Monday, 17 September 2012

New Egyptology Class: Ancient Egypt: An Introduction

Ancient Egypt: An Introduction
I developed and teach this online course for the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education (OUDCE). The content is up-to-date and accessible (trust me, I wrote it!), includes videos and interactive activities, guided readings, and individual, group and optional exercises.

I'll be available throughout each run to guide participants, take part in group discussions in the weekly forums, and mark coursework. As you'll see in the course outline below, it provides an introduction to all aspects of ancient Egypt, so there's plenty to learn and lots of good topics for us to discuss.

No previous knowledge about ancient Egypt is needed, and if you can't get a place right away, don't worry, it will run three times a year. The course is 10 weeks long and costs £250.00 for Home/EU participants and £295 for non-EU participants.

The first run of the course will be from 16th September 2015 - 27th November 2015.

Sounds good? To enrol, please visit:

Here's some more detailed information from Oxford's website:

Course Description
Who were the ancient Egyptians? Why did they create such monumental constructions and such magnificent works of art? The culture, history, art, architecture and religion of ancient Egypt has long captured the imagination of people across the world. Providing an overview of the ancient Egyptians, and combining archaeological, textual and pictorial evidence, this course will allow participants to delve into the world of ancient Egypt, to see how it developed and why it came to an end.

As the weeks pass, we will read the words of ancient kings, priests, courtiers, and artisans, witness the great artistic triumphs from across 3,000 years of history, explore the beliefs of people from different ends of society's spectrum, and learn how they lived in a world that though familiar, was quite different from our own. Through guided reading, web pages, and interactive media, participants will experience ancient Egypt like never before.

Course Programme
This course covers the following topics:

1. Worldview, Geography and Resources (introduction; the importance of the Nile and the inundation; Egypt's environment; major cities and resources; shaping the Egyptian worldview; the development of Egyptology; further reading)

2. Historical Overview (introduction; ancient Egyptian history; creating 'history'; the Predynastic Period to the Early Dynastic Period; from Old Kingdom to Middle Kingdom; From Second Intermediate Period to Alexander the Great; the Battle of Megiddo: analysing written evidence; further reading)

3. The Gods, their Cults and Religious Practice (introduction; the gods; depicting the gods; creation myths; the mythic environment; Egyptian temples; Egyptian priests; dealing with the invisible in daily life: household religion; magic spells; further reading)

4. Burial Customs, Afterlife Beliefs and Mummification (introduction; death and aspects of the soul; afterlife destinations; mummification; private tombs; royal tombs: pyramids; royal tombs: the Valley of the Kings and later; further reading)

5. Art: Craftsmen, Conventions and Development of Art (introduction; artisans and art; materials and working methods; Predynastic and Early Dynastic art; the conventions of Egyptian art, changing art over time; interpreting King Amenemhat III; further reading)

6. Pharaoh, Politics and Government (introduction; the social pyramid; the ideal pharaoh; the king's daily life and duties; the royal family; government organisation and courtiers; female pharaohs; further reading)

7. Palaces, Cities and Settlements (introduction; Egyptian settlements; problems of preservation; royal palaces; domestic architecture; exploring Deir el-Medina; further reading)

8. Living in Ancient Egypt (introduction; the household and social status; occupation and crafts; morality and education; marriage, adultery and divorce; entertainment; crime and punishment; further reading)

9. Language, Writing and Literature (introduction; evolving language: writing systems; the basics of Middle Egyptian language; scribes, writing equipment and surfaces; Egyptian literature; the earliest hieroglyphs; further reading)

10. Warfare, Trade and Diplomacy (introduction; foreigners and Egyptianisation; trade and diplomacy; pre-New Kingdom warfare; New Kingdom warfare; further reading)

Enrol at: