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The Origins of Egyptian civilisation


Compulsory attendance


Prerequisites and restrictions

BA degree (or equivalent) in Archaeology, Egyptology, Art History, Classics, or any other relevant discipline.


The course deals with the emergence of a unique culture and complex society in Egypt in the 5th-3rd millennia BC, through studying various topics such as the intensification of food production, the concentration of human population at specific sites, an emerging inequality in burials, specialisation in craft production, the expansion of an interregional exchange network, the appearance of symbolic items, the construction of monumental architecture, and the development of writing.

Learning outcomes

  • To understand the development of culture and society in the 5th-3rd millennia BC;

  • To gain awareness of the current state of research into the origins of Egyptian civilisation;

  • To become familiar with accessing study resources and to use them critically;

  • To give an oral presentation on your study topic and to lead a discussion afterwards;

  • To write a paper on your study topic, while assessing the literature critically and presenting your own opinion.

Mode of delivery

Seminar. The course consists of one organisational meeting, one introductory lecture by the instructor, and five class meetings for student presentations. Students are asked to give an oral presentation on a topic and to lead a discussion, and to write an essay about the topic afterwards, as well as another essay about any other topic, by using the literature suggested in the reading list.