Professional Staff

Dr. Betsy Bryan, Director

Betsy M. Bryan is Director of the Archaeological Museum, and Alexander Badawy Professor of Egyptian Art and Archaeology in the Department of Near Eastern Studies. She is also currently Vice Dean for Humanities and Social Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Bryan specializes in the history, art, and archaeology of the New Kingdom in Egypt, ca. 1600-1000 B.C., with a particular emphasis on the 18th Dynasty, ca. 1550-1300 B.C. Her research interests include the organization and techniques of art production as well as the religious and cultural significance of tomb and temple decoration. As part of this research she has studied the unfinished elite painted tomb of the royal butler Suemniwet, ca. 1420 B.C. and is publishing it as a study in painting and its social meaning in the mid-18th Dynasty. Her current fieldwork is in the temple complex of the goddess Mut at South Karnak which she divides with the Brooklyn Museum’s expedition. Dr. Bryan’s research focuses on defining the earliest forms of the temple of Mut of Isheru. Retrieval and restoration of the decoration and architecture of the Hatshepsut and Thutmose III-era shrine is her present field project and is enlarged by study of the rituals represented by the early remains.

Sanchita Balachandran, Associate Director

Sanchita Balachandran is Associate Director and conservator of the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University. In her current role, she conducts research of the Archaeological Museum’s collection and teaches courses related to the technical study and analysis of ancient objects, and the history, ethics and practice of art conservation. Recent interdisciplinary and interactive courses using the Archaeological Museum’s collection have included “Providing for the Afterlife,” “Recreating Ancient Greek Ceramics,” which resulted in the production of a short film “Mysteries of the Kylix,” and a freshman seminar on “Roman Egyptian Mummy Portraits.” Balachandran received her graduate training as a conservator specializing in archaeological materials at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. 

Sanchita Balachandran, Associate Director

Sanchita Balachandran is Associate Director of the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University. In her current role, she conducts research of the Archaeological Museum’s collection and teaches courses related to the technical study and analysis of ancient objects, and the history, ethics and practice of art conservation. A recent project “Who Am I? Remembering the Dead Through Facial Reconstruction” sought to rehumanize two ancient Egyptian women whose remains are in the Museum’s care through the collaborative and collective work of forensic artists and scientists, medical and technical imaging specialists, art conservators, Egyptologists, osteologists, and graduate and undergraduate students. Recent interdisciplinary and interactive courses using the Archaeological Museum’s collection have included “Recreating Ancient Greek Ceramics,” which resulted in the production of a short film “Mysteries of the Kylix,” a freshman seminar on “Roman Egyptian Mummy Portraits,” as well as the courses “Critical Issues in Art Conservation” and “Ancient Color: The Technologies and Meanings of Color in Antiquity.” Balachandran received her graduate training as a conservator specializing in archaeological materials at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in Preservation Studies at the University of Delaware; her research focuses on uncovering the diverse identities of the ancient potters and painters producing ceramics in ancient Athens in the 6th to 4th centuries BCE by studying the objects they produced using experimental archaeological approaches, sensory observations of the production process, and Reflectance Transformation Imaging of the drawings still present on these surfaces. She is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. In her free time, Balachandran is at work on a mystery novel featuring a woman potter-sleuth in ancient Athens.

Kate Gallagher, Assistant Director

Kate Gallagher joined the museum in 2014 and is the Registrar and Assistant Curator of the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum. She is responsible for facilitating access to the collection for faculty, students and researchers, maintaining museum records, processing accessions and loans, managing the collections database, and the daily supervision of student staff. Her current projects include researching object provenance, the formation of the collection, and increasing online accessibility of the collection for researchers inside and outside the university using the ARSTOR database. Gallagher holds an M.A. in Museum Studies and an M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Washington. Prior to joining the staff of the museum, she held the positions of registrar and collections manager at the Maryland Historical Society and laboratory manager and field archaeologist at a cultural resources management firm.

