Egyptologist Joachim Friedrich Quack of the University of Heidelberg has been awarded the prestigious Leibniz Prize in recognition of his achievements as an eminent international authority in his field.
At its meeting in Bonn this week, the Joint Committee of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) named ten researchers, four women and six men, as the winners of the 2011 Leibniz Prize. The award winners were selected by the Nominations Committee from among 152 nominees, and will each receive €2.5 million ($3.3 million) in prize money. Of the ten Leibniz Prizes awarded this year, four were awarded in the life sciences, three in the natural sciences, two in the engineering sciences, and one in the humanities and social sciences.
A leading expert on the languages and history of Egyptian culture, Quack has dedicated his research efforts to the study of Late Egyptology and the Greco-Roman period in particular. This period has often been neglected in traditional Egyptology, and its rich legacy has remained largely unknown in other fields of Classical Studies.
In several large monographs and countless essays Quack brought to light an epoch of Egyptian cultural history, revealing its unique character and historical significance to the academic community. His reconstruction of the "The Book of the Temple" is widely regarded as a landmark publication. One of the single most important documents in Egyptian religious history, its guidelines on the construction and operation of the "ideal temple" were valid for hundreds of years. Starting with just two papyri, Quack gradually located and brought together dozens of manuscripts scattered around the globe in this monumental undertaking. He is currently working on an eagerly anticipated annotated edition of the text.
Joachim Friedrich Quack studied in Tübingen and Paris, and both his master's thesis and doctoral dissertation have become standard reference works. Following a DFG-sponsored residency in Copenhagen and a DFG research fellowship, Quack became a research associate at the Free University of Berlin, where he gained his habilitation. In 2005, aged just thirty-nine, Quack was called to succeed Jan Assmann as Professor for Egyptology in Heidelberg.
The awards ceremony for the 2011 Leibniz Prize will take place on 16 March 2011 at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Berlin.