MA Egyptology

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Urbanism in Ancient Egypt

Unit code CAHE66142
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Classics & Ancient History
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

This 15-credit module is a compulsory part of the part-time online master’s in Egyptology and will be taught during the second semester of the first year. The module will provide the students with detailed knowledge about the development of urban centres in Egypt, from early semi-permanent encampments during the Neolithic and Predynastic periods to the vast metropolis of Amarna, Piramesses and Alexandria. The module will utilise the most recent archaeological information from a range of sites in the Nile Valley and the Delta in particular. The module will explore the concepts of ‘planned’ or state-sponsored settlements during the Old, Middle and New Kingdoms, with a focus on the Worker’s Town at Giza, and the New Kingdom workermen’s village of Deir el-Medina. Aside from providing an overview of the historical development of settlement, the module also specifically addresses the various types of archaeological exploration which has been conducted at individual sites and the way in which this work – along with other factors such as urban and agricultural encroachment, looting and land confiscations – has damaged and potentially biased the archaeological record. 

Aims

The unit aims to:

 

1. provide the students with the ability to study in-depth the development of urbanism in Pharaonic Egypt from the Predynastic to the Graeco-Roman Period.

2. introduce the students to a number of both well-known and lesser-known settlements in the Nile Valley, the Delta and on the fringes of Egyptian territory.

3. assess the significance of settlement archaeology as a specific field of research within Egyptology.

4. provide the students with a detailed understanding of the shift from nomadism to settled pastoralism in an ancient Egyptian context.

5. critically assess the various sources of information about towns and cities in ancient Egypt – textual, iconographic and in particular archaeological.

 

Teaching and learning methods

display the ability to conduct research independently.

 

demonstrate the ability to assimilate large amounts of data in various formats.

 

Knowledge and understanding

This 15-credit module is a compulsory part of the part-time online master’s in Egyptology and will be taught during the second semester of the first year. The module will provide the students with detailed knowledge about the development of urban centres in Egypt, from early semi-permanent encampments during the Neolithic and Predynastic periods to the vast metropolis of Amarna, Piramesses and Alexandria. The module will utilise the most recent archaeological information from a range of sites in the Nile Valley and the Delta in particular. The module will explore the concepts of ‘planned’ or state-sponsored settlements during the Old, Middle and New Kingdoms, with a focus on the Worker’s Town at Giza, and the New Kingdom workermen’s village of Deir el-Medina. Aside from providing an overview of the historical development of settlement, the module also specifically addresses the various types of archaeological exploration which has been conducted at individual sites and the way in which this work – along with other factors such as urban and agricultural encroachment, looting and land confiscations – has damaged and potentially biased the archaeological record. 

Intellectual skills

demonstrate an ability to construct cogent academic arguments in a written form.

 

demonstrate an understanding of the historical and modern factors which cause biases in and damage to the archaeological record.

 

display an ability to interpret and disseminate in a proper format a corpus of raw archaeological data.

 

Practical skills

demonstrate knowledge of how to structure the analysis of archaeological field data.

 

display knowledge of how to disseminate archaeological research to a non-specialist audience.

 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

display the ability to conduct research independently.

 

demonstrate the ability to assimilate large amounts of data in various formats.

 

Assessment methods

Discussion Boards, 10%
Conference Poster (A0), 25%
Essay (3,000 words), 65%

 

Recommended reading

Bard, K. A. 2008. An Introduction to the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt. Blackwell: Malden.

 

Bietak, M. (ed.) 2010. Cities and Urbanism in Ancient Egypt: Papers from a Workshop in November 2006 at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. The Austrian Academy of Sciences: Vienna.

 

Fisher, K. D. 2014. Making Ancient Cities: Space and Place in Early Urban Societies. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.

 

Gates, C. 2003. Ancient Cities: The Archaeology of Urban Life in the Ancient Near East and Egypt, Greece and Rome. Routledge: London.

 

Moeller, N. 2016. Archaeology of Urbanism in Ancient Egypt: From the Predynastic Period to the End of the Middle Kingdom. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.

 

Quirke, S. 2005. Lahun: A Town in Egypt 1800 BC, and the History of its Landscape. Golden House: London.

 

Sabloff, J. A. (ed.) 2008. The Ancient City: New Perspectives on Urbanism in the Old and New World. National Academy of Sciences: Washington.

 

Snape, S. R. 2014. The Complete Cities of Ancient Egypt. Thames and Hudson: London.

 

Storey, G. R. 2006. Urbanism in the Preindustrial World: Cross-Cultural Approaches. University of Alabama Press: Tuscaloosa.

 

Szpakowska, K. 2008. Daily Life in Ancient Egypt: Recreating Lahun. Blackwell: Malden.

 

Yoffee, N. (ed.) 2015. The Cambridge World History Volum 3: Early Cities in Comparative Perspective, 4000 BCE-1200 CE. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.

 

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 139

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Nicky Nielsen Unit coordinator

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