Berlin has played a major role in archaeological explorations in the Nile Valley. The scientific documentation of the antiquities of Egypt and the Sudan by the Prussian expedition of Richard Lepsius (1842-1845) is the most extensive research of its kind to this day. The excavations undertaken by the German Oriental Society in Abusir and Amarna, under the patronage of James Simon, are fundamental sources of information about the Old Kingdom and the Amarna Period. The excavations of the Egyptian Museum in Naga, Sudan continuous this tradition.A large body of original objects came to the museum through these expeditions through donations and through find divisions in Egypt. Ancient Greece looked with admiration to the country on the Nile and saw it as the birthplace of culture. Egyptian religion and Egyptian art enjoyed great popularity in imperial Rome. Egyptian monuments in Rome, especially the obelisks, give the impulse to a rediscovery ancient Egypt. The German scholar Athanasius Kircher first attempts a decipherment of the hieroglyphs in the 17th century, using Roman Aegyptiaca. Through Bonaparte¬'s expedition to Egypt the enthusiasm for Egypt in Europe was renewed around 1800. Egyptianising decorative arts are also found in the Royal Prussian porcelain manufacture. The decipherment of hieroglyphs by J. F. Champollion in 1822 - finished by Richard Lepsius in Berlin - started the academic field of Egyptology in which Berlin is a worldwide a unique centre with its universities, Academy and Museum.