Manfred Bietak

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Manfred Bietak (born in Vienna) is an Austrian archaeologist. He is professor emeritus of Egyptology at the University of Vienna 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. 1999-2011 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, Ca.

Bietak is best known as the director of the Austrian excavations at two sites in the Nile delta: Tell El-Dab'a, which was identified as the location of Avaris, 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.

Early career[edit]

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 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 a Fellow 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.

Bibliography (partial)[edit]

  • M. Bietak, “Minoan Wall-paintings Unearthed at Ancient Avaris,” Egyptian Archaeology: Bulletin of the Egyptian Exploration Society 2(1992) 26-28.
  • M. Bietak, “Connections between Egypt and the Minoan World: New Results from Tell el-Dab’a/Avaris,” in W. V. Davies and L. Schofield (eds.), Egypt, the Aegean and the Levant (London 1995) 19-28.
  • M. Bietak, “‘Rich beyond the Dreams of Avaris: Tell el-Dab’a and the Aegean World – A Guide for the Perplexed’. A Response to Eric H. Cline,” Annual of the BSA 95(2000) 185-205.
  • M. Bietak, “Minoan Presence in the Pharaonic Naval Base of Peru-nefer,” in O. Krzsyzkowska (ed.), Cretan Offerings: Studies in Honour of Peter Warren [BSA Studies 18] (London 2010) 11-24.
  • M. Bietak, J. Dorner, I. Hein, and P. Janosi, “Neue Grabungsergebnisse aus Tell el-Dab’a und ‘Ezbet Helmi im östlichen Nildelta 1989-1991,” Ägypten und Levante 4(1994) 9-80.
  • M. Bietak and N. Marinatos, “The Minoan Wall Paintings from Avaris,” Ägypten und Levante 5(1995) 49-62.
  • M. Bietak and N. Marinatos, “Avaris (Tell el-Dab’a) and the Minoan World,” in A. Karetsou (ed.), Krete-Aigyptos: Politismikoi desmoi trion chilietion (Athens 2000) 40-44.
  • M. Bietak, N. Marinatos, and C. Palyvou, “The Maze Tableau from Tell el-Dab’a,” in S. Sherratt (ed.), Proceedings of the First International Symposium “The Wall Paintings of Thera” I (Athens 2000) 77-88.
  • M. Bietak, N. Marinatos, and C. Palyvou, Taureador Scenes in Tell el-Dab’a (Avaris) and Knossos (Vienna 2007).
  • Full bibliography at
  • Full bibliography of 200+ items

External links[edit]