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Saqqara in the New Kingdom Seminar


Admission requirements

This course is open to all Master and Research Master students in Classics and Ancient Civilizations. Some familiarity with ancient historical and archaeological discourse (but no specific prior knowledge on the topic) will be useful.The course is specifically designed for Egyptology students who would like to further explore the methodological approach developed by the Walking Dead project.

Admission requirements for other students: a BA degree in Egyptology obtained from a university in the Netherlands, or a comparable qualification obtained from a university outside the Netherlands. Students with an international degree must contact the Coordinator of Studies to check the requirements for admission.

If you are interested in taking this course, but are not sure whether you fulfill the entry requirements, please, contact the instructors.


This seminar provides an introduction to the various theories and methods for researching ancient religion employed by the Walking Dead project. This includes studying a selection of important theoretical approaches to cultural geography as well as religious practices, transmission of texts and images, and landscape archaeology. The students are encouraged to apply these approaches to the ancient Egyptian evidence. The learning goal is to better recognize and classify implicit theoretical approaches in the existing literature and to apply and test an approach on the ancient Egyptian source material. Depending on the number of participants, the presentations are combined with reading assignments. Each topic is introduced by the lecturer, who introduces the overarching theme of the class and then hands over the floor to the student speakers. After each presentation, the audience can ask questions, so that a 5-minute discussion is held.

Course objectives

At the end of this course, students will:

  • be familiar with ancient source material from Saqqara;

  • have the skill to assess these sources, and understand them within their cultural context, as demonstrated in the written examination;

  • possess knowledge of recent scholarship concerning praxeology, religious studies, and approaches towards biography of landscape and textual transmission;

  • be capable of critical assessment of secondary literature.

  • ResMA students: be capable of an independent formulation of complex research questions, collecting materials (both primary and secondary sources). Analysing results, constructing arguments, formulating conclusions.

  • MA students: Research skills as above, but with fewer materials and more help, as specified in the first session of class.

  • Oral presentation: presenting clearly and on the basis of arguments the results of the student’s research. Effective use of hand-out, illustrations and/or multi-media techniques;

  • Written presentation: setting out research results effectively, clearly and in a well-structured manner. The student will be capable to demonstrate in writing their grasp of critical issues in recent scholarship, and to test and assess recent scholarly contributions by confronting them with the original source material.

This research seminar contributes to the achievement of learning outcomes 4a and 4c (to give and write a clear and well-argued oral and written presentation on a research topic in accordance with academic standards) of the study programme Classics and Ancient Civilizations.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Assessment method


  • Reading assignment and active participation

  • Oral presentation

  • Abstract

  • Final paper (please see specifications listed on Brightspace)


  • Reading assignment and active participation: 30%

  • Oral presentation: 20%

  • Abstract: 10%

  • Final paper: 40%

The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average with the additional requirement that the written paper must always be sufficient.


Should the overall mark be unsatisfactory, the paper is to be revised after consultation with the instructor.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review may take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will be organized.

Reading list

Readings will be listed on Brightspace prior to the start of the course.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on the website.

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. L.V. Weiss