Thomas Schneider

Research Interests

  • Egyptian history and chronology
  • Cultural relations between ancient Egypt and the Near East
  • History of Egyptology in Nazi Germany
  • Egyptian historical phonology
  • Hebrew Bible 

Current Projects

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.

Lizentiat (1990, Basel), Dr.phil. (1996, Basel), Habilitation (1999, Basel)

2005-2008 Professor and Holder of the Chair in Egyptology, University of Wales, Swansea [now Swansea University]
2003-4 Visiting Professor in Egyptology, University of Heidelberg, Germany (winter semester)
2001–5 Junior Research Professor of the Swiss National Science Foundation in Egyptology, University of Basel
1999 Visiting Professor of Egyptology at the University of Vienna, Austria (spring term)


Link to updated publications –

Recent Publications

Published Monographs

Ancient Egypt Investigated: 101 Important Questions & Intriguing Answers. I.B. Tauris, London, 2013.282 pp., 16 ill.

North American edition: Ancient Egypt in 101 Questions & Answers.Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 2013. 282 pp., 16 ill.

Co-authored monographs

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)

Unpublished monographs

Bohairisches Koptisch. Eine Einführung (2003/4; 80 pages).

Monographs under contract

Ancient Egypt and the Nazis: The History of Egyptology under the Third Reich. For I.B. Tauris, London. North American edition: Cornell University Press.

Middle Egyptian: A New Introduction. DeGruyter.

The Nile and Its People. A New History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press.

Edited Volumes

Thomas Schneider and Christine Johnston (eds.): Ancient Egypt and the Environment. Manifesto and Proceedings from the Symposium “Gift of the Nile? Ancient Egypt and the Environment” (UBC, April 3, 2017). Tucson: University of Arizona Egyptian Expedition.

Juan Carlos Moreno Garcia and Thomas Schneider (eds.): Ethnic Identities in Ancient Egypt and the Identity of EgyptologyJournal of Egyptian History Special Volume. 2018.

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.

T. Schneider and P. Raulwing (eds.): Egyptology from the First World War to the Third Reich: Ideology, Scholarship, and Individual Biographies. Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2013.
300 pp., ill.

Edited series and journals

Near Eastern Archaeology, Boston: American Schools of Oriental Research, 2012–

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 (

(with M. Hüneburg, Heidelberg) Ma’at. Archäologie Ägyptens 1(2004); 2(2005).

Articles in journals and book contributions

古埃及的医学与巫术:对两者关系的重估 (Magic and Medicine in Ancient Egypt: Reassessing their Relationship). In: Journal of the Social History of Medicine and Health 5 (2018). 5200 words (submitted and accepted).

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 (submitted and accepted).

“A Modern Army of Academic Soldiers”: Hermann Grapow’s Position in Egyptology and National Socialist Initiatives for the Humanities, 1938-1945. In: B. Levinson (ed.): Betrayal of the Humanities: The University during the Third Reich. Cambridge University Press. 10,000 words. Submitted and accepted.

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. 8,300 words (submitted and accepted).

(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. 7,500 words. (submitted and accepted)

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 Special Volume. 2018. 1300 words. (submitted and accepted)

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 Special Volume. 2018. 4000 words. (submitted and accepted).

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 Jahres-Heften des Österreichischen Archäologischen Institutes in Wien. 2018, 277-285.

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 A. M. Maeir on the Occasion of his Sixtieth Birthday. Ägypten und Altes Testament. Münster: Ugarit Verlag.

Hitler, Goebbels and the Frogs on the Nile: A 1931 Political Photomontage. Aegyptiaca: Journal of the Reception of Ancient Egypt 2(2018), 4-24.

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 Intermediate Period 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, 304-307 and 312-313.


Winter 2020

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.

Winter 2020

RELG306 Archaeology and the Bible Sections

The impact of archaeological research on understanding the history and religion of ancient Israel.