Heinrich and Emile Brugsch

Heinrich and Emile BrugschHeinrich Ferdinand Karl Brugsch was born in Berlin on February 18, 1827. The government of Prussia sent him to Egypt in 1853, and there he soon formed a lasting friendship with the French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette (1821-1881), six years his senior. He worked with him at Sakkara over the next four years, helping translate inscriptions in the Serapeum. Brugsch was offered a post at the Collège de France (Paris), which he turned down to accept a professorship in Egyptology at the University of Göttingen in 1867. In 1870 he was invited back to Egypt by the Khedive and made director of the School of Egyptology in Cairo, founded by the Egyptian ruler, who awarded the Prussian the honorary title of Bey. Heinrich continued directing the institution until its closure in 1879. The last decade of his life he spent mostly in Germany, although he paid occasional visits to Egypt.


His brother's junior by fifteen years was Émile Charles Albert Brugsch. He tried his hand at a variety of careers before going to Egypt at age twenty-eight in 1870, to assist Heinrich in the operation of the School of Egyptology, which he continued doing until its closing nine years later. He then became associated with Mariette, who made Émile an assistant conservator at the Boulak Museum, a position which he held until his retirement.
By absence of Maspero, Émile Brugsch's chief, Brugsch went straight to Luxor, when word came that a cache of royal mummies had been revealed to exist there. He claimed the site for the Antiquities Service and proceeded to have the cache-tomb hurriedly cleared of forty some royal and anonymous coffined mummies. Émile took the first pictures of the royal mummies. He likewise was responsible for many of the photographic plates illustrating other early volumes of the museum's catalogue.
Émile Brugsch stayed assistant conservator untill he retired on January 1, 1914, at the age of seventy-two. He went back to Nice, where he died on January 14, 1930.