Egyptology explores all aspects of ancient Egyptian civilization (daily life, language and literature, history, religion , culture and arts , economics, law, ethics and spiritual life) of the history of the 5th Millennium BC (eg the cultures Naqada and Badari ) until the end of Roman rule in the 4th Century BC It is in Germany very language-oriented , while in Anglo-American and other countries such as France, Italy and Poland, the archeology itself occupies a large space within the teaching and the tray.

The first beginnings of Egyptology
The Rosetta Stone

In the Renaissance , when the antiquity was rediscovered, falling employment Athanasius Kircher (1601-1680) with the Egyptian monuments, and his first step to deciphering the hieroglyphs .

Had an initial basis for the work on the resulting textual and pictorial testimonies Napoleon make on his Egyptian campaign, the results were “since 1809 in the extensive text and image collection Égypte Description de l’ “published (see also: Egyptian Expedition ) . published in 1822 by Jean-François Champollion, a complete system for deciphering of the hieroglyphs, based on his work on the translation of the Rosetta Stone .

An important role is also played the Egypt enthusiasm of European elites in the 19th Century, with the term Egyptomania is designated. It was fashionable to fund an excavation, even participate in or at least to take a trip to Egypt and artifacts along. Among the souvenirs were often also mummies , then as the climax unwrapped at a dinner party were. One of the most famous discoveries could be made ​​only by an interest in ancient Egypt: The grave of Tutankhamun . This great find is the patronage of Lord Carnarvon owe.

While this group presented the funding and undertook excavation amateurish attempts, one often refers to this gentleman by archaeologists, the scientific work was in the hands of a few. Special training for dealing with ancient finds its documentation and preservation did not exist at that time. The men were self-taught or have been trained by a researcher with more experience – which means nothing else than that they worked for a time among them.

These were some early researchers, who distinguished themselves by special abilities, including Flinders Petrie . So he dug up several temples and recorded faithfully the incomprehensible for him hieroglyphs , such as in Amarna from. In addition, he used until 1898, then recently discovered X-rays to the mummy of Ramses II to shine through. He pointed out the subsequent Ausstopfung (a seed in the nose, to mimic the characteristic hump after drying) by a mummy. This first use of X-rays, his name is also inseparable from the paleopathology connected. He is regarded as “trainers” of Howard Carter , who in a group led by Petrie made ​​his first archaeological excavation experience.

The deciphering of the hieroglyphs eventually brought the key to understanding the Egyptian culture and thus heralded the modern Egyptology, a new science, a,.
Modern Egyptology

As the birth of modern Egyptology is the year 1822, in which it is Jean-François Champollion succeeded in the Egyptian hieroglyphics to decipher. The basis for this was the Rosetta Stone . Only with knowledge of Egyptian writing and the language it was possible from now on, to gain an insight into the ancient Egyptian culture and to understand.

In Germany, Richard Lepsius as founder of Egyptology. He was the first German who conducted excavations in Egypt and in the course of his expedition documented numerous, also lost today, monuments. In research, this time standing philology much in the foreground. Accordingly, the Egyptology in Germany was in the following years mainly a linguistics and, to a lesser extent an art history specialist. In this context, the preparation of a comprehensive dictionary of ancient Egypt at the Berlin Academy is mentioned, which was created under international cooperation.

By Ludwig Borchardt started projects in Egypt, which had the excavation of larger objects goal. Borchardt had studied architecture and thus joined the Building Research into the foreground. In his excavations, the architecture of buildings has been documented exemplary, while small finds only a minor role played. Only when digging out the sun sanctuary of Userkaf at Abu Gorab in the years after the Second World War were also small finds, such as pottery or seal impressions well documented. The great weight of philology and Construction are still prevalent today in the German Egyptologist.

Egyptology in Germany at several universities taught.
Germany under National Socialism
Borchardt studied the pyramids Sahure , Niuserre and Neferirkare (from left to right)

Egyptology in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945 is a so far hardly reclaimed topic and is often ignored in the history of the German Egyptologist simply.

At the beginning of the Nazi regime in 1933, there were Egyptologists, the Jews were or classified as such were and were removed from their positions in universities and museums, this included Ludwig Borchardt and Georg Steindorff , The latter emigrated to the USA. Bernhard von Bothmer , the had previously worked in the Berlin Museum, wandered as an opponent of the Nazi regime in the United States. He found a job in 1956 Brooklyn Museum . Other Egyptologists like Rudolf Anthes remained in Germany, but were opponents of the regime, while others supported the Nazi regime and in his career did. Before 1933, the German Egyptologist had an international reputation. Many major American Egyptologists had studied in Germany. After 1945, it took decades before the German Egyptology was again fully recognized internationally. [1]

As opponents of the new regime, the following persons are referred to:

Georg Steindorff went into exile in the United States.
Alexander Scharff was a professor at the University of Munich and was throughout his life opponents of the regime.
Hans Bonnet , professor in Bonn, Hans Wolfgang Mueller and Rudolf Anthes (Berlin Museum); Herbert Ricke lived in exile in Switzerland , Ludwig Keimer .
Bernard von Bothmer

As a supporter of the regime following Egyptologists can be called:

Hermann Grapow was professor and keen supporter of the Nazis in 1937, he joined the Nazi party , and was then professor. Remarkably, he was his career in the GDR continued.
Hermann Kees was an officer in the First World War. In the Weimar Republic, he fought for the democratic system. He started as a conservative opponent of the Nazis, but later changed his position. His Egyptological writings are partly strongly anti-democratic and racist. In his description of Akhenaten , he claims that this is not the image of the Egyptian master race meet.
Hermann Junker was Professor of Egyptology and supporters of the regime.
Friedrich Wilhelm von Bissing was a member of the NSDAP.
Walther Wolf worked in Leipzig. Its written in the Nazi period writings often have questions about the racial content.
Siegfried Schott was a supporter of the National Socialist idea, but proponents of the methods.

