What is the course about?
This is a detailed chronological survey of ancient Egyptian culture from its beginnings before 3000 BC until it collapsed about a thousand years later at the end of the 'Old Kingdom'. We trace political developments under the earliest phataohs and look at the extraordinary art which proclaimed their power and accompanied them to their tombs. We read stories about these kings by later Greek writers and examine the earliest religious texts known which survive engraved in pyramid chambers. The lectures are extensively illustrated by slides of archeological sites and important museum collections and we will view key antiquities at the British Museum.
What topics will we cover?
- The origins of civilisation in Egypt
- The earliest dynasties
- The great pyramids at Giza
- Egypt at the height of its power in the IVth dynasty
- Political structures, religious beliefs, social practices, literature and art
- Decline and fall
By the end of this course you should be able to:
- Have gained a critical understanding of the archaeology, art and ancient texts of this period.
- Have gained knowledge and understanding of the issues and debates relating to Ancient Egypt in the time of the pyramids.
- Be able to think critically and independently about what you have seen and read.
What level is the course?
No previous knowledge of the subject is expected. But any students with prior knowledge of Ancient Egypt will find it enhances their understanding.
How will I be taught?
Illustrated lectures using slides. Discussions, readings and analysis of original texts (in translation) in the form of handouts. Discussions and questions.
Are there any other costs (e.g. certification, materials, equipment or books I need to buy)?
No. A book list for optional reading will be supplied at the start of the course.
What feedback will I get?
This course is not an examined course and no coursework is required, although the tutor will be happy to suggest and review projects for study if requested.
Students will be aware of their growing appreciation of this subject of this subject or an enhancement of their existing knowledge. You will receive regular feedback from your tutor throughout the course, as and when appropriate. At the end of the course you and your tutor are asked to assess the progress you have made.
Will I have a chance to give my views on the course?
Yes, please complete the evaluation form at the end of your course. These are monitored and help us to continually improve our courses.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Ancient Splendour, Egypt during the Middle Kingdom'. General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Information and Advice Shop, open daily 11:00 – 19:00 Monday to Friday, 10:00 – 14:00 Saturday during term and 12.00 – 17.00 Monday to Friday during non-term. See the programme guide for further details.