skip to content

Profile of Egyptology at Cologne

Egyptology in Cologne is understood a discipline of the cultural and social sciences. In addition to documenting new texts and archaeological finds, research and teaching at the department makes use of theories and methods from social anthropology and new cultural history together with established approaches of philology and archaeology. The research focus is placed on the society and culture of the classical periods of pharaonic Egypt (ca. 3000 to 1000 BC), temple inscriptions of the Graeco-Roman period and Heritage Studies.

The first chair holder of Egyptology in Cologne, Alfred Herrmann (1965-1967), was originally trained in literary studies. His successor Philippe Derchain (1968-1992) shaped research traditions in Cologne. He placed Egypt in the broader context of cultural studies, with a focus on the later written traditions of ancient Egypt. Heinz-Josef Thissen (1992-2005) was a leading expert in Demotic text traditions. He was succeeded by Françoise Labrique (2005-2015), who continued developing the research strength of the department in the Ptolemaic temple inscriptions. The current chair holder, Richard Bussmann (since 2016), has extended the profile of the department into social anthropology and the material culture of the pharaonic periods.