Manfred Bietak

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Manfred Bietak
Manfred Bietak

(1940-10-06)October 6, 1940
Education University of Vienna
Occupation archaeologist

Manfred Bietak (born in Vienna, October 6, 1940) is an Austrian archaeologist. [1] He is professor emeritus of Egyptology at the University of Vienna, working as the Principal investigator for an ERC Advanced Grant Project “The Hyksos Enigma” and Editor in Chief of the Journal “Egypt and the Levant” and of four series of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Oriental and European Archaeology (2016–2020). [1]



Bietak is best known as the director of the Austrian excavations at two sites in the Nile delta: [2] [3] Tell El-Dab'a, which was identified as the location of Avaris, [4] the capital of the Hyksos period; and Piramesse, which was the capital of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. The site was also most probably the naval base Peru-nefer of Thutmosis III and Amenhotep II. A palace precinct of those kings, furnished with Minoan frescoes was one of the most important discoveries. Bietak has also conducted excavations in western Thebes (Luqsor), where he discovered the huge tomb of Ankh-Hor, Chief steward of the Divine Wife of Amun Nitokris (26th Dynasty). Since 2013 he conducts excavations at the Middle Kingdom Palace at Bubastis.


Bietak studied archeology at University of Vienna, obtaining his Dr. phil. in 1964 and an honorary PhD. in 2009. In 1961-1964, he took part in the archaeological rescue expedition of UNESCO at Sayala in Nubia, and he also supervised excavations there; in 1965 he was the director of the expedition. During 1966-1972, he was the Scientific Secretary and later the Scientific Counsellor at the Austrian Embassy in Cairo. In 1973, he founded the Austrian Archaeological Institute in Cairo; he has been the director of the institute until 2009.

Bietak is the founder and Director of the Austrian Archaeological Institute in Cairo 1973–2009. He was Chairman of the Institute of Egyptology (1984–2009) and of the Vienna Institute of Archaeological Science (2004-2011) at the University of Vienna and Chairman of the Commission for Egypt and the Levant at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. From 1999 to 2011, he was also founder and the First Speaker of the Special Research Programme (SFB) "Synchronisation of Civilisations in the Eastern Mediterranean in the Second Millennium B.C. SCIEM 2000" at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. In 1997 and 2006, he was Visiting Professor at the Collège de France; in 2004, he was Martha Whitcomb Visiting Professor at Harvard, 2016/17 Guest Scholar at the Getty Research Institute at Malibu, California. He is professor emeritus of Egyptology at the University of Vienna. [1]


Bietak has been elected to several scholarly institutions: Foreign Honorary Member of the Archaeological Institute of America; Full Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences; Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy; Full Member of German Archaeological Institute; Membre titulaire de l'Institut d'Égypte; Foreign Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters; Membre associé de l'Institut de France : Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres; Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries; Foreign Member of the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences in Gothenburg; Foreign Fellow of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Foreign Fellow of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in Rome and an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences at Cambridge, Ma. He is also a member of the following: Council of the International Union of Egyptologists (1976–2013); Scientific Committee of the International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East; Visiting Committee of the Egyptian Department of the Metropolitan Museum of New York.

Additionally, he has supervised or reviewed at least 40 Ph.D. theses and at least 18 Masters theses, at the universities of Amsterdam, Berlin, Cambridge, Copenhagen, Göttingen, Hamburg, Helwan, London, Vienna.

In 2006, there was a three-volume festschrift published in his honour. The festschrift includes a list of works that Bietak authored or co-authored up to 2006: 21 monographs, 164 research articles, and 17 review articles. Bietak has also edited or co-edited 8 periodicals, including the Egyptological journal Egypt and the Levant. [5]

In 2015, Bietak won from the European Research Council an ERC Advanced Grant "The Hyksos Enigma" and is Principal Investigator and head of this project which is accommodated at the Austrian Academy of Sciences and at the Bournemouth University, UK. This project explores the origins of western Asiatic populations in the Nile Delta during the Middle Kingdom (c. 2000–1800 BC) and the Second Intermediate Period (c. 1800–1530 BC) and how the Hyksos seized power in Lower Egypt. Research also is focused on the reasons for the decline and failure of the Hyksos 15th Dynasty and its lasting impact on the Egyptian culture of the New Kingdom.


