This module offers an introduction to ancient Egyptian history from Predynastic times to the periods of Ptolemaic and Roman rule through the archaeological record. While popular visions of ancient Egypt have traditionally been dominated by elite culture, in this module we will diversify our approach by paying attention to other non-monumental aspects of material culture as well. Each weekly seminar session will focus on one key archaeological site, where we will explore the deep history of the site, the main landmarks and artefacts associated with it, and its wider implications, including an overview of past and current fieldwork. These sites will serve as case studies to illustrate a number of current debates in Egyptian archaeology, such as the alleged existence of a middle class, the recurring description of Egypt as a ‘civilisation without cities’, or to what extent non-royal tombs may be seen as a reflection of personal identity.
Assessment: Book review (1,000 words); 10-minute oral presentation accompanied by PowerPoint slideshow; Portfolio of written work for mock excavation proposal for an Egyptian site (2,500 words)