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Joachim Friedrich Quack Awarded Germany’s Most Prestigious Research Prize

2 December 2010

Heidelberg Egyptologist receives Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize for 2011


Prof. Dr. Joachim Friedrich Quack
Prof. Dr. Joachim Friedrich Quack

Prof. Dr. Joachim Friedrich Quack, director of Heidelberg University’s Institute of Egyptology, has been awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize from the German Research Foundation (DFG). The DFG announced its decision on Thursday, 2 December. Germany’s most prestigious research prize is endowed with 2.5 million euros. The prize monies are dedicated to funding the Heidelberg scientist's future research work. Prof. Quack receives the distinction as “one of Germany’s most internationally renowned Egyptologists”, as the DFG phrased it. The German Research Foundation has named ten scientists (four women, six men) as Leibniz Prize winners for the year 2011. Prof. Quack is the only recipient from the humanities and social sciences. The presentation of the award will take place in March next year.

The German Research Foundation on the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize for Professor Quack:

“As one of Germany’s most internationally renowned Egyptologists, Joachim Friedrich Quack has been awarded the Leibniz Prize. Intimately acquainted with all stages of ancient Egyptian civilisation and the evolution of the Egyptian language, he has specialised above all in the later periods of its history, notably the Graeco-Roman era. In traditional Egyptology, this era had long suffered from relative neglect, so there was formerly little appreciation of its rich heritage and its significance for other sectors of ancient studies. Quack’s achievement has been to cast light on a whole era of Egyptian cultural history and to delineate its fascinating otherness in several major monographs and numerous articles. Another groundbreaking achievement is the research leading to the reconstruction of the “Book of the Temple”, one of the crucial documents of Egyptian religious history. It retained its validity for centuries and indicates precisely how the ‘ideal temple’ should be built and operated. On the basis of only two papyri, Quack was able to track down and collate dozens of manuscripts scattered all over the world. At present he is working on a keenly anticipated annotated edition of the work.

Joachim Friedrich Quack’s Magister thesis, with which he finished his studies in Tübingen and Paris, soon became a standard work, as did his doctoral dissertation. After a DFG study grant for Copenhagen and a DFG research grant, he joined the academic staff of the Free University of Berlin, where he completed his Habilitation. In 2005, at the early age of 39, he succeeded Jan Assmann as professor of Egyptology in Heidelberg.”

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