Manfred Bietak (born October 6, 1940, Vienna) is one of the world's leading archaeologists and egyptologists. Bietak was born in Vienna, is an Austrian citizen, and is Emeritus Professor of Egyptology at the University of Vienna. Bietak is most well known for his discovery and excavations of the ancient city of Avaris (the capital of the Hyksos). Bietak is currently the Principal Investigator of the ERC Advanced Grant Project "The Hyksos Enigma".
Between 1958-1963, Bietak studied Egyptology, Prehistory, and Classical Archaeology at the University of Vienna, and later earned his Ph.D. at the University of Vienna in 1964.
From 1961-1956, Manfred Bietak was the site-supervisor and director of excavations at the UNESCO Campaign in Sayala, Nubia. Between 1966-1969, 1975-2009, and 2011, Bietak was the director of excavations of the Austrian Archaeological Institute at Tell el-Dab'a, the ancient city of Avaris, and also known to be the capital of the Hyksos. From 1969-1979, Bietak was director of excavations at Asasif, west of Thebes. Bietak helped found and set up the Austrian Archaeological Institute in Cairo between 1971-1973, and then became its director between 1973-2009. In 1981, Bietak became the Associate Professor of Egyptian Archaeology in the University of Vienna until 1988, and then in 1989, he became a full Professor of Egyptology at the University of Vienna and continued as a professor there until 2009. Between 1996-2011, Bietak planned and directed the major international research program of the “The Synchronisation of Civilisations in the Eastern Mediterranean in the Second Millennium B.C. SCIEM 2000” for the Austrian Academy at the Austrian Science Fund. Beginning in 2015 and up until 2020, Bietak will direct the ERC Advanced Grant "The Hyksos Enigma" at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. In 2004, Bietak was the Martha Whitcomb Visiting Professor of Harvard University.
Manfred Bietak has authored and co-authored over 17 books and has written over 250 scientific papers, contributions and reviews in scientific journals and books. Bietak has been invited to over 500 lectures in universities, academies, museums, and a keynote speaker of numerous congresses in Europe, Canada, Egypt, America, and Turkey. Bietak both founded and is Editor in Chief of the academic journal Egypt and the Levant, and is part of the editorial and member of the Altorientalische Forschungen, Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections, Tel Aviv, Journal of Archaeological Science, Studien Altagiptischer Kultur, Annales du Service des Antiquities de l'Egypte, and Studia Eblaitica. Bietak has been the supervisor of 26 Master Theses, as well as the supervisor, reader and second reader of 42 doctoral dissertations. Since 1996, Bietak has been a Member of the Visiting Committee of the Egyptian Department of the Metropolitan Museum, and since 1998 he has been a Member of the scientific board of the International Conferences on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East. Between 1992-2010 he was a Member of the Archaeology Council of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research, and between 1976-2013 he was a Member of the Board of the International Association of Egyptologists. Bietak is also a fellow of the Institut d'Egypte, German Archaeological Institute, Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Polish Academy of Sciences, Royal Society of Arts and Sciences, as well as an Honorary Member of the Archaeological Institute of America and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Some of the significant publications of Manfred Bietak include the following;
- Avaris, the Hyksos Capital
- Avaris and piramesse: Archaeological exploration in the Eastern Nile Delta
- High and low chronology
- Egypt and Canaan during the Middle Bronze Age
- Minoan wall-paintings unearthed at ancient Avaris
- The Sea Peoples and the end of the Egyptian administration in Canaan