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 Jan Assmann

Jan Assmann was born in Langelsheim in 1938. He spent his school years in Lübeck and Heidelberg before going on to study Egyptology, Classical Archaeology and Greek Studies in Munich, Heidelberg, Paris and Göttingen. Since 1976 he has been professor of Egyptology in Heidelberg. He has worked as a guest professor in Paris (Collège de France, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, EHESS), Jerusalem (Hebrew University, Dormition Abbey) and the US (Yale, Houston).

Since 1967 he has been conducting archaeological fieldwork in Western Thebes (on officials’ graves dating back to the Saite period and the time of the Ramesses). He is the author of numerous books and articles on Egyptian religion, history, literature and art. He has also published comparative studies focusing on cultural theory (Das kulturelle Gedächtnis) and religion (Monotheismus und Kosmotheismus).

Jan Assmann is a member of the Heidelberg Academy, the German Institute for Archaeology, the Institute for Historical Anthropology, the Egypt Exploration Society and the Société Française d’Egyptologie.

He is also a member of various advisory committees including those of the Institute for Cultural Studies in Essen, the Research Institute of the Protestant University Community and the Centre for Cultural Studies in Stuttgart.

Photo: © Carl Hanser Verlag

featured book:
The Mosaic Distinction


  • 1996 Max Planck Award for Research
  • 1998 German Historians’ Prize
  • 1998 Honorary Doctorate in Theology from the Theology Faculty, Munster
  • 2004 Soc.Sc.D. (honoris causa), Yale University
  • 2005 Ph.D. (honoris causa), Hebrew University Jerusalem
  • 2006 Order of Merit of the Federal Republic, First Class
  • 2006 Alfried Krupp Prize for Scholarship

Photo: © Carl Hanser Verlag

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