Egyptology is the study of ancient Egyptian history, language, literature, religion, and art from the 5th millennium BC until the end of its native religious practices in the AD 4th century. A practitioner of the discipline is an Egyptologist. In Europe, particularly on the Continent, Egyptology is primarily regarded as being a philological discipline, while in North America it is often regarded as a branch of archaeology.
Egyptology investigates the variety of Ancient Egyptian culture (language, literature, history, art, religion, economics, and ethics) as of the 5th millennium BC up to the end of Roman rule in the 4th century AD.
Modern Egyptology (as contrasting to an antiquarian interest in the land of Egypt) is in general perceived as beginning in the year 1822, when Jean-Franois Champollion announced his universal decipherment of the system of Egyptian hieroglyphics for the first time, employing the Rosetta Stone as his most important aid. With subsequently ever-increasing knowledge of Egyptian writing plus language, the study of Ancient Egyptian civilization was able to continue with greater academic rigor and with all the added impetus that understanding of the written sources was able to engender.
The first Egyptologists were the ancient Egyptians themselves. Thutmose IV restored the Sphinx and had the dream that inspired his restoration carved on the famous Dream Stele. Less than two centuries later, Prince Khaemweset, fourth son of Ramesses II, is famed for identifying and restoring historic buildings, tombs and temples including the pyramid.
Some of the first historical accounts of Egypt were given by Herodotus, Strabo, Diodorus Siculus and the largely lost work of Manetho, an Egyptian priest, during the reign of Ptolemy I and Ptolemy II in the 3rd century BC.
Progress was made by Muslim historians in Egypt and the first known attempts at deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs were made by Dhul-Nun al-Misri and Ibn Wahshiyya in the 9th century, who were able to at least partly understand what was written in the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, by relating them to the contemporary Coptic language used by Coptic priests in their time. Abdul Latif al-Baghdadi, a teacher at Cairo's Al-Azhar University in the 13th century, wrote detailed descriptions on ancient Egyptian monuments. Similarly, the 15th-century Egyptian historian al-Maqrizi wrote detailed accounts of Egyptian antiquities.
European exploration and travel writings of ancient Egypt commenced from the 13th century onward, with only occasional detours into a more scientific approach, notably by John Greaves, Claude Sicard, Benot de Maillet, Frederic Louis Norden and Richard Pococke. In the early 16th century, the Jesuit scientist-priest Athanasius Kircher was the first to identify the phonetic importance of Egyptian hieroglyphs, and he demonstrated Coptic as a vestige of early Egyptian, for which he is considered a "founder" of Egyptology.
In the late 18th century, with Napoleon's scholars' recording of Egyptian flora, fauna and history (published as Description de l'Egypte), the study of many aspects of ancient Egypt became more scientifically oriented. The British captured Egypt from the French and gained the Rosetta Stone. Modern Egyptology is generally perceived as beginning about 1822.
Jean Francois Champollion and Ippolito Rosellini were some of the first Egyptologists of wide acclaim. The German Karl Richard Lepsius was an early participant in the investigations of Egypt; mapping, excavating, and recording several sites. Champollion announced his general decipherment of the system of Egyptian hieroglyphics for the first time, employing the Rosetta Stone as his primary aid. The Stone's decipherment was a very important development of Egyptology.
With subsequently ever-increasing knowledge of Egyptian writing and language, the study of Ancient Egyptian civilisation was able to proceed with greater academic rigour and with all the added impetus that comprehension of the written sources was able to engender. Egyptology became more professional via work of William Matthew Flinders Petrie, among others. Petrie introduced techniques of field preservation, recording, and excavating. Howard Carter's expedition brought much acclaim to the field of Egyptology.
The following is a list of colleges and universities that offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies.
University Catholique de Louvain,University Libre de Bruxelles,Katholieke University van Leuven,University Libre de Liege
University of Calgary,University of Toronto
American University in Cairo,University of Alexandria,University of Cairo,University of Minya,University of Tanta,University of Zagazig
Brandeis University,Brown University,The Catholic University of America,Cornell University,Columbia University,Johns Hopkins University,Harvard University,Memphis State University,New York University,Princeton University,Princeton University,Univesity of Chicago,Department of Egyptology University of Pennsylvania.
John Foster's translation of Ancient Egyptian Literature is a collection of fresh, funny, poignant and surprisingly lively poetry from ancient Egypt.
The Book of the Pharaohs is another in the series of scholarly work by French Egyptologists translated into English by David Lorton and published by Cornell University Press. The book is essentially an encyclopedia of significant people in ancient Egypt.
Egyptology has as its object of study the history, practices, and conceptual categories of a culture, which was remarkably prolific in terms of written texts, art, architecture, and other forms of material culture. The richness of this culture, of which we find ample traces, allows us to reconstruct religious thinking, economic systems, intimate details of daily life, as well as ancient pathology, to name just a few aspects.
Dedicated to examining the art, archaeology, religion and history of Egypt..