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Collection history

The collection of Aegyptiaca of the University Bonn goes back to the early 19th century.  During a trip through Asia, the theologian I.M. Augustin Scholz, who was teaching in Bonn at the time, acquired in 1820 multiple Ancient Egyptian objects.  These “first cut stones and pastes” where given over to the university.

In the following decades, the collection of Ancient Egyptians antiquities belonging, at the time, to the Academic Art Museum grew constantly.  The first chair of Egyptology at the University Bonn, Alfred Wiedemann (1856-1936), assembled through acquisitions and donations an outstanding “academic apparatus”, which, next to diverse small objects, also included meaningful showpieces.  During the first half of the 20th century, the inventory was enriched through countless pieces from the archaeological digs of the Deutsche Orientgeschellschaft and through the donations made by leading Egyptologists such as W.M. Flinders Petrie (1853-1942).  In the year 1928, the Egyptian objects from the Academic Art Museum were handed over into the care of the chair of Egyptology.  However, World War II brought with it a sad happening for the collection: a large part of the collection was destroyed through a bombing in October 1944.  Unique relief fragments out of the pyramids and temple aerial of Abuser and Abu Gurob as well as coffins and other pieces have been beyond retrieval since then.

Starting 1955, the inventory was restocked through the long expedition from Professor Elmar Edel (1914-1997) in Assuan due to the at the time still existing division of finds.  Numerous donations and loans have joined this collection since then.  After long decades without an own exhibition area, the Egyptian Museum was able to open above the Koblenz Gate in 2001 through the dedication of the chair Professor Ursula Rößler-Köhler.  In the former fencing hall of the University Bonn, the Museum with its around 3000 Objects is now open to the public.

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