Belgian expansionism and the making of Egyptology, 1830-1952

In Belgium, Egyptology emerged later than elsewhere in Europe, but once under steam, it went through a rapid growth in the course of the first half of the 20th century. In the 1930s Brussels was occasionally even referred to as ‘the capital of Egyptology’.

Heliopolis.  © Le Soir Illustré, 15 Mar 1930.
"Frans van Kuyck", Book of Gold City of Antwerp, Part 1 1866-1892, p. 191. © FelixArchief.
"Ferdinand de Lesseps", Book of Gold City of Antwerp, Part 1 1866-1892, p. 144. © FelixArchief.
The Albert Eid & Co. antiquities store in Cairo. © Nag Hammadi Archive, Claremont Graduate University. Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, School of Religion.
Jean Capart - Severin Fresque © KMKG - MRAH
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News and activities

The Archives & Musée de la Littérature asbl (AML), a documentation and research centre on the literary, theatrical and editorial heritage of French-speaking Belgium and the research project Pyramids & Progress: Belgian expansionism and the making of Egyptology, 1830-1952 have agreed to set up a ...

6 Jul 2021
Did you know Belgian pioneer of aviation baron Pierre de Caters was the first ever pilot to fly over Egypt? In this short snapshot of shared Belgo-Egyptian history, you will learn about the first steps of aviation in Egypt. As most of you might know by now, Egypt was a key market for Belgium ...
29 May 2021
Our colleagues at the University of Glasgow are offering a fully-funded PhD-position titled : "Imagining ancient Egypt in the age of empire: Identity and power in Scottish museum displays of Egyptian objects, 1860 to 1930." The deadline for applications is 5.00pm (GMT) on Monday 7 June 2021. More ...

14 May 2021
On Thursday May 13, 2021, P&P-member Vincent Oeters MA will give a lecture at the Current Research in Egyptology 2020/2021 Conference which will be hosted by the University of the Aegean, Rhodes, Greece from 9-16 May 2021. The title of his lecture will be “Not a curse “of” but rather “on” the mummy ...

lecture | conference
9 May 2021
This week, the Louvre Museum has launched its new online database. To showcase its potential, I would like to tell you about the history of the Belgo-French collection of short-time Belgian diplomat (Aimé) Auguste Parent. A failed diplomatic career As a son of Basile Parent, Belgian revolutionary ...

25 Mar 2021
Team Pyramids & Progress proudly presents its symposium “Pyramids and Progress.” Perspectives on the Entanglement of Imperialisms and Early Egyptology (1800–1950), which will take place in Brussels, Belgium from 8-10 November 2021. We invite you to consider contributing to this symposium, and to ...

lecture | conference
18 Jan 2021
At the turn of the 20th century, Cairo’s nightlife district, Ezbekiyya, was served by a vast array of bars, cafés chantants, and music halls; and many of the most popular and successful venues at the time were run by women. Some were Egyptian, like the legendary Shafiqa al-Qibtiyya (for more on her ...

29 Dec 2020
In response to the Pyramids & Progress exposition “Made in Belgium. Industriels belges en Égypte (1830 - 1952)" by the Musée royal de Mariemont at the Bois-du-Luc site, a remarkable message has reached our team. Stéphan Coppée contacted us with some images featuring his grandfather Jean Joseph ...

26 Nov 2020
SURA - Unlocking the Photographic Archives of the Pioneering Years of Egyptology at the Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels SURA is a two-year joint project between the Royal Museums of Art and History (RMAH) in Brussels and the Department of Archaeology of KU Leuven. It aims to valorise a ...

21 Nov 2020
It is with deep sadness that we learn of the untimely passing on 10 November of Egyptologist dr. Michèle Broze, a FNRS senior research associate at the Université libre de Bruxelles, where she taught Egyptian language and culture. A specialist in the history of religions and cultural interactions in ...
13 Nov 2020
"Pyramids and Progress" is looking for a full-time documentalist. The deadline for application is 25/10/2020. Further details can be found in the following link. Don't miss this opportunity to be part of an exciting research project! More information: ...

28 Sep 2020
Antenne Centre Television came to have a look at our EXPO / Made in Belgium. Industriels belges en Égypte (1830-1952) which is opening today!

5 Sep 2020
If it weren’t for the outbreak of COVID-19, the summer of 2020 would have had everything in store for sports fans all over the world. In Europe, national football teams were expected to compete for the European title. In France, the yellow jersey was once again waiting at the end of the Champs ...

2 Sep 2020
One of our partner institutions, the Royal Museums of Art and History, has a vacancy for an Egyptologist (post-doc level) in a new called "SURA: Unlocking the Photographic Archives of the Pioneering Years of Egyptology at the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels". SURA ...

17 Aug 2020
Curious what these photos of railways, bridges and trams have to do with Belgian-Egyptian history? P&P-member and archivist Sophie Urbain has published a contribution about the archives of the société Baume & Marpent in BVNG-ABHC's latest issue of Contemporanea! Picture: Ensemble de photographies ...
29 Jun 2020