffin reuse, primarily focusing on the 19th and 21st Dynasties, is ongoing. Her research investigates the socioeconomic and political turmoil that have plagued the period, ultimately affecting funerary and burial practices in ancient Egypt. This project has taken her around the world over the span of five to six years to study and document nearly 300 coffins in collections, including those in Cairo, London, Paris, Berlin and Vatican City.

In 2005, Cooney was co-curator of “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs’ at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She produced a comparative archaeology television series, “Out of Egypt,” which aired in 2009 on the Discovery Channel and is available online.

Media Contacts

Jessica Wolf, 310-825-1046