Please note the changed opening hours of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin since 16 April 2024. More

Please note: The special exhibition Caspar David Friedrich: Infinite Landscapes is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday, 9 am – 6 pm, with extended opening hours until 8 pm Thursday thru Saturday.


Adventures on the Nile
Prussia and Egyptology 1842–45

15.10.2022 to 07.03.2023
Neues Museum

This exhibition provides a new perspective on the famous Prussian expedition down the Nile, which set out from Alexandria in 1842. The show revolves around a range of objects and materials that were brought back from the trip, and looks at the influence they had on the development of the new discipline of Egyptology. Particular attention is paid to everyday working practices, the methodologies applied, and the problems associated with such an undertaking.

On 18 September 1842, all the members of the Royal Prussian Expedition met up at the harbour of Alexandria, before diving into the world of the Orient. For the next three years, they would investigate the antiquities to be found along the Nile at the behest of Frederick William IV, King of Prussia. Their mission was to lay the foundations for a new scholarly discipline. It had been 20 years since Jean-François Champollion’s had deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphics, making the inscriptions of this ancient culture on the banks of the Nile legible and comprehensible again.

Groundbreaking Discoveries for Egyptology

At the time, Egyptology was still in its infancy. But that would soon change – in no small part thanks to the findings of this expedition. From 1849 to 1859, the groundbreaking scholarly documentation of the research trip was published in 12 enormous volumes, featuring 894 illustrated plates; a monumental project that was likewise funded by Frederick William IV. And from 1850 onwards, the Egyptian objects brought back by the expedition were displayed to the Berlin public at the Neues Museum.

From Alexandria to Sudan

Before this expedition, no other major national venture had been able to advance so far south. Lepsius and Abeken followed the course of the Blue Nile past Sennar into the tropical regions of present-day Sudan. They were searching for Egyptian artefacts, but also collected animals and acquired everyday objects from the region. 


S. Grallert and J. Helmbold-Doyé (eds.), Abenteuer am Nil: Preußen und die Ägyptologie 1842–1845, Kulturverlag Kadmos.

A special exhibition by the Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin in collaboration with the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities’s Ancient Egyptian Dictionary Project Archive and the Ernst-Litfaß-Schule – OSZ Mediengestaltung und Medientechnologie.

Plinth of the barque of King Natakamani and the Kandake Amanitore
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung / Sandra Steiß

James-Simon-Galerie, Bodestraße
10178 Berlin

wheelchair accessible
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All groups meet at the information desk in the lower foyer in James-Simon-Galerie.

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U-Bahn: Museumsinsel (U5)
S-Bahn: Friedrichstraße, Hackescher Markt
Tram: Am Kupfergraben, Hackescher Markt
Bus: Staatsoper, Lustgarten, Friedrichstraße

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Sun 10:00 - 18:00
Mon closed
Tue 10:00 - 18:00
Wed 10:00 - 18:00
Thu 10:00 - 18:00
Fri 10:00 - 18:00
Sat 10:00 - 18:00

Opening times on public holidays Opening Hours
Extended opening hours 4 July – 1 September: Tue – Sat 9 am – 8 pm, Sun 9 am – 6 pm.

Neues Museum
14,00 EUR Concessions 7,00

Museum Island + Panorama
24,00 EUR Concessions 12,00
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Tel 030 - 266 42 42 42 (Mon - Fri, 9 am - 4 pm)
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