Käte Bosse-Griffiths

Käte Bosse-Griffiths

Käte Bosse-Griffiths (16 June 19104 April 1998) was a German born Egyptologist who after moving to Wales became a writer in the Welsh language.

Early history

Käte Bosse was born in Wittenberg in Germany in 1910, and although of Jewish parentage, was brought up as a member of the Lutheran Church. After completing her secondary education in her home town she was accepted into the University of Munich where she gained a doctorate in Classics and Egyptology in 1935. Soon after she started work at the Egyptology and Archaeology Department of the Berlin State Museums. When it was discovered that her mother was a Jew she was dismissed from her post.

Bosse left Germany for Britain and found research work at the Petrie Museum at the Univeristy College London and later at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. In 1938, while at Oxford, as a senior member of Somerville College she met fellow Egyptologist J. Gwyn Griffiths. Griffiths, a Welsh scholar brought up in the Rhondda, was at that time a professor at Oxford, but the two of them returned to the Rhondda and made their home in the village of Pentre. They married in 1939 and Bosse became Käte Bosse-Griffiths. During the Second World War, Bosse-Griffiths and her husband set up the Cadwgan Circle from their home in Pentre, an avant-garde literary and intellectual group whose membership included Pennar Davies and Rhydwen Williams. Among these literary Welsh speakers Bosse-Griffiths found a love of the Welsh language. During the same years in Germany, Bosse-Griffiths's mother died at Ravensbrück, a notorious women's concentration camp, while her brother, a doctor, was able to flee Germany to Sweden.

Academic and literary career

When her husband became a lecturer at Swansea University, the couple moved to Sketty in Swansea. Bosse-Griffiths became a member of Swansea Museum, where she would later achieve the position of Keeper of Archaeology, a role she would undertake for 25 years. She helped bring Sir Henry Wellcome's Egyptian collection, at the time held in storage, to the Department of Classics at Swansea, and would spend her entire career studying and writing about this 5,000 piece collection. It would later be housed at the Wellcome Museum, which is housed at the Egypt Centre at Swansea University.

Bosse-Griffiths was also a published author, her first novel Mudiadau Heddwch yn yr Almaen (1942) was written in the Welsh language, while academic works include her 1955 collection Amarna Studies and Other Collected Papers.

External links


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