Ancient Egypt: The Formative Years

Ref: C3530643

How did ancient Egypt develop? What preceded the pyramids? In this course we answer these questions and more as we trace the progression of peoples in Egypt from the first established settlements in the Nile Valley to unification. We look at early archaeology, writing, art and artefacts investigating both cultural development and political dynamics. We journey through the process of state formation in Egypt, exploring the transition from a pre-pharaonic neolithic culture to a historic civilization and divine kingship. We conclude with Early Dynastic Egypt, the large-scale pharaonic tombs at Abydos and the development of advanced administration that paves the way for the Old Kingdom.

Additional information about this course

NB There is no session on 06/02/20

Course aim

This course aims to introduce the history, tombs and artefacts of Predynastic and Early Dynastic Egypt. This period marks the transition from a prehistoric culture to the emergence of the fundamental tenets of the ancient Egyptian civilization.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

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

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

  • Outline the major predynastic cultures of ancient Egypt
  • Describe the scenes from tomb 100 at Hierakonpolis
  • Identify at least three Predynastic or Early Dynastic artefacts
  • Explain the importance of tomb U-j at Abydos
  • Discuss the process of unification in ancient Egypt

How will I be taught?

  • Classes will primarily consist of well-illustrated tutor presentations combined with ongoing group interaction. There will be an opportunity (but absolutely not a requirement) for students to give a short presentation. There is no necessity to carry out work outside of class but it is helpful.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • Informal with no tests or exams.

What else do I need to know?

  • Pen and Paper is useful. It is hoped to arrange at least one class in a museum space to engage with objects of the period. This will be probably be at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, the date will be subject to confirmation with the museum.

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
  • For those new to the subject if time allows any introductory text such as Kathryn's Bard's An Introduction to Egyptian Archaeology will be useful, the Shire books on Predynastic and Protodynastic Egypt are dated but provide a simple introduction to the period.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Lectures at the Southampton Ancient Egypt Society.

Download full course information sheet

Ancient Egypt: The Formative Years

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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