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Oriental Studies – Egyptology

The history of Egyptology at the University of Warsaw starts in 1934, when the chair of the Egyptological Seminar was assigned to Antoni Smieszek, the head of the Oriental Institute in 1937-1939. After World War II, numerous scholars lectured at the Department, among them Tadeusz Andrzejewski, Albertyna Szczudtowska-Dembs ka, Elzbieta Dqbrows ka­ Smektata, Irena Himner (Pomorska), and Jan Krzysztof Winnicki. Apart from teaching, they conducted scholarly research, which included numerous translations of ancient Egyptian literary works.

From its inception, the studies and the research of the Department staff have focused on the language of Ancient Egypt in all its various stages, with a particular emphasis on Egyptian texts: literary, administrative, and religious.

The Department offers studies at two levels: first and second cycle. The programme of the three-year first-cycle studies includes intensive courses in all successive stages of the ancient Egyptian language: Old, Middle, and Late Egyptian, Demotic and Coptic, and its writing systems, including the hieroglyphic and the hieratic. The programme covers also subjects related to the history, literature, religion, and material culture of Ancient Egypt. The aim of the two-year second-cycle studies is to broaden the knowledge of the Egyptian language and culture acquired at the first cycle and to train the students to conduct their own research in a selected area of interest. The staff of the Department is qualified to supervise doctoral theses, and graduates can continue by enrolling in a PhD course in one of doctoral schools of the University of Warsaw. The steadily expanding Department library is available to the students.

Participation in various field projects in Egypt has always been an important aspect of the Department’s research activity. Currently, we are involved in archaeological projects at Saqqara, Deir ei-Bahari, Elephantine, and Gebelein.

All students are encouraged to participate in the Department’s projects. There are also opportunities for them to pursue their own research, one of them being a short-term study visit in Egypt (in co-operation with the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology of the University of Warsaw).
The Department of Egyptology carries out research projects (including fieldwork in Egypt) encompassing a broad spectrum of topics, such as:

  • Culture of Ancient Egypt from the Old
    Kingdom until the Graeco-Roman Period
  • Literary and historical-biographical texts
  • Temple inscriptions and architecture
  • Funerary beliefs, tomb architecture, and decoration
  • Administration and bureaucracy in Ancient

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