Ludwig Borchardt

Ludwig Borchardt ( born October 5, 1863 in Berlin, † August 12, 1938 in Paris) was a German Egyptologist and architect.


Ludwig Borchardt was born in 1863 as one of six children of a Jewish family Berlinischen the merchant Hermann Borchardt ( 1830-1890 ) and his wife Bertha, née Levin ( 1835-1910 ). His brother was the writer Georg Hermann Borchardt, who had chosen the pseudonym of Georg Hermann. Ludwig Borchardt studied architecture and Egyptology at the same time heard Adolf Erman in Berlin. In 1895 he was commissioned by the Prussian Academy of Sciences to Egypt, where he led the rescue excavations supported as a member of an international team on the first dam at Aswan threatened by Temple Island of Philae. From 1896 to 1899 he was an official of the French -led Egyptian Antiquities, where he conducted the work as an employee of the Egyptian Museum in the General Catalogue of antiquities preserved there. In 1899 he was appointed attaché Egyptology at the German Consulate General in Cairo. 1903 Borchardt married in Frankfurt Emilie ( Mimi ) Cohen ( 1877-1948 ). In 1907 he founded the Imperial German Institute of Egyptian Archaeology in Cairo, whose director he was up to the First World War and then again from 1923 to 1929. In 1909 he joined the Society of Friends, which included many of the entrepreneurs and bankers financed the archaeological research. In 1931 he founded his private in Cairo " Egyptian Institute of Architectural and Archaeological Research ", from the 1950 emerged the Swiss Institute of Egyptian Archaeology and Antiquity Studies in Cairo. He died in 1938 during a trip to Paris and is buried in Cairo.

Work focus

His main point was the ancient Egyptian building research. From 1911 to 1914 he was head of the excavations of the German Oriental Society in Amarna. In the excavation season 1912/1913 he came to the estate of the sculptor Thutmose, and discovered in the sculpture workshop on December 6, 1912, the bust of Queen Nefertiti. It is now in the Egyptian Museum in Berlin. The art historian Henri Stierlin published in 2009 a book in which he believes that Borchardt had falsified the bust, which was rejected by Dietrich Wildungsmauer, the former director of the Egyptian Museum Berlin, to be incorrect.

Borchardt also directed the excavations of the sanctuary of the sun Niuserre in Abu Gurob and after 1907, the graves of Sahura, Niuserre and Neferirkare in Abusir. He played a significant role in the creation of the General catalog of the Cairo museum ( "Catalogue général des antiquités Egyptiennes du Musée du Caire "), which was started at the initiative of Antiquities end of the 19th century and plays a leading role among Borchardt line and advanced.


  • The Egyptian plant column. A chapter on the history of the vegetable ornament. Wasmuth, Berlin 1897. ( Digitized )
  • The building history of the Amonstempels of Karnak. ( = Studies on the History and Archaeology of Egypt. Vol. 5, 1, ISSN 502520-5 ) Hinrichs, Leipzig 1905.
  • Sources and research on the timing of Egyptian history. 3 volumes, ZDB - ID 515285-9. Volume 1: The Annals and the temporal setting of the old empire of Egyptian history. Behrend, Berlin, 1917.
  • Volume 2: The means of temporal determination of points of Egyptian history and its application. Self Publishing, Cairo, 1935.
  • Volume 3: Try to time provisions for the late, Greco-Roman, period of Egyptian history. Self Publishing, Cairo, 1938.


  • The Odyssey of Nefertiti. German treasure hunter finds " colorful" bust of Nefertiti. Documentation, 45 minutes Production: ZDF Expedition, first broadcast 29 July 2007 Table of Contents