Professor
Michałowski/Chronology

 

1901

Kazimierz Marian Michałowski was born in Tarnopol on 14 December 1901.

 

1936–39

He was responsible for organizing a joint Polish–Egyptian excavation in Edfu in Egypt, in cooperation with the Institut français d’archéologie orientale.

 

1939–45

As an officer of the reserve in the Polish Army, he fought in the defensive war of September 1939 and was imprisoned in a German POW camp, Oflag II C in Woldenberg (modern Dobiegniew in the Lubuskie province in Poland). In the prison camp he organized academic courses for Polish officers, lecturing to them on Egyptology and teaching ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.

 

1956

He founded the Department of Mediterranean Archaeology (now Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures) of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Station of Mediterranean Archaeology in Cairo (now Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology of the University of Warsaw), which he directed from 1959 until his demise in 1981.

 

1961–1964

Archaeological fieldwork mounted in Faras, resulting in the discovery of an Early Christian church, bishops’ burial ground and palace.

 

1963

Discovery of the Temple of Tuthmosis III in Deir el-Bahari.

 

1963–1964

Michałowski presided over an international committee of experts supervising the transfer of the rock temple of Ramesses II from Abu Simbel to its new location

 

1964

Beginning of excavations at Old Dongola in Sudan.

 

1965

Beginning of excavations at Nea Paphos on Cyprus.

 

1972

Michałowski is elected the first president of the International Society of Nubian Studies, founded in Warsaw to represent a new field of ancient studies. Opening of the Faras Gallery at the National Museum in Warsaw and of a similar gallery at the National Museum in Khartoum.

 

1 January 1981

Professor Kazimierz Michałowski passed away.

 

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full
chronology

Professor Michałowski/Chronology

1901
Kazimierz Marian Michałowski was born in Tarnopol on 14 December 1901.

 

1918
Having graduated from a local secondary school, he signed up with the newly formed Polish army to fight for independence in the Lvov Campaign and the Polish–Bolshevik war.

 

1919–24
He studied Classical archaeology and history of art at the Philosophical Faculty of the John Casimir University in Lvov, under the supervision of professors Jan Bołoz-Antoniewicz and Edmund Bulanda; he also sat for lectures by the remarkable and distinguished philosopher, Prof. Kazimierz Twardowski.

1926–28
During the course of his studies at Lvov, he embarked on a journey to Venice and Milan, then traveled through southern France to Paris. He continued his studies at universities in Berlin, Heidelberg, Münster, Paris, Rome and Athens, where he joined the famous École Française d`Athènes, training his skills at archaeological excavations in Delphi, Thasos and Delos.

1930

Having obtained his doctoral degree at the University in Lvov, he started to teach Classical archaeology at the university. He later moved to Warsaw to organize a Chair of Classical Archaeology at the university there.

1931

He was nominated deputy director of the National Museum in Warsaw.

1932

His study, Les portraits héllenistiques et romains. Exploration de Délos, brought him international acclaim as a scholar.

1934

On the first journey to Egypt he visited the most important monuments and made contact with the local scholarly community and authorities.

1936–39

He was responsible for organizing a joint Polish–Egyptian excavation in Edfu in Egypt, in cooperation with the Institut français d’archéologie orientale.
1939–45

As an officer of the reserve in the Polish Army, he fought in the defensive war of September 1939 and was imprisoned in a German POW camp, Oflag II C in Woldenberg (modern Dobiegniew in the Lubuskie province in Poland). In the prison camp he organized academic courses for Polish officers, lecturing to them on Egyptology and teaching ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.
1945

Following the end of the war, he returned to Warsaw, actively rebuilding the University and the National Museum. For the rest of his life he taught at the university, while continuing his scholarly researches at the National Museum and the Polish Academy of Sciences.
1956

He organized a joint Polish–Soviet expedition to excavate the Greek colony of Myrmekion in the Crimea.
1956

He founded the Department of Mediterranean Archaeology (now Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures) of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Station of Mediterranean Archaeology in Cairo (now Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology of the University of Warsaw), which he directed from 1959 until his demise in 1981.
1957

Excavations, which he headed, were started in Tell Atrib in the Nile Delta.
1958–59

He lectured as visiting professor at the University in Alexandria.
1959

Exploration began of ancient Palmyra in Syria, the Polish expedition which he headed uncovering the ruins of and ancient town and the Camp of Diocletian of the Roman legions, bringing to light many attestations of a superb combination of high Hellenistic art with native artistic traditions of Aramaic origin.
1960

Excavations began in Alexandria, leading in effect to a reconstruction of fragments of the Roman urban quarter.
1961

Excavations and restoration started on the terrace temple of Queen Hatshepsut in Deir el Bahari in West Thebes.

