Heidelberg University MuseumExhibition: “Götter, Geber und Gelehrte” (Gods, Donors and Scholars)

Press Release No. 79/2022
26 July 2022

Special exhibition in the Heidelberg University Museum marking discovery of Tutankhamen’s grave and decoding of the hieroglyphs

When the British Egyptologist Howard Carter first peered into the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamen in 1922 he reportedly exclaimed that he saw “wonderful things”. As early as 100 years before, the French linguist Jean-François Champollion decoded the hieroglyphs and so laid the foundation for the academic discipline of Egyptology as we know it today. To mark the two anniversaries, the Heidelberg University Museum is holding a special exhibition curated by students of Ruperto Carola in the context of a seminar led by Dr Dina Faltings, curator of the Institute of Egyptology’s collection. It gives insights into the religion of Ancient Egypt, the history of Egyptology and the handling of cultural heritage. The exhibition “Gods, Donors and Scholars. The Mochayédi private collection” will be opened on 28 July and can then be visited until 15 October 2022 in the building of the Old University.

Fragment of a coffin lid depicting the winged sky goddess Nut spreading her wings protectively over the chest of the deceased. Material: wood, stuccoed and painted.

“Wonderful things” are on display in the University Museum, too, thanks to the donation of a private collector, Dr Faltings explains. These are over 50 Ancient Egyptian objects collected by the Mannheim surgeon Z. Mochayédi, which his widow would like to leave to Heidelberg University. “The objects will be shown to the public for the first time,” the researcher underlines. They illustrate, above all, the Ancient Egyptian belief in the afterlife and the realm of the gods. Under the guidance of Dr Faltings, the students checked the authenticity of the objects, researched their history and wrote the accompanying English and German texts, additional information about the exhibits being also accessible in audio format via QR code. The exhibition gives information not only about Egyptian gods and Egyptology as an academic discipline but also presents the donor of the collection and raises the issue of dealing with historical objects.

The exhibition will be formally opened in the evening of 28 July. After greetings by Dr Faltings and Museum curator Charlotte Lagemann, students from the subjects Egyptology, Classical Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Studies will introduce the topic of the exhibition and present some of the objects on display. The event begins at 6pm and access to the University Museum is via the entrance to the Old University in Grabengasse 1.

The exhibition “Gods, Donors and Scholars” is running from 29 July to 15 October 2022 in the University Museum. It can be viewed during the museum opening hours: Tuesday through Saturday and, starting in September, Wednesday through Saturday, from 10am to 1.45pm and from 2.15pm to 6pm. From 17 July to 31 August, the University Museum is also open on Sundays; it is closed on 2 August. Guided visits can be arranged for groups of five to ten people, and there is a special programme for children between the age of eight and twelve. Tickets for 4 euros (reduced 3.50 euros) are available at the Uni-Shop in Augustinergasse 2, from where the museum and special exhibition can be accessed. The ticket is valid for entry to the Student Prison, the University Museum and the special exhibition.