Ancient Egypt's Cultural Heart

Ref: C2419195

This course will explore a fascinating period of ancient Egyptian history. The Middle Kingdom is often seen as a classic period of arts, literature and culture in Egypt and we will study some of the great works of the time, placing them in their historical context. Historically we trace the emergence of the Theban 11th Dynasty who reunify Egypt, through the strength of the 12th Dynasty and the decline of the 13th. We also look at changes in religious practice and Middle Kingdom art, architecture and temples – so often eclipsed by their more visible New Kingdom successors and provide a taste of the language and literature of the period.

Course aim

This course aims to provide a comprehensive synthesis of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt. A solid historical base will be enhanced with an introduction to the art, literature and building of the period.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • No prior knowledge is necessary although those entirely new to the subject are recommended to read an introductory text to supplement the classes.

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

  • Describe the tomb and temple of Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II
  • Discuss an example of literature from ancient Egypt
  • List at least three artefacts from the Middle Kingdom
  • Compare the First Intermediate Period with the 12th Dynasty
  • Read together with a sign list a king’s name in a cartouche

How will I be taught?

  • The sessions will include well-illustrated presentation with lots of opportunities for questions and interaction.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • Ongoing informal feedback, no tests or exams

What else do I need to know?

  • Pen and Paper will be very useful

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • Those new to the subject are recommended to read an introductory text to Egyptology, this can be prior to, or during the course as time allows.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Lectures with the Thames Valley Ancient Egypt Society, Egypt Exploration Society, Friends of the Petrie Museum and Essex Egyptology Group and others.

Download full Course information sheet

Ancient Egypt's Cultural Heart


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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