Howard Carter (1924)
United Kingdom

Since the first half of the 19th Century, there were many travelers in Egypt, the copied monuments. Systematic excavations began only at the end of the 19th Century. Egypt fell into this time in the area of ​​influence of the British colonial power. At the end of the 19th Century is especially Flinders Petrie mentioned that at University College London was also the first chair of Egyptology. Petrie may be called the founder of archeology in Egyptology. He documented not only architecture and art, but also small finds and especially the ceramic. This tradition was also 20th in the first half of Century continued. The excavations of Reginald Engelbach and Guy Brunton Keramikkorpora for almost all eras of ancient Egyptian history were created. Of note is the relatively rapid publication of these excavations. The grave of Tutankhamun in 1922 by Howard Carter found a former student Petrie. The grave, and his findings were completely absorbed, but there were none to publication during his lifetime by Howard Carter. Philology was at the end of the 19th Century by Francis Llewelyn Griffith , who was also the first professor of Egyptology at Oxford expanded. The great weight of archeology is still continues to predominate in the British Egyptology.
area of responsibility

Egyptologists are concerned with the legacy of the ancient Egyptian culture from its beginnings to about 3200 BC, well into the early centuries CE. Traces of this culture can be found mainly in the Nile Valley from the Mediterranean to Khartoum in modern Sudan and of the Libyan Desert in the west to Asia Minor in the east and in the Mediterranean. Based of Egyptology is the mastery of the ancient Egyptian scripts and languages, because there are texts in hieroglyphics (called space font), Hieratic , Demotic and Coptic . Hieroglyphs and hieratic are fonts in which the levels of language Old Egyptian, Middle Egyptian (Classical or Egyptian), Late Egyptian, and have been handed down in hieroglyphics also called the “Ptolemaic Egyptian”, which is characterized by a host of new characters. Demotic and Coptic are more language levels, which are distinguished by their own writings. The written texts come from many walks of life. So there are grave, steles – or statue inscriptions, texts on rituals , festival calendar, hymns , etc., religious texts, which are often carved in stone. There are literary stories and life lessons, but especially on papyrus and limestone pieces are written. About the officialdom in ancient Egypt to give contracts, receipts, letters, notes, lists, manuals, court records, etc. Information.

The starting point of teaching at a university is to teach the language and the reading of the texts, cultural, historical and archaeological topics are further areas. The priorities are based on the respective technical representatives. Currently Egyptology at 16 German universities in Europe, America, China and Japan, Australia and other countries and of course in Egypt is taught. The activities of a modern Egyptologists is not necessarily in the field work , but they also work on pure Egyptian museums or museums with Egyptian departments, prepare exhibitions, have taught at universities or work in adult education. The German Archaeological Institute (DAI), Department Cairo, among other international organizations based in Egypt itself. From there, as well as from various university projects, field work in Egypt are carried out.

Egyptology overlap textually and technically in certain parts of the subjects’ pre-and early history “,” Ancient History “,” Archaeology of the Middle East “and” Biblical Archaeology “, in part” Classical Archaeology “(depending on the priorities of the university) and , in a broader sense, the Christian theology . The records of the early churches in Egypt are all in Coptic receive.

Requirement for studying in Germany is proof of knowledge of English and French, with Italian also work at the library is very helpful. Moreover, in many places is Ancient Greek required.
Current research situation

Of the numerous ancient Egyptian sources on site and in the museums of the world are still many are unfinished or unpublished. In Egypt, it is particularly important, monuments or settlement structures, cemeteries, etc. reveal scientifically documented and protected from further destruction. Because of the different kinds of sources of cooperation with other disciplines of Egyptology is always crucial. More recently, to be an administrative level, the Egyptological Institute / seminars increasingly integrated into larger units. Egyptology is working with many places in inter-or trans-disciplinary research collaborations. Although the understanding of ancient Egyptian culture the most comprehensive view of all sources is necessary to be specific have specializations in research emerged: Egyptian philology (in addition to the central speech levels Central and Late Egyptian especially the Alt. Ptolemaistik , Demotistik and Coptic ), religion, literature, the different areas of material culture, architecture, art, ancient Egyptian mathematics, pharmacy and medical, legal history, music history, etc.

The previous study of Egyptology as a major or minor in the degree Master of Arts is or will soon be the new bachelor ‘s degree programs, followed by Master replaced, and in many places certain combinations with other disciplines were required (eg, with African Studies , Ancient Near Eastern Studies o . etc.).

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