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date: 30 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The aim of the Royal Prussian Expedition to Egypt and Ethiopia (1842–1845/6) was to replace the images and text found in the Description de l’Égypte with exact pictures of the monuments in the same size folio format. Led by Karl Richard Lepsius, the Prussian Expedition was charged with making a precise inventory of primarily the monuments of the Old and Middle Kingdoms and tracing the legacies of Nubian culture in detail, even the basics of which were not known at that time. The expedition was also to acquire originals for the Egyptian Museum in Berlin, resulting in a considerable increase of the collection, particularly of pieces with secure provenance. The Prussian king Friedrich Wilhelm IV, enthusiastic about archaeology and committed to the advancement of research and the Berlin Museum, was personally committed to the expedition. With a team of researchers and the help and support of his close friend August Kestner, Lepsius led the expedition whose work resulted in the Denkmäler aus Aegypten und Aethiopien, a twelve-volume set of plans and drawings that are so accurate and detailed as to still be consulted today. Lepsius should also be credited with the “rediscovery” of Amarna, because prior to his work, travelers to Egypt paid no significant attention to the ruins there and because he was the first Egyptologist in a position to formulate a synthesis of all knowledge about the period now known as the Amarna era.

Keywords: Lepsius, Prussian Expedition, monument, Egyptian Museum in Berlin, Amarna

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