From Egypt, with love: Lepsius and the tradition of writing modern names in Egyptian hieroglyphs

Pages 17-33
DOI 10.37520/anpm.2020.005
Keywords Karl Richard Lepsius, scarabs, forgeries, Egyptian hieroglyphs
Type of Article Peer-reviewed
Annals of the Náprstek Museum | 2020/41/2

The present article surveys Karl Richard Lepsius’ (1810–1884) love for producing modern compositions of Egyptian hieroglyphic texts, and in particular, for writing modern names in Egyptian hieroglyphs. The survey is carried out in the context of new discoveries of such texts on objects kept in the collections of Museum August Kestner in Hanover and the National Museum – Náprstek Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures in Prague. Two newly identified and interpreted texts come from the bases of modern imitations of ancient Egyptian scarabs, which were produced – no doubt under the supervision of Lepsius himself – in a local workshop at Luxor, Upper Egypt, in 1845. As a matter of fact, Lepsius stood at the origins of a still ongoing and extremely popular souvenir production, which employs transcriptions of modern names into hieroglyphs.

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