Mariette, Auguste Édouard (ōgüstˈ ādwärˈ märyĕtˈ) [key], 1821–81, French Egyptologist. On a visit (1850–54) to Egypt to collect Coptic manuscripts for the Louvre, he excavated (1851) the ruins of the Serapeum at Memphis. He was (1854–58) curator of the Egyptian Dept. at the Louvre. In 1858 he returned to Egypt to serve as its first director of antiquities, receiving the title of bey and later of pasha. Often called the father of Egyptian archaeology, Mariette founded (1863) at Bulak (now part of Cairo) the Egyptian national museum. He suggested the story for the libretto of the opera Aïda.
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