Dodson, born in London on 11 September 1962, studied at Langley Grammar School (1975–81), before moving to Collingwood College, Durham (1981-2). He completed a BA at the University of Liverpool (1985), and an MPhil (1986, Museum Practice and Archaeology) and PhD (1995, Egyptology) at Christ's College, Cambridge. He began teaching at the University of Bristol in October 1996, also holding the post of Simpson Professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo from January to July 2013. His primary research interests concern Ancient Egypt, with a particular focus on dynastic history and chronology, tomb architecture, sarcophagus and coffin design, canopic equipment, and the history of Egyptology; he is also an historian of late 19th and early 20th century navies, and has written on the royal tombs of Great Britain.
He is the author of over twenty books, and 300 articles and reviews.
Dodson was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 2003.
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