My research focuses on the material culture of the Nile Valley. I am particularly interested in kingship, monumentality, the contexts and audiences for art and architecture, and cultural interactions. I co-direct an excavation in the Sudan with my colleague Christian Knoblauch (Austrian Academy of Science). There we are examining a monumental fortress built by the conquering Egyptian kings in the early 2nd millennium BC, the extramural settlement associated with it, and the relations between Nubians and Egyptians in this frontier zone. A recent book, Violence and Power in Ancient Egypt: images and ideology before the New Kingdom, examined the making of pictures of violence as a tactic of power in the early Egyptian state. I hold a BA from Brown and MA and PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU.