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EGYT 1430

History of Egypt I: Early Dynastic through 18th Dynasty

MWF 12-12:50pm

Rhode Island Hall room 108

Instructor: Laurel Bestock laurel_bestock@brown.edu

Office Hours: Tuesdays 10am-noon, Rhode Island Hall room 209

Teaching Assistants:
Kathryn Howley: kathryn_howley@brown.edu
Office Hours: Fridays, 10am-noon, Wilbour Hall room 303, or by appointment

Emily Russo: emily_russo@brown.edu
Office Hours: Wednesdays, 1:00 - 3:00pm, Wilbour Hall 305, or by appointment

This course examines the history of ancient Egypt from the rise of the Egyptian state to the end of the 18th Dynasty in the New Kingdom, a period of more than 1500 years.  This span encompasses three separate “golden ages” of Egyptian history and culture, from the pyramid builders of the Old Kingdom through the Middle Kingdom renaissance to the expansionist era of the early New Kingdom.  By looking at both political and social history this course will allow students to examine the differences as well as the similarities between these periods and come to a better understanding of the factors, internal and external, that influenced Egyptian historical development.  In addition to becoming familiar with the first half of pharaonic history, students in this course will examine the very notion of history as applied to a civilization that was, in the early part of the course, just developing writing and which, even towards the end of the course, did not provide the kinds of copious and self-critical written records that are so useful to historians of more recent cultures.  While relying primarily on written records, we will learn about and critically examine the varying types of evidence from which we reconstruct the political and social history of early Egypt.  We will constantly pause to ask why and for whom records were created, thereby reaching a more nuanced understanding of what information can reasonably be gained from them.

Syllabus

Lecture Slides

Discussion: Old Kingdom Texts

Fun tidbits

Exam 1: Map cities and questions

Discussion 10/21: Middle Kingdom Literature

Discussion 10/28: MK literature II

Exam 2: map cities and questions

Book sharing



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