History: Art and Artefacts from Ancient Egypt's Golden Empire

Ref: C3739682

This course will explore this the objects and tomb scenes from the New Kingdom, one of the most fascinating period of ancient Egyptian history. We study well-known object assemblages such as those from the tomb of Tutankhamun as well as lesser-known artefacts and relief art.

Additional information about this course

*Reading courses bookable from 1st July 2016* First and last sessions only are 2.5 hours; remaining sessions 2 hours. Half term: 26/10/2016.

Course aim

This course aims to introduce a wide range of art and artefacts from the ancient Egyptian New Kingdom including the artefacts of Tutankhamun and ancient Egyptian tomb scenes.

Who is the course for?

What topics will this course cover

The course will be taught mainly with well-illustrated presentations and whole-group discussion from the point of view of an Egyptologist rather than an artist, and make widespread use of case studies to help to contextualize the material studied, these will include: - New Kingdom Tomb Reliefs including examples from el-Kab, Thebes and Saqqara - Material Culture of the New Kingdom including the tomb assemblage of Tutankhamun and that of Kha and Merit from Deir el-Medina. - Art from outside a mortuary context (e.g. Pharaonic Palaces) The course will also introduce some principles and academic thought about ancient Egyptian art and its interpretation. Students will have an opportunity (but absolutely not a requirement) to study a particular set of objects or scenes and prepare a short (10-15 minute) presentation to the class on the material, in past courses at least 2 or 3 students have taken up this option.

What will it be like?

WEA classes are friendly and supportive. You will be encouraged to work together with your fellow students and tutor. You will be asked to share your ideas and views in the class and work with the group to give and accept feedback in a supportive environment. The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you to be actively involved in your learning. You may be asked to undertake work to support your course outside of your class.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

1. Discuss a tomb scene from the New Kingdom. 2. Identify and list at least three artefacts from the tomb of Kha and Merit. 3. Compare the two tombs of Horemheb. 4. Describe a scene from a New Kingdom Temple.

How will I know I'm making progress?

There will no formal examinations or tests. The tutor will provide feedback on an informal on-going basis and each week the previous weeks material will be briefly reviewed.

What else do I need to know, do or bring?

A pen/paper is all that is required for materials.

Reading and information sources

No reading is essential but students new to Egyptology are recommended to undertake some background reading, either before or during the course in order to gain the most from the sessions. There are many introductory texts to Egyptology which will be suitable, Kathryn Bard’s An Introduction to the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt is particularly recommended while specifically for art Gay Robin's The Art of Ancient Egypt will be a good starting point, a full reading list will be provided on week one. A visit to the Egypt galleries in the British Museum, Petrie Museum or Ashmolean can be very valuable, and while some online resources should be treated with caution the internet contains a plethora of useful information including museum websites and http://www.osirisnet.net/ .

What could the course lead to?

This course is designed both for standalone learning and to facilitate progression to other WEA courses and to lectures and courses run by specialist bodies such as the Thames Valley Ancient Egypt Society, Friends of the Petrie Museum and Egypt Exploration Society. Students may also wish to progress to accredited courses at University College London, and elsewhere or to distance learning courses with the University of Manchester, University of Oxford and others.

Download full course outline

History: Art and Artefacts from Ancient Egypt's Golden Empire Course Outline


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2016
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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