Student Staff

Meg Swaney

Meg Swaney is a PhD candidate in Egyptian Art and Archaeology in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University, and she is the graduate student supervisor at the Archaeological Museum. She received her BA in Anthropology from the University of Chicago and her MA in Museum Studies from New York University, where her research explored the ethics of displaying ancient Egyptian human remains. Meg’s dissertation focuses on the production of art at the Ptolemaic Repit temple at Athribis and its visual modes of meaning-making. At the Archaeological Museum, one of her main projects involves researching the history of the Cohen Collection of Egyptian Antiquities and re-identifying the provenance of the objects in this collection. Meg has also worked with archaeological collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Milwaukee Public Museum. She is interested in the history of collecting and displaying Egyptian objects and in exploring new ways to make ancient objects accessible to contemporary audiences. 

Morgan Moroney

Morgan E. Moroney is a PhD candidate in Egyptian Art and Archaeology at Johns Hopkins. After receiving her BA in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago, she spent five years working in book publishing in New York before returning to her first love: Egyptology. Her dissertation research focuses on the relationship between wine, gender, and identity from the Predynastic through the New Kingdom. At the JHU Archaeological Museum her main project involves the study and cataloging of the collection’s beads and jewelry. Morgan is the recipient of the 2019-2020 Hall Fellowship at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, and has worked at the Oriental Institute and Artpace San Antonio. She has excavated in Egypt, Ethiopia, and the U. S., written several articles for Archaeology Magazine, and is the author of the book Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt: Egyptian Mythology for Kids (Rockridge Press; February 2020)

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Bianca Hand

Bianca Hand is a PhD Candidate in the History of Art Department focusing on Ancient Mesopotamian Art from Baltimore, MD. She received her B.A. in Archaeology and Art History from the College of Wooster. Her experiences ranges from education and development internships at The Walters Art Museum to fieldwork on multiple projects, including the Athienou Archaeological Project, Cyprus; The Bonçuklu Project, Turkey; and the Tayinat Archaeological Project Basalt Reconstruction Project, Turkey. At the Johns Hopkins University Archaeological Museum, she is currently working on cataloging and researching the Cypriot ceramic collection. Her research primarily focuses on questions of alterity, materiality, style, and interaction during the reign of the Neo-Assyrian king Sargon II (721-705 BCE). Intending to enter into the museum profession, Bianca is also interested in questions surrounding public outreach, engagement, and leadership diversity in museums today.

Bianca Hand

Bianca Hand is a PhD Candidate in the History of Art Department focusing on Ancient Mesopotamian Art from Baltimore, MD. She received her B.A. in Archaeology and Art History from the College of Wooster. Her experiences ranges from education and development internships at The Walters Art Museum to fieldwork on multiple projects, including the Athienou Archaeological Project, Cyprus; The Bonçuklu Project, Turkey; and the Tayinat Archaeological Project Basalt Reconstruction Project, Turkey. At the Johns Hopkins University Archaeological Museum, she is currently working on cataloging and researching the Cypriot ceramic collection. Her research primarily focuses on questions of alterity, materiality, style, and interaction during the reign of the Neo-Assyrian king Sargon II (721-705 BCE). Intending to enter into the museum profession, Bianca is also interested in questions surrounding public outreach, engagement, and leadership diversity in museums today.

Maarten Praet

Maarten Praet is an Egyptology Ph.D. student in the Department of Near Eastern Studies. Prior to joining the Johns Hopkins University, he completed his MA studies in Ancient History, Archaeology, and Egyptology at the KU Leuven in Belgium. He also participated in the KU Leuven excavations at Deir el-Bersha (Middle Egypt). Maarten’s research interests include the art and archaeology of the Middle Kingdom, with a special focus on the 11th Dynasty. His main research project, which began as an MA thesis, focuses on the study of the surviving decoration fragments from the mortuary temple of Mentuhotep II in Deir el-Bahari, a small number of which are currently preserved in the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum. As part of his work in the museum, Maarten is attempting to establish the provenance of ancient Egyptian objects donated by James Teackle Dennis in the early 20th century.