Richard B. Parkinson

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Richard B. Parkinson
Egyptological Colloquium 2009 - Richard Parkinson (3746088831) (cropped).jpg
Parkinson at the Egyptological Colloquium in 2009
Born Richard Bruce Parkinson
(1963-05-25) 25 May 1963 (age 55)
Nationality British
Timothy Griffiths Reid (m. 2014)
Academic work
Discipline Egyptology

Richard Bruce Parkinson (born 25 May 1963) is a British Egyptologist and academic. He is Professor of Egyptology at the University of Oxford and a fellow of The Queen's College, Oxford. Until December 2013 he was a curator in the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan, British Museum.

Early life and education[edit]

Parkinson was born on 25 May 1963.[1] He was educated at Barnard Castle School, then an all-boys independent school in Barnard Castle, County Durham.[2] He read Oriental Studies (Egyptology with Coptic) at The Queen's College, University of Oxford, and graduated in 1985 with a first class Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree.[1][2] He then undertook research for his Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) degree. His doctoral thesis was a commentary on The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant and was submitted in 1988.[3]

Academic career[edit]

Parkinson was a Teaching Fellow at the Oriental Institute, University of Oxford from 1988 to 1989. From 1989 to 1991, he worked at the Department of Egyptian Antiquities, British Museum as a Special Assistant in epigraphy.[1] He then became the Lady Wallis Budge Junior Research Fellow in Egyptology at University College, Oxford.[4]

In 1991, Parkinson became a curator of the British Museum as Assistant Keeper of Ancient Egyptian pharaonic culture.[5] His responsibilities included the maintenance and publication of ancient papyri written in Egyptian hieroglyphs and cursive hieratic, as well as inscribed material such as the Rosetta stone. He was the supervisor of archived material, collections, and epigraphy, and the curator of the Nebamun wall-paintings.[5] He remained at the British Museum until the end of 2013.[2][6]

On 1 October 2013, Parkinson was appointed Professor of Egyptology in the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford. Spending the first term part-time, he took on the position full-time in January 2014.[7][8] His inaugural lecture about the impact of ancient Egyptian poetry was accompanied by the actress and novelist Barbara Ewing, and was podcast:[9] He is a fellow of the Queen's College, Oxford, and has been a director of the Griffith Institute, Oxford.[10]

From 1993 to 1998, Parkinson was editor of the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology.[1] He has been a visiting lecturer at the University of Göttingen in 2006, at the University of Cologne in 2009 and 2013, and the University of Mainz in 2011.[5][6]

Parkinson's main area of research is the interpretation of Ancient Egyptian literature.[5] As well as academic monographs and articles, he has written popular books on Egyptology and also a short LGBT world history, dedicated to his husband.[11][12] In 2016 he gave the Oxford University annual LGBT History Month lecture on this, which was podcast: In 2004 he collaborated in a translation of Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit into hieroglyphs.[13]


Parkinson was awarded an honorary doctorate from the New Bulgarian University, Sofia in 2006 for his contributions to Egyptology.[5][14]

Personal life[edit]

Parkinson is openly gay.[15] He entered into a civil partnership with Timothy Griffiths Reid in 2005, and they married in 2014.[6]

Parkinson has type 1 diabetes and has spoken about the difficulties of this condition.[2][16]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Richard Bruce Parkinson CV". University of Copenhagen. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d "The Poetry Detective" (PDF). Oxfordshire Limited Edition. The Oxford Times. December 2014. pp. 8–13. Retrieved 25 May 2016. 
  3. ^ Parkinson, Richard (1988), The tale of the eloquent peasant : a commentary, University of Oxford, OCLC 556429902 
  4. ^ "Richard B. Parkinson". University of Copenhagen. 2009. Archived from the original on 27 December 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Richard Parkinson". British Museum. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c "PARKINSON, Prof. Richard Bruce". Who's Who 2016. Oxford University Press. November 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2016. 
  7. ^ "Appointments - Humanities". University of Oxford. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  8. ^ "Richard Bruce Parkinson". University of Oxford. Archived from the original on 8 May 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  9. ^ "Inaugural lecture". University of Oxford. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  10. ^ "Griffith Institute". University of Oxford. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  11. ^ "Same-sex desire". British Museum. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  12. ^ "Interview with R. B. Parkinson, author of A little gay history". Columbia University Press. Archived from the original on 15 September 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  13. ^ Jack Malvern, Arts Reporter (31 December 2004). "Potter's Peter told in Ancient Egyptian". The Times. ; Potter, Beatrix; Nunn, John F. (2006), Tale of Peter Rabbit: Hieroglyph Edition, British Museum Press, ISBN 978-0-7141-8209-4 
  14. ^ "Prof. Richard Parkinson". New Bulgarian University. Archived from the original on 18 November 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  15. ^ Parkinson, Richard B (8 March 2016). "LGBT history celebrated at Oxford". Oxford University (Interview). Retrieved 14 March 2016. 
  16. ^ "disabilitynarratives". Retrieved 14 October 2017. 
  17. ^ Richard Parkinson (14 March 2006). "Tomb Mates". The Advocate. 958: 12. ISSN 0001-8996.