In Memoriam: Hans Goedicke

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Hans Goedicke, professor emeritus in the Department of Near Eastern Studies. He died of cancer on February 24, 2015.

A native of Vienna, Dr. Goedicke earned his doctoral degree in 1949 from the University of Vienna and then worked as an assistant at the Museum of Fine Arts in Vienna. From 1952 until 1957, he was a research assistant at Brown University, and then spent a year working for UNESCO on digs at the Temple of Abu Simbel in Egypt.

Dr. Goedicke joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1960, as a lecturer in the Department of Near Eastern Studies. He was soon promoted to assistant professor and then associate professor, and in 1968, he was named full professor. Dr. Goedicke also served two terms as chair of the department—from 1969 to 1973 and from 1979 to 1984.

Dr. Goedicke’s particular area of interest was ancient Egypt. He conducted an epigraphic survey in Aswan, Gharb Aswan, and Gebel Tingar, and he was field director of the Johns Hopkins survey in the Wadi Tumilat in 1977, 1978, and 1981.

In 1981, Dr. Goedicke posited that the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt took place 200 years earlier than previously thought, and was caused by a volcanic eruption on the Greek island of Santorini, which resulted in the flooding of low coastal lands in Egypt.

Dr. Goedicke was the recipient of numerous awards, including a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation. He was also the author, co-author, or editor of close to 30 books and dozens of journal articles and reviews.

Glenn Schwartz, the Whiting Professor of Archaeology and chair of the Department of Near Eastern Studies, explained that Dr. Goedicke’s influence is still felt in the department. “Hans was a world-renowned scholar of ancient Egypt who made many important contributions to the field.  His energy and creativity were extraordinary, and he continued to come up with new ideas and to produce publications throughout his retirement.”

Our condolences go to Dr. Goedicke’s wife, the former Lucy McLaughlin, and their nieces and nephews.