- Egyptian history and chronology
- Cultural relations between ancient Egypt and the Near East
- History of Egyptology in Nazi Germany
- Egyptian historical phonology
- Hebrew Bible
Egyptology in the Nazi Era: National Socialism and the Profile of a Humanistic Discipline, 1933-45
This project (funded by a SSHRC Insight Grant) has aimed to (1) reconstruct the careers and political roles of German Egyptologists during the Weimar Republic and National Socialism, as well as their careers after 1945; (2) to evaluate the institutional situation of Egyptology and its interplay with politics, and the consequences of National Socialism for the discipline; (3) to assess, through a systematic analysis of published scholarship, how the Egyptological discourse was shaped by “völkisch” and National Socialist ideology.
The Nile and Its People: A New History of Ancient Egypt
This new history of Ancient Egypt (for Oxford University Press) is novel in its aspiration to revolutionize the way Egyptian history is interpreted and narrated. It aims at a balanced appreciation of cultural phenomena in their dependence from and as a response to Egypt’s changing natural conditions. The need for a new narrative lies in the emergence of a new paradigm: the acknowledgment of the Nile river as a fundamental driver of Egyptian history and the fact of much local and social diversity as a result of the river system. This paradigm perceives Egypt not so much as the gracious gift of the Nile (Herodotus) but as a social cage for its inhabitants, created by the Nile as the country’s „true despot“ (Joseph Manning).
Mapping Scripture onto Scrolls: Egyptian Papyri and the Genesis of the Hebrew Bible
This project (funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation) is the first attempt to assess the possible impact of the materiality of Egyptian papyri on the composition of texts of the Hebrew Bible. There is a general assumption that papyri were used as a writing surface in Israel and Judah; if so, the availability of papyri must have had an effect on literary production in Israel and Judah. Also, the fact that Egyptian papyri came in certain formats and dimensions (depending on text use and time) has never been taken into account with regard to the composition of the Hebrew Bible. The project will explore to what extent those parameters of materiality have conditioned the genesis of the Hebrew Bible and whether they have left detectable traces in the structure of Biblical books.
Thomas Schneider studied at the University of Zurich, the University of Basel and the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris, earning a Lizentiat (1990), a doctorate (1996), and a Habilitation (1999) in Egyptology at the University of Basel.
Prior to coming to UBC in 2007, he was a Lecturer in Egyptology at the University of Zurich (2000-3), a Junior Research Professor of the Swiss National Science Foundation at the University of Basel (2001-5) and Professor and holder of the Chair in Egyptology at the University of Wales, Swansea (2005-8). He held Visiting Professorships at the University of Vienna (1999), the University of Heidelberg (2003-4) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2018). He was a Visiting Scholar at New York University (2006), the University of California, Berkeley (2012), as well as a Guest Lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing (2016) and at Shanghai University (2018).
From 2018-20, he was Associate Vice President (International) at the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China. From 2016-7, he served in a part-time role as Advisor to the President at Quest University Canada. From 2014-8, he was a member of the UBC Senate and worked, among other projects, on a Responsible Conduct of Research Initiative by the Dean and Vice Provost, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
He is the founding editor of the “Journal of Egyptian History” (2008-2014) and was the editor of “Culture and History of the Ancient Near East” (Brill, 2006-2013) and “Near Eastern Archaeology” (American Schools of Oriental Research, 2012-2018).
Link to updated publications – https://ubc.academia.edu/ThomasSchneider
Recent Publications 2015-present
Language Contact in Ancient Egypt. Series “Ancient Egypt in Context”.
Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2020 (in preparation).
埃及考古十三讲 – Lectures on the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt. Chinese Academy of Social Sciences – Institute of Archaeology. Beijing 2017 (pp. 127-285; c. 50% of the entire book)
Thomas Schneider and Brad Sparks (eds.): Moses, the Exodus and Early Israel: New
Research, New Prospects. Accepted for Culture and History of the Ancient Near East. In preparation. 60,000 words.
Thomas Schneider and Christine Johnston (eds.): The Gift of the Nile? Ancient Egypt and the Environment. Manifesto and Proceedings from the Symposium “Gift of the Nile? Ancient Egypt and the Environment” (UBC, April 3, 2017). Forthcoming for: Tucson: University of Arizona Egyptian Expedition. 120,000 words, 500 pp.
Juan Carlos Moreno Garcia and Thomas Schneider (eds.): Ethnic Identities in Ancient Egypt and the Identity of Egyptology. Journal of Egyptian History Special Volume. 2018, 248 pp.
Peter Der Manuelian and Thomas Schneider (eds.): Towards a New History of the Old Kingdom. Perspectives on the Pyramid Age. Proceedings of the Conference at Harvard University, April 26th, 2012. Harvard Egyptological Studies 1. Leiden/New York: Brill 2015, vii, 529 pp., illustr.
