Museum für Völkerkunde Hamburg
Grabrelief eines Ehepaares; Foto: Brigitte Saal

The archaeological excavations of the Deutsche Orient Gesellschaft (German Orient society) provided the foundation for the extensive Ancient Egyptian collection. In the spring of 1903, the museum acquired numerous artefacts excavated from the area around the pyramids, in Abusir, about 20 kilometres from Cairo. Among the objects discovered there were wall reliefs from burial sites, coffins and burial objects. In the same year Dr Martin Rücker Jenisch donated the mummy of the priest of Amun, Chonsu-maa-cheru in a finely painted coffin, to the museum.

Jenisch, a person of high standing in the society of Hamburg, was the most generous patron of this collection. The everyday life in the Nile valley from prehistoric times until the era of the Roman Empire became documentable through the systematic acquisitions of diverse artefacts. The exhibits include weaponry, tools, furniture, jewellery and cosmetic utensils as well as coffins, mummies and burial objects.
Further significant inventory includes the valuable collection of Ancient Egyptian charms of Carl W. Lüders (1896), a collection of flint tools from Seton-Karr (1902), artefacts belonging to Willie Gehlsen including extensive Roman-Coptic draperies (1920), the collection of Hans Buschmann including objects excavated in Fustat Old Cairo (1926), and the collections of Siegfried Seligmann (1927) and Earl Schlieffen von Schlieffenberg (1933). Based on extensive research, scientific experts specializing in (Ancient) Egypt at the University of Hamburg confirm that our collection is still, despite losses during the war, of international renown.


Jana Caroline Reimer
phone: 040. 428 879-551

Currently, selected artefacts from the collection are on display in our exhibition A TOUCH OF ETERNITYTHE CULTURE OF ANCIENT EGYPT