You will study two core language modules, at least one of which should be Egyptian, from a range which includes:
This is a beginners’ course in Middle Egyptian, so you will start from scratch learning to read ancient Egyptian texts and translate sentences written in hieroglyphs into English. Two contact hours per week will enable us to make fast progress so that you are able to translate even unseen texts from the age of the Pharaohs into English by the end of term 2. Concentrating purely on what is called Middle Egyptian, which was the language introduced during the Middle Kingdom (c. 2000 BC), will build a strong basis for any further studies of Egyptian language.
Ancient Greek or Latin Language
Available at beginner or advanced levels.
The beginners' module provides an intensive introduction to either Greek or Latin. It aims to provide you with the basic linguistic skills needed to acquire a reading knowledge of Greek/Latin for the purposes of research.
The advanced module consolidates linguistic skills to enable you to work independently on Latin/Greek texts in the original language, building upon existing knowledge. It develops analytical and critical skills by means of advanced grammar and reading classes focusing in detail on a text or texts.
The module provides an introduction to the Sumerian language and to the cuneiform literature written in that language.
The module provides an introduction to the Akkadian language and to the cuneiform literature written in that language.
You will also study a third core module:
Research and Scholarship
This module ensures that students across the range of sub-disciplines in Classics and Ancient History acquire the necessary generic and specific skills needed for further research. These will include advanced bibliographic skills, familiarity with theoretical and critical approaches and schools of thought, technical skills such as techniques of epigraphy or numismatics where appropriate. Delivery will take place in seminar formats, with sub-disciplines offering different break-out sessions as needed.
You will also choose three optional modules, at least two of which should relate to the Egyptology pathway. Options available may include:
Ancient Egyptian Religion
This course will cover diverse aspects of religion in ancient Egypt, including ideas about creation, the gods and the afterlife, religious practice in the community as well as in the temples, the interrelationship between religious and political authority, and funerary religion. Three different kinds of evidence, each with its own problems of interpretation, in combination provide as rounded a view of the subject as is possible: 1) texts, whether monumental or on papyrus; 2) pictorial evidence from temples, tombs, stelae etc; 3) other archaeological artifacts and contexts.
Egyptian Culture in Context, 1100-200 BC
This module provides you with a thorough grounding in this key period for Egyptian history and culture. It covers the dramatic shifts in power and ideology as Pharaonic Egypt clashed first with Persia, then with Alexander the Great, before it finally came into contact with the new superpower: Rome.
Herodotus and Other Worlds
This module explores the theory and practice of historiography in the ancient world, with particular emphasis on the role of Greek-speaking peoples and the cultures with which they came into contact. The module will be centred on Herodotus' Histories, enabling students to develop strategies for reading and understanding the rhetorics of history, in conjunction with study of the cultural contexts which produce them. The module investigates the different ways in which texts produce, and are produced by, cultures, and the interfaces between civilisations that generate them. It investigates the connexions between theories of history, reception and hermeneutics, and the development of cultural identity and historical consciousness.
This module presents a critical review of theoretical approaches and interpretative themes in contemporary funerary archaeology, and examines the central significance of this field of study in current debates in world archaeology. The extraordinarily rich and diverse character of mortuary evidence is highlighted, with particular focus on how this kind of evidence is used to explore the relationships between cultural ideals, values, social agency and symbolic representation. Key interpretative themes that are considered from several perspectives include social interpretation, cultural identity and personhood, ritual practice, and past belief systems. The module draws widely on cross-cultural and inter-disciplinary case studies in archaeology and cognate disciplines such as anthropology and history.