Egypt's Dazzling Sun Kings: the Amarna Period

Ref: C2338101

The Amarna episode in Egyptian history was not only unique but puzzling and in reality was considered by the ancient Egyptian elite a dark 'blot on the landscape'. What brought about the political and religious upheaval during the reign of our main character, heretic pharaoh Akhenaten? Were the foundations of this so-called revolution at the hands of Akhenaten's father? Archaeology and other sources will tell us something of the people who followed Akhenaten and his new religion to Middle Egypt, leaving the old capital of Thebes behind. The unique art of this period in Egyptian history will be seen in the Valley of the Kings burial of Tutankhamun, the young pharaoh who was to lead or be led back to Thebes. The aftermath of Amarna - 'Ancient Egypt's Age of Revolution' will be considered, as will the period of restoration and consolidation by one of the most senior officials instrumental in erasing the memory of 'that criminal Akhenaten' from ancient Egyptian records.

Course aim

To explore a unique time in Egyptian history, the Amarna Period almost 3,500 years ago, when revolution of rule and religion concluded with the brief reign of boy king Tutankhamun.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • An appreciation of what brought about such a dramatic change in Egyptian kingship at this time.
  • An understanding of the affect on Egypt's foreign relations and state of empire during and after the Amarna Period.
  • A recognition of the unique art and imagery of the Amarna Period of Egyptian history.
  • To appreciate the profound change in religion and compare the characteristics of two major ancient Egyptian gods of the period.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You will be able to take part in a written 'quiz' usually taken home during half term.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • Regular question and answer sessions throughout the course and the results of the Half Term Quiz will be included in feedback.

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • Pen and paper for note taking may be useful but not essential.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • A recommended reading list will be available at the beginning of the course.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • Information will be provided on on line courses related to the subject area.

Download full course outline

Egypt's Dazzling Sun Kings: the Amarna Period 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 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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