Altägyptisches Wörterbuch

The aim of the Academic Project "Altägyptisches Wörterbuch" is to create a lexical database containing a corpus of Egyptian texts from the Pharaonic period. This lexical database will provide a new research tool for Egyptology, enabling Egyptian texts to be made available in electronic form and allowing navigation and combined searches in the database, and will provide an overview of a constantly growing body of Egyptian texts, which will be lexically indexed word by word. By navigating through the entire database, a large amount of vocabulary information can be obtained. The Internet is intended as a form of publication.

A further task of the project is to develop programmes that allow other Egyptologists to enter texts in the database format of the "Altägyptisches Wörterbuch". The Berlin office has about 1.5 million records of Egyptian words collected by more than 60 Egyptologists in the period from 1897 to 1940. The archive of notes (Zettelarchiv) was digitised in 1997/98 with financial support from the DFG and integrated into an indexed image database. It has been accessible via the Internet since 1999. In 1897 a large-scale project was established under the aegis of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities, aiming to make ancient Egyptian vocabulary fully accessible. As a result, the "Altägyptisches Wörterbuch“ with 13 volumes was published between 1926 and 1963, one of the great achievements of the science of Egyptology. The note archives of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities contain about 1.7 million notes, i.e. word documents in their context. This is a multiple of the text passages found in the printed dictionary. The entire material can now be consulted outside the archive rooms: as a digitised note archive on the Internet. In order to make the manifold new material accessible or to update it according to the current state of science, a text database is being built up which can be used as a virtual dictionary.

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Contact person for the academies' programme

Sebastian Zwies M.A.

Geschäftsstelle Mainz
Union der deutschen Akademien der Wissenschaften
Geschwister-Scholl-Straße 2
55131 Mainz

Tel: 06131/218 528-17