1961–1964

Archaeological fieldwork mounted in Faras, resulting in the discovery of an Early Christian church, bishops’ burial ground and palace.
1963

Discovery of the Temple of Tuthmosis III in Deir el-Bahari.
1963–1964

Michałowski presided over an international committee of experts supervising the transfer of the rock temple of Ramesses II from Abu Simbel to its new location
1964

Beginning of excavations at Old Dongola in Sudan.
1965

Beginning of excavations at Nea Paphos on Cyprus.
1972

Michałowski is elected the first president of the International Society of Nubian Studies, founded in Warsaw to represent a new field of ancient studies. Opening of the Faras Gallery at the National Museum in Warsaw and of a similar gallery at the National Museum in Khartoum.
1 January 1981

Professor Kazimierz Michałowski passed away.

Professor

Professor Michałowski

His biography could serve as a scenario for a feature movie full of action and adventure. Scholar and gentleman, he was an outstanding egyptologist and discoverer, and at the same time a Polish patriot and army officer, decorated with Poland’s highest military decoration for heroism and courage in the face of the enemy at war, the War Order of Virtuti Militari.

Kazimierz Michałowski was born in 1901 in Tarnopol (Poland’s eastern borderlands before World War II). Brought up in a patriotic family, he signed up at a young age to fight for Polish independence during the Lvov campaign of 1918. He also fought in the Polish–Bolshevik war of 1920.

At the University of Lvov he studied Romance languages, philosophy and art history, going on successively to Berlin, Heidelberg, Münster, Paris and Rome to continue his academic studies. He learned the ropes of archaeological excavations during a three-year stay at the Ecole Français in Athens. In 1930, he took the chair of archaeology at the University of Warsaw. Already then he was thinking of setting up a Polish archaeological school and developing the ancient art collection of the National Museum in Warsaw.

In 1936 he accepted an invitation from French colleagues to excavate in Egypt. The first exhibition of finds from Edfu was put on display in the new building of the National Museum in Warsaw already the next year. Today, they are part of the Museum’s Ancient Art Gallery.

Michałowski’s scholarly publications and the results of the excavations he directed in Egypt won him international renown. World War II interrupted rudely the string of successes. Being an officer in the Polish Army, Michałowski fought in the defensive war of September 1939. After the fall of Poland he was imprisoned in the POW camp in Woldenberg, where he spent the rest of the war. Never a man to lose time, however, he organized academic studies for his fellow prisoners, lecturing on egyptology and teaching ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Returning to Warsaw after the war, he joined in the effort to rebuild the University and the National Museum. For the rest of his life he combined academic lecturing and studies, working for both the National Museum in Warsaw and the Polish Academy of Sciences. But even as his academic career developed, he put his exceptional diplomatic and organizational skills to a test and within a few years had opened Poland’s first postwar excavations abroad, in the ancient Greek colony of Mirmeki on the Black Sea.

In 1956, he was invited back to Egypt and started excavating Tell Atrib in the Nile Delta. In the following years he lectured at the university in Alexandria, while managing the newly opened Polish archaeological and conservation projects at Deir el-Bahari in West Thebes (near Luxor), where a temple of Tuthmosis III was discovered, and in Alexandria, where the ruins of a great city from the Graeco-Roman period started to be explored.

In 1958, UNESCO issued a worldwide appeal to help save the ancient heritage that was to disappear at the bottom of a huge lake that was to form between the first and second cataract on the Nile, behind the High Dam being built in Egypt, in Aswan. An international committee was established to supervise the effort, among others, to move the priceless temples of Abu Simbel to high ground. Professor Michałowski was invited to preside over this advisory body.

Thus Polish archaeologists arrived in Sudan to begin excavations on the site of Faras close to the Egyptian border. An entire Nubian cathedral with 150 wall paintings preserved inside it was brought to light already in the first two seasons. The find and its subsequent preservation was acclaimed worldwide as one of the greatest achievements of the Nubian Salvage Campaign.

Michałowski was one of Poland’s most outstanding scholars and a great archaeologist of the 20th century. He established the so-called Polish school of Mediterranean archaeology and “discovered” Egypt for several generations of Poles. We owe it to him that today Polish archaeologists are active in Egypt, Sudan, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iraq, Cyprus and several other countries in the region.