Thomas E. Levy, Thomas Schneider and William H.C. Propp (eds.): Israel’s Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective – Text, Archaeology, Culture, and Geoscience. Quantitative Methods in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Springer: 2015. 584 p. 180 illus., 100 illus. in color.
Edited series and journals
Near Eastern Archaeology, Boston: American Schools of Oriental Research. 28 issues. 2012–2018.
Journal of Egyptian History, Brill: Leiden/Boston, 2008–2014
Culture and History of the Ancient Near East, Brill (editor-in-chief and Egyptological sub-editor), 2006-2013 (http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=10&pid=9265)
Articles in journals and book contributions
Was Proto-Berber Spoken on Ancient Egypt’s Western Periphery? A Review of the Linguistic and Contextual Evidence. Festschrift Contribution. 8250 words.
Hermann Grapow’s Position in Egyptology and National Socialist Initiatives for the Humanities, 1938-1945. Forthcoming in: Bernard M. Levinson and Robert Ericksen (ed.): Betrayal of the Humanities: The University during the Third Reich. Studies in Antisemitism. Indiana University Press.
Moses the Egyptian? A Reassessment of the Etymology of the Name ‘Moses’, in: Thomas Schneider and Brad Sparks (eds.): Moses, the Exodus and Early Israel: New Research, New Prospects. 4400 words.
From Object to Subject: Towards a New Narrative for the Nile and Water in Ancient Egyptian Civilization, in: Thomas Schneider and Christine Johnston (eds.): Ancient Egypt and the Environment. Manifesto and Proceedings of the Symposium “Gift of the Nile? Ancient Egypt and the Environment” (UBC, April 3, 2017). Tucson: University of Arizona Egyptian Expedition. 4300 words.
Students should be Masters of Postgraduate Offerings, in: Times Higher Education Magazine, May 28, 2020. Print version: Students should be the masters of choices in postgraduate degrees.
Language Contact of Ancient Egyptian with Semitic and other Near Eastern Languages. In: Rebecca Hasselbach-Andee (ed.): A Companion to Ancient Near Eastern Languages. Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World. 2020, 421-437.
(with Wolfgang Schütte) „Adramelech, der Äthiopier“ (2 Kön 17,4 ANT): Eine neue Quelle zu den Beziehungen zwischen Hosea von Israel und der kuschitischen 25. Dynastie? In: Biblische Notizen 182(2019), 69-90.
古埃及的医学与巫术：重估两者的关系[Gǔ āijí de yīxué yǔ wū shù: Zhòng gū liǎng zhě de guānxì – Medicine and Magic in Ancient Egypt: Reassessing their Relationship]. In: Journal of the Social History of Medicine and Health 3/2 (2018), 143-160.
Egyptology in Nazi Germany: Ideology, Scholarship, Careers. Public Lecture in Memory of Hans Jakob Polotsky at the Halbert Centre for Canadian Studies, Hebrew University. Available at https://openscholar.huji.ac.il/polotskynow (uploaded December 30, 2018)
The Stigma of Submission: Reassessing Sisera’s Fate in Judges 5,25-27. In: Tell it in Gath. Studies in the History and Archaeology of Israel Essays in Honor of Aren M. Maeir on the Occasion of his Sixtieth Birthday Edited by Itzhaq Shai, Jeffrey R. Chadwick, Louise Hitchcock, Amit Dagan, Chris McKinny, and Joe Uziel = Ägypten und Altes Testament 90. Münster: Zaphon, 2018, 562–576.
Ethnic Identities in Ancient Egypt and the Identity of Egyptology: Towards a “Trans-Egyptology”. In: Juan Carlos Moreno Garcia and Thomas Schneider (eds.): Ethnic Identities in Ancient Egypt and the Identity of Egyptology. Journal of Egyptian History 11(2018), 241-244.
Hyksos Research in Egyptology and Egypt’s Public Imagination: A Brief Assessment of Fifty Years of Assessments. In: Juan Carlos Moreno Garcia and Thomas Schneider (eds.): Ethnic Identities in Ancient Egypt and the Identity of Egyptology. Journal of Egyptian History 11(2018), 73–86.
Khyan’s Place in History: A New Look at the Chronographic Tradition. In: I Forstner-Müller and N. Moeller (eds.), The Hyksos Ruler Khyan and the Early Second Intermediate Period in Egypt. Proceedings of the Workshop of the Austrian Archaeological Institute and the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, Vienna, July 4-5, 2014. Ergänzungshefte zu den Jahresheften des Österreichischen Archäologischen Institutes in Wien. 2018, 277-285.
Hitler, Goebbels and the Frogs on the Nile: A 1931 Political Photomontage. Aegyptiaca: Journal of the Reception of Ancient Egypt 2(2018), 4-24. Free download at
A Double Abecedary? Halaªam and ’Abgad on the TT99 Ostracon. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 379(2018), 103-112.
