This exhibition focuses on the oldest city in Egypt and presents its 6000-year history in a variety of thematic sections reflecting all aspects of the landscape and life of a region of deep religious, political and cultural significance.
Akhmim as One of the Most Important Religious Centres of the Ancient World
Although the city is almost unknown today, in antiquity it was one of the most important religious centres. As early as the protohistorical period, Akhmim was the main site for the worship of the fertility god Min, later equated with the Greek god Pan. Built in the Ptolemaic era, Min’s temple was one of the largest in Egypt. Prior to its destruction in the 14th century AD it was described by Arab historians as a kind of wonder of the world. The city was equally famous for its stonemasonry and textiles. Akhim is still known as a centre of artisanal textile production today.
Many Famous Figures Came From Akhmim
Numerous famous people are closely associated with the city. For example, Tiye, the mother of Akhenaten, Pharaoh Ay, the alchemist Zosimos of Panopolis and the poet Nonnus all came from Akhmim. The legendary abbot Shenoute founded a flourishing monastery near Akhmim in the early Christian era. Rules that he established influenced the Rule of Saint Benedict and continue to be followed today.
A Long History of Human Settlement
The city’s long settlement history can be seen, among other things, in the extensive necropolises, where graves from six millennia have been preserved, along with a wealth of archaeological finds. Many of them are now in the collections of the Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung and the Skulpturensammlung und Museum für Byzantinische Kunst. Some are being exhibited for the first time.
The exhibition also features loans from around Germany and abroad. The historical presentation is capped off by a look at 100 years of research in the field.
A special exhibition of the Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung and the Skulpturensammlung und Museum für Byzantinische Kunstt of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin in cooperation with the Egyptology Department at Universität Göttingen.
Deutschlandfunk Kultur is media partner of the exhibition.