Those planning to visit Charles University’s historic Carolinum over the month of August and early September have the opportunity to see a unique exhibition mapping 100 years of Czech Egyptology. Entitled "Between Prague and Cairo", it is open daily from 10 – 6 pm and admission is free.
The beginnings of Czech Egyptology date back to the days of Associate Professor (and later Dean of the Faculty of Arts) František Lexa, who announced the dates of lectures pertaining to Ancient Egypt at Charles University in the spring semester of 1919. Interest in Oriental Studies and linguistics was high in the recently minted Czechoslovakia, although there would also be lean years moving forward when fewer students pursued the field.
All the same, with the help of students and colleagues, Lexa lay a foundation for research and field studies that would prove vital into the future.
Abusir and beyond
The second part of the exhibition places special emphasis on Czech archaeological research and excavations from 1960 to the present in both Egypt and neighbouring Sudan - organised by the Czech Institute of Egyptology at Charles University’s Faculty of Arts. The name of the archaeological locality of Abusir comes up most often when discussing the decades of research and contribution of Czech Egyptology but other sites have received significant attention as well.
Czech Egyptology has also gained renown not just for major archaeological finds over the decades, but for corresponding research and contributions in academia. The Czech Egyptological Institute’s Lucie Vendelová Jirásková, a co-author of the exhibition told UniMedia that while archaeological finds naturally attract the most attention, there is much more to discover. Visitors at the Carolinum have until September 8, 2019 to see for themselves.
Text: Faculty of Arts, Marcela Uhlíková
Photo: Archive of the Czech Institute of Egyptology
Translated by: Jan Velinger