Ludwig Borchardt

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Ludwig Borchardt
Ludwig borchardt.jpg
Born (1863-10-05)October 5, 1863
Died August 12, 1938(1938-08-12) (aged 74)
Nationality German
Occupation Egyptologist

Ludwig Borchardt (October 5, 1863 – August 12, 1938) was a German Egyptologist who was born in Berlin.


the bust of Nefertiti is the best known find of Ludwig Borchardt

Also known as Herbert, Borchardt initially studied Architecture and later Egyptology under Adolf Erman. In 1895 he journeyed to Cairo and produced, with Gaston Maspero, the Catalogue of the Egyptian Museum (Catalogue Général du Musée du Caire). In 1907 he founded the German Archaeological Institute (Deutsches Archäologische Institut) in Cairo, and remained its director until 1928.[1]

His main focus was Ancient Egyptian architecture. He began excavations in Amarna, where he discovered the workshop of the sculptor Thutmose. Amongst its contents was the famous bust of Nefertiti, (now in the Neues Museum in Berlin). From 1902 until 1908, he undertook extensive excavations of the Pyramid of Sahure, exploring the entire mortuary complex. He published his discoveries in a two-volume study Das Grabdenkmal des Konigs Sahure, "The Funerary Monument of the King Sahure", which is still considered the standard work on Sahure's complex.[2] He also directed the excavations in Heliopolis and the tombs of Old Kingdom nobles in Abu Gorab. He died in Zurich, on 12 August 1938. Recently, controversy has arisen with the assertion he smuggled the bust of Nefertiti out of Egypt by reporting it as an artifact made of gypsum. It has also been claimed by Swiss art historian Henri Stierlin that the bust is a copy dating from 1912.[1][3]


  • Baugeschichte des Amontempels von Karnak (1905)
  • Die Annalen und die zeitliche Festlegung des Alten Reiches der ägyptischen Geschichte (1917)
  • Quellen und Forschungen zur Zeitbestimmung der Ägyptischen Geschichte, 3 Bde. (1917-1938)


  1. ^ a b Herbert Ricke (1955), "Borchardt, Ludwig", Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German), 2, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 455–456 
  2. ^ Ludwig Borchardt: Das Grabdenkmal des Königs Sahurā. 2 Bände, J. C. Hinrichs, Leipzig 1910–1913 (Publication of Borchardt's excavations). Online version
  3. ^ Famed Nefertiti bust 'a fake': expert