This partial list is taken from Manfred Bietak bibliography page

Related Research Articles

Hyksos Asian invaders of Egypt, established 15th dynasty

The Hyksos were people of probable Levantine origin, who established the Fifteenth Dynasty of Egypt based at the city of Avaris in the Nile delta, from where they ruled the northern part of the country. While the Hellenistic Egyptian historian Manetho portrayed the Hyksos as invaders and oppressors, modern Egyptology no longer believes that the Hyksos conquered Egypt in an invasion. Instead, Hyksos rule had been preceded by groups of Canaanite peoples settled in the eastern delta who probably seceded from central Egyptian control near the end of the Thirteenth Dynasty.

Avaris Archaeological site in Egypt

Avaris was the capital of Egypt under the Hyksos. It was located at modern Tell el-Dab'a in the northeastern region of the Nile Delta, at the juncture of the 8th, 14th, 19th and 20th Nomes. As the main course of the Nile migrated eastward, its position at the hub of Egypt's delta emporia made it a major administrative capital of the Hyksos and other traders. It was occupied from about 1783 to 1550 BC, or from the Thirteenth Dynasty of Egypt through the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt until its capture by Ahmose I, the first Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty. The name in the Egyptian language of the 2nd millennium BC was probably pronounced *Ḥaʔət-Waʕrəʔ “House of the Region” and denotes the capital of an administrative division of the land (wʕr.t). Today, the name Hawara survives, referring to the site at the entrance to Faiyum. Alternatively, Clement of Alexandria referred to the name of this city as "Athyria".


Sharuhen was an ancient town in the Negev Desert or perhaps in Gaza. Following the expulsion of the Hyksos from Egypt in the second half of the 16th century BCE, they fled to Sharuhen and fortified it. The armies of Pharaoh Ahmose I seized and razed the town after a three-year siege.


Apepi or Apophis was a ruler of Lower Egypt during the Fifteenth Dynasty and the end of the Second Intermediate Period that was dominated by this foreign dynasty of rulers called the Hyksos. According to the Turin Canon of Kings, he ruled over the northern portion of Egypt for forty years. He ruled during the early half of the 16th century BC and outlived his southern rival, Kamose, but not Ahmose I. Although his reign only entailed northern Egypt, Apepi was dominant over most of Egypt during the early portion of his reign, and traded peacefully with the native Theban Seventeenth dynasty to the south.

Pi-Ramesses Capital of the ancient Egyptian 19th dynasty

Pi-Ramesses was the new capital built by the Nineteenth Dynasty Pharaoh Ramesses II at Qantir, near the old site of Avaris. The city had served as a summer palace under Seti I, and may have been founded by Ramesses I while he served under Horemheb.

Labib Habachi

Labib Habachi was an influential Egyptian Egyptologist.


Seuserenre Khyan, Khian or Khayan was a king of the Hyksos, Fifteenth Dynasty of Egypt. His royal name Seuserenre translates as "The one whom Re has caused to be strong." Khyan bears the titles of an Egyptian king, but also the title ruler of the foreign land (heqa-khaset). The later title is the typical designation of the Hyksos rulers.

Kim Steven Bardrum Ryholt is a professor of Egyptology at the University of Copenhagen and a specialist on Egyptian history and literature. He is director of the research center Canon and Identity Formation in the Earliest Literate Societies under the University of Copenhagen Programme of Excellence and director of The Papyrus Carlsberg Collection & Project.

The obscure Hyksos king, Sakir-Har, was discovered in an excavated doorjamb from Tell el-Dab'a of Ancient Egypt by Manfred Bietak in the 1990s; the doorjamb, now in Cairo bears his partial titulary. According to Kim Ryholt's 1997 book on the Second Intermediate Period, the doorjamb reads as,

[Horus who... ...], The possessor of the Wadjet and Nekhbet diadems who subdues the bow people. The Golden Falcon who establishes his boundary. The heka-khawaset, Sakir-Har.

Sheshi Egyptian pharaoh

Maaibre Sheshi was a ruler of areas of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period. The dynasty, chronological position, duration and extent of his reign are uncertain and subject to ongoing debate. The difficulty of identification is mirrored by problems in determining events from the end of the Middle Kingdom to the arrival of the Hyksos in Egypt. Nonetheless, Sheshi is, in terms of the number of artifacts attributed to him, the best-attested king of the period spanning the end of the Middle Kingdom and the Second Intermediate period; roughly from c. 1800 BC until 1550 BC. Hundreds of scaraboid seals bearing his name have been found throughout Canaan, Egypt, Nubia, and as far away as Carthage, where some were still in use 1,500 years after his death.

