The Egyptian Museum is one of the oldest section of the former Royal Art Collection.
The Egyptian collection was founded due to the recommendation of Alexander von Humboldt in 1828 to King Friedrich Wilhelm III. .
A Prussian expedition travelled to Egypt and the Sudan in 1842-1845 and received ca. 1500 important objects as a present from Mohamed Ali .
The second World War had dire consequences for the collection. The 'Neues Museum' was much damaged and many objects were burned. The remaining objects of the collection were transferred to different parts of the city for safe keeping; after the war this resulted in the division of the collection in two parts.
The objects which were returned from Russia to Berlin, after the war, were placed in the Bode Museum on the Museums Island. There the exhibition focused on culture and religion. Large size reliefs from the pyramid temples, mastabas and colossal statues of kings and gods as well as coffins masks and mummies introduced the visitors to the religious believes and world comprehension of the ancient Egyptians
The Papyrus Collection presented not only the classical ancient Egyptian literature such as the Book of the Dead but also Christian and Arabic literature.
After the organisational reunion of all the state museums under the umbrella of the Foundation of Prussian Cultural Heritage the Egyptian Museum, at first, continued operation at both locations. The exhibition concepts where adjusted: in Charlottenburg the Amarna art collection was the centre of the exhibition whereas in the Bode Museum religion and cultural history as well as the papyrus collection were the main themes.
Due to necessary renovations the Bode museum was closed in 1998 and many of the larger Egyptian objects were removed to storage magazines. Only some few of the objects were able to be of integrated into the exhibition in Charlottenburg.
The fieldwork of the Egyptian museum was taken up again 80 years after the excavations in Amarna
In 1995 , financed by the German Research foundation and by the Society for the Promotion of the Egyptian Museum Berlin excavation were begun in Naga in the North-Sudan. The project concentrates especially on the monumental temple of Amun and the small Hathor chapel, both of which are being excavated and restored.