A Land Without Prophets? Examining the Presumed Lack of Prophecy in Ancient Egypt, in: C.A. Rollston (ed.), Enemies and Friends of the State: Ancient Prophecy in Context. Winona Lake, In.: Eisenbrauns, 2018, 58-83.
Finding the Beyond: Exploration. In: Pearce Paul Creasman and Richard H. Wilkinson (eds.): Pharaoh’s Land and Beyond: Ancient Egypt and Its Neighbors. Oxford: OUP, 2017, 5-17.
„What is the Past but a Once Material Existence Now Silenced?“: The First IntermediatePeriod from an Epistemological Perspective. In: Felix Höflmayer (ed.), The Late Third Millennium in the Ancient Near East: Chronology, C14, and Climate Change. Chicago: Oriental Institute. 2017, 311-322.
Articles „Law and Order: Ma’at and Social Control“ and „Horus is Watching You: Surveillance“ in: Marc Babej, Yesterday – Tomorrow. A Work in Aspective Realism. Heidelberg and Berlin: Kehrer, 2017, 65-69 and 95-99.
Articles “Ausländer im Neuen Reich“ and „Exodus“. In: Catalogue of the exhibition „Ramses – Göttlicher Herrscher am Nil. Badisches Landesmuseum. Schloss Karlsruhe, 17.12.2016–18.6.2017. Karlsruhe 2016, 304-307 and 312-313.
“Eine Füh¬rer¬natur, wie sie der neue Staat braucht!” Hermann Kees’ Tätigkeit in Göttingen 1924-1945 und die Kontroverse um Entnazifizierung und Wiedereinstellung in der Nachkriegszeit. Studien zur altägyptischen Kultur 45(2015), 333-381.
Fuzzy (Hi)stories: On Cat Killing in France and Egypt, the Mystery of a Priest and Thirteen Assyrians, and the Boundaries of the Past in Demotic Literature. In: Hans Amstutz, Andreas Dorn, Miriam Ronsdorf, Matthias Müller and Sami Uljas (eds.), Fuzzy Boundaries. Festschrift für Antonio Loprieno. Hamburg: Kai Widmaier, 2015, 434-448.
The Old Kingdom Abroad: An Epistemological Perspective. With Remarks on the Biography of Iny and the Kingdom of Dugurasu. In: Peter Der Manuelian and Thomas Schneider (eds.), Towards a New History of the Old Kingdom. Perspectives on the Pyramid Age. Proceedings of the Conference at Harvard University, April 26th, 2012. Harvard Egyptological Studies 1. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2015, 425-451.
Modern Scholarship Versus the Demon of Passover: An Outlook on Exodus Research and Egyptology through the Lens of Exodus 12. In: Thomas E. Levy, Thomas Schneider and William H.C. Propp (eds.), Israel’s Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective – Text, Archaeology, Culture, and Geoscience. Quantitative Methods in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Springer: 2015, 537-553.
The Gebel Barkal Stelae and the Discovery of Ancient Nubia: Auguste Mariette’s Inspiration for Aïda, in: Near Eastern Archaeology 78.1(2015), 46-53.
Kulturkontakte: Israel und Ägypten. With Bernd U. Schipper. Wibilex, February 2015.
http://www.bibelwissenschaft.de/stichwort/24365/ (4,800 words).
God’s Infanticide in the Night of Passover: Exodus 12 in the Light of Ancient Egyptian Rituals. In: Not Sparing the Child: Human Sacrifice in the Ancient World and Beyond. Studies in Honor of Professor Paul G. Mosca. Edited by Daphna Arbel, Paul C. Burns, J.R.C Cousland, Richard Menkis, and Dietmar Neufeld. New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2015, 52-76.
Review of Marianne Eaton-Krauss: Bernard V. Bothmer, Egyptologist in the making, 1912 through July 1946. With Bothmerʼs own account of his Escape from Central Europe in October 1941. Investigatio Orientis 3. Münster: Zaphon, 2019. In: Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 56(2020) (forthcoming).
Rev. of Barbara Lüscher: Auf den Spuren von Edouard Naville. Beiträge und Materialien zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte des Totenbuches. Totenbuchtext Supplementa 1. Basel: Orientverlag, 2014. In: Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 53(2017), 343-4.
Rev. of Phyllis Saretta, Asiatics in Middle Kingdom Egypt: Perceptions and Reality. Bloomsbury Egyptology. London; New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016. Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2016.08.21
RELG201 Near Eastern and Biblical Mythology Sections
An introduction to the world of Near Eastern mythology, from the Gilgamesh Epic to the Book of Genesis and beyond.
One fine body…
RELG306 Archaeology and the Bible Sections
The impact of archaeological research on understanding the history and religion of ancient Israel.
One fine body…
NEST303 History of Ancient Egypt Sections
History and culture of Ancient Egyptian civilization from political, intellectual, social and environmental perspectives
One fine body…
NEST312 Religion in Ancient Egypt Sections
A survey of the religious beliefs, cults, and religious institutions in Pharaonic Egypt.
One fine body…