Archaeology of Egypt

Course Name:                   Archaeology of Egypt
Course Type:                     lecture & class
Lecturer, time & place:     see course schedule

The course discusses the most important archaeological sites in Egypt and Sudan, dating from the 4th millennium BC to the 1st millennium AD. The course focuses on the traces of various historical, social and cultural processes left in the archaeological material since the emergence of the Egyptian state at the end of the Pre-Dynastic Period and during the Archaic Period. The main aim of the course is to demonstrate that the culture of Egypt of the Pharaohs, in contrast to popular beliefs, was not petrified and unchanging almost since its very beginning, but rather underwent dynamic transformations throughout the 4000 years of its existence.

During the classes, students will learn to independently find reliable, competent and up–to-date information on problems of the archaeology of Egypt: they will get acquainted with specialist Egyptological bibliographies and lexicons; they will learn about the most important specialist journals and publication series. The classes will prepare them to work independently on their BA theses.


  1. Historical geography of North-Eastern Africa. Basics of geology, palaeomorphology, climate and natural resources.
  2. State and society. Royal ideology, formation of the state, administration, crises of the state.
  3. Religion. Theological systems: Heliopolitan and Hermopolitan, divine triads.
  4. Writing and literature. Major religious text corpora: Pyramid Texts, Coffin Texts, Book of the Dead. Beginnings of literature.
  5. Visual arts. Sculpture, painting, relief. Canon of art.
  6. Various types of artefacts as sources of information for various aspects of Egyptian civilisation.

Selected Reading:

Arnold, D., Building in Egypt: pharaonic stone masonry, New York: Oxford University Press, 1991;

Baines, J., Málek, J., Cultural atlas of Ancient Egypt, New York, 2000;

Grimal, N.-C., A history of ancient Egypt, New York: Barnes & Nobles, 1997;

Kemp, B.J., Ancient Egypt: anatomy of a civilization, London-New York: Routledge, 2006;

Lehner, M., The complete pyramids, New York: Thames and Hudson, 1997;

Reeves, C.N., Wilkinson, R.H., The complete Valley of the Kings: tombs and treasures of Egypt’s greatest pharaohs, New York: Thames and Hudson, 1996;

Shaw, I., The Oxford history of ancient Egypt, Oxford-New York: Oxford University Press, 2003;

Smith, W.S., Simpson, W.K., The art and architecture of ancient Egypt, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998;

Trigger, B.G., Ancient Egypt: a social history, Cambridge-New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986;

Uphill, E.P., Egyptian towns and cities, Princes Risborough, Aylesbury, Bucks, UK: Shire Publications, 1988.