Malcolm H. Wiener is an Aegean prehistorian, retired principal in an investment management firm, and philanthropist. He is a natural-born American citizen, born in Tsingtao, China. He is married to Carolyn Talbot Seely Wiener, with whom he has four children.

Tell El-Daba Archaeological site in Egypt

Tell el-Dab'a is an archaeological site in the Nile Delta region of Egypt where Avaris, the capital city of the Hyksos, once stood. Avaris was occupied by Asiatics from the end of the 12th through the 13th Dynasty. The site is known primarily for its Minoan frescoes.

Peter M. Fischer is an Austrian-Swedish archaeologist. He is a specialist on Eastern Mediterranean and Near Eastern archaeology, and archaeometry. He belongs to the University of Gothenburg and is associated with the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Sweden. He is the founder and director of the Swedish Jordan Expedition, the Palestinian-Swedish Expedition at Tall al-Ajjul, Gaza. He became the director of the Swedish Cyprus Expedition in 2009 and carried out excavations at Hala Sultan Tekke since 2010. He is member/corresponding member of The Royal Society of Arts and Sciences in Gothenburg, Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities. and The Austrian Academy of Sciences.


Nehesy Aasehre (Nehesi) was a ruler of Lower Egypt during the fragmented Second Intermediate Period. He is placed by most scholars into the early 14th Dynasty, as either the second or the sixth pharaoh of this dynasty. As such he is considered to have reigned for a short time c. 1705 BC and would have ruled from Avaris over the eastern Nile Delta. Recent evidence makes it possible that a second person with this name, a son of a Hyksos king, lived at a slightly later time during the late 15th Dynasty c. 1580 BC. It is possible that most of the artefacts attributed to the king Nehesy mentioned in the Turin canon, in fact belong to this Hyksos prince.

The Minoan wall paintings at Tell El-Dab'a are of particular interest to Egyptologists and archaeologists. They are of Minoan style, content, and technology, but there is uncertainty over the ethnic identity of the artists. The paintings depict images of bull-leaping, bull-grappling, griffins, and hunts. They were discovered by a team of archaeologists led by Manfred Bietak, in the palace district of the Thutmosid period at Tell el-Dab'a. The frescoes date to the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt, most likely during the reigns of either the pharaohs Hatshepsut or Thutmose III, after being previously considered to belong to the late Second Intermediate Period. The paintings indicate an involvement of Egypt in international relations and cultural exchanges with the eastern Mediterranean either through marriage or exchange of gifts.

Tell el-Yahudiyeh Ware

Tell el-Yahudiyeh Ware or Tell el-Yahudiya ware is a distinctive ceramic ware of the late Middle Bronze Age / Second Intermediate Period. The ware takes its name from its type site at Tell el-Yahudiyeh in the eastern Nile Delta of ancient Egypt, and is also found in a large number of Levantine and Cypriot sites. It was first recognised as a distinctive ware by Sir Flinders Petrie during his excavation of the type site.


Shenshek was a ruler of some part of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, possibly during the 17th century BC, and likely belonging to the 14th Dynasty. As such he would have ruled from Avaris over the eastern Nile Delta and possibly over the western Delta as well. His chronological position and identity are unclear.

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Yanassi was a prince during the Fifteenth Dynasty. He was the eldest king's son of the Hyksos pharaoh Khyan and this title suggests that he was the crown prince, designated to be his successor. Nevertheless, Khyan was succeeded by Apophis who, for this reason, is believed to have been an usurper.

Many naval bases were located in and around Egypt in the ancient times of this world. The particular naval base of Peru-nefer was one of the bases established in the Eighteenth Dynasty of the New Kingdom of Egypt. Perunefer is, according to Manfred Biatek, identified with Tell el-Daba/ Ezbet Helmy. Support for this theory comes from excavations and digs that were conducted around the area the naval base was believed to be.


  1. 1 2 3 Curriculum Vitae: Manfred Bietak PhD habil PhD h.c. at
  2. "Severed Hands Discovered in Ancient Egypt Palace". Live Science. Live Science. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  3. "Documentary detailing evidence of biblical Exodus to be shown in Siren". Burnett County Sentinel. Burnett County Sentinel. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  4. "Egyptologists Discover Pits Filled With Giant Severed Hands in ..." Breaking Israel News. Breaking Israel News. 2017-11-14. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  5. "Ägypten und Levante / Egypt and the Levant". Austrian Academy of Sciences Press. 26. 2016. JSTOR   i40177777.