German antiquary and philologist who specialized in early Egyptian texts. Born in Naumburg‐am‐Saale, he studied classics, philology, and archaeology at the universities of Leipzig, Göttingen, and Berlin, followed by three years in Paris. Between 1836 and 1842 he visited all the main European collections of Egyptian antiquities, making copies of the inscriptions and texts. Chronology and funerary texts became his speciality, and with financial support from Frederick William IV of Prussia he organized an expedition to Egypt and Nubia to record inscriptions, the results of which were published in twelve large volumes between 1849 and 1859 as Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien. In 1865 he was appointed Keeper of the Egyptian collection in Berlin and in 1873 Director of the National Library.
G. Ebers, 1887, Richard Lepsius: a biography. New York: W. S. Grottsberger