Norway has a long and distinguished history of Egyptological research and scholarship. Norwegian contributions to the field of Egyptology date from at least as early as the 1860s. In the mid-19th century several students and scholars began to formally pursue the field at European institutions, having returned shortly thereafter to grow Egyptology in Norway.

Among those early Norwegians engaged in Egyptology was Jens Lieblein, appointed the first professor of Egyptology in Norway in 1876. Other notable Norwegian scholars of ancient Egypt include W. Brede Kristensen, an historian and the “father” of the phenomenological approach to religion, who received his doctor of philosophy at what is today the University of Oslo, in 1896. At the turn the 20th century, even more Norwegians engaged the discipline, including Bendix Ebbell, who published regularly on medical and linguistic matters.

Yet, the primary contributions of Norwegians to advancing the understanding of ancient Egypt are concentrated in the language or religion disciplines. Consequently, the Norwegian Egyptological Institute was established to expand and diversify our contributions, specifically via archaeology.