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Russian Institute of Egyptology in Cairo

Russian Institute of Egyptology in Cairo
Russian school of Egyptology has old traditions, going back to the 19th century. The works of many Russian scholars (Vladimir Golenischeff, Boris Turaev, Vladimir Vikentiev and others) were highly appreciated by their foreign colleagues and brought Russian scholarship up to a high international level. However, for many years Russian egyptologists had no opportunity to work in Egypt.

In 1955 academician Mikhail Korostovtsev expressed his regret about that: «Egypt has become an international scientific laboratory in archaeology, anthropology, ethnology, philology, history and fine arts. It is a pity to realise that scholars of our great country cannot work there». M. A. Korostovtsev put forward the idea to set up a Soviet Institute in Egypt. The main task of the Institute would be comprehensive study of the history of Egypt and other Arab countries.

This idea was brought to life only 50 years later, thanks to the initiative of Eugeny M. Primakov, who was the Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1977–1985. In 2000, with the assistance of Andrej I. Denisov, the Russian Ambassador in Egypt, the Russian Institute of Egyptology in Cairo was founded. It was for the first time then that Russian scholars got a chance to be engaged in permanent research work in Egypt.

The Russian Institute of Egyptology in Cairo is a branch of the Centre for Egyptological Studies of RAS. The main fields of its activities include:

  • comprehensive interdisciplinary studies of the history, culture, languages, and religion of ancient, medieval and modern Egypt;
  • archaeological excavations;
  • restoration and conservation of historical and cultural monuments and objects;
  • creation of the digital database of ancient Egyptian collections of the Egyptian museums;
  • promotion of international academic relationships;
  • popularisation of scholarship.