CL3EGY-History and Culture of New Kingdom Egypt

Module Provider: Classics
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: N/A -except that the students will benefit from ability to read German and French publications.
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Hana Navratilova


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module studies the historical and cultural development of Egypt over five centuries of the New Kingdom period, from approximately 1600 BCE to 1100 BCE, from being an ascendant expansionist state to becoming a divided kingdom with a significantly changed character of once pivotal royal authority. It makes intensive use of both material and written culture to elucidate this dynamic period of Egyptian history, defined as an imperial and cosmopolitan age, but exhibiting also significant social and cultural change. Egyptological historiography of the period will be also addressed to illustrate the complexity - and plasticity - of modern historiography concerned with the ancient world. 


The module aims to provide students with knowledge of the main issues of New Kingdom Egyptian history and to familiarise them with the unique sources it is based on. It will encourage student research and the pursuit of specific personal interests within the remit of the module's topic. It will aim at developing the sensitivity to challenges of history and historiography of the ancient world. Study and understanding of history and historiography contribute to a nuanced understanding of cultural narratives, heritage, cultural memory and also the role of targeted, specialist knowledge in the complex understanding of the past.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:

- Describe, analyse and assess key issues pertaining to the history of the period examined.

- Locate, assemble and critically assess material on specific topics within the wider field studied

- Interpret primary sources of different natures, assess their respective relevance, identify the connections between them and use them to construct coherent arguments.

- Formulate and f rame personal research questions

- Understand the terms and arguments of ongoing debates and take a critical position regarding them.


Additional outcomes:

The module will develop individual research skills in the use of databases, bibliographies, and other digital resources, search for relevant information and synthesis; acknowledging and evaluating multiple factors prompting an outcome; logical argumentation and deconstruction of unsound arguments; written and oral presentation skills.

Outline content:

The module will cover the social, economic, political, religious and cultural history of Egypt from the sixteenth to the twelfth century BC; several key aspects will be emphasised: first, following the country on an apparent trajectory from a re-unification to division, second, the concept and practice of kingship and its adaptations, and third, the cultural development that saw a number of innovations in the cultural production, notably in literature, but also in the intellectual approach to history, and eventually in art.

A technical introduction to the sources and their proper use will be provided.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The lesson plan involves 10 hours of asynchronous learning, delivered as recorded lectures, and 10 hours of synchronous learning delivered as seminars, run in two formats, as face-to-face and online. There are also supplementary learning materials available for asynchronous learning in addition to the 10 hours of lectures.

The module thus includes a mix of lecture, group work, oral presentations and exercises, working up to a final essay on a subject chosen at the beginnin g of term from a suggested list. Sessions will require prior background reading.

Books listed here:

Shaw, Ian. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Trigger, B. G., B. J. Kemp, D. O’Connor, and A. B. Lloyd. Ancient Egypt: A Social History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Seminars 10
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 40
    Wider reading (directed) 60
    Preparation for tutorials 8
    Essay preparation 65
    Reflection 7
Total hours by term 200 0 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

(1) One text commentary c.1500 words chosen in week 3 and due in by 12 noon on Friday week 9 (30%)

(2) One essay of about 3,000 words on a topic chosen from a list, due in by 12 noon on Monday of the first week of Spring Term (70%)

Formative assessment methods:

Feedback will be provided for small research tasks building up to the final essay. These will include finding information, using data for specific purposes, presenting findings and writing up summary reports.

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

40% overall

Reassessment arrangements:

Resubmission in the resit period.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 17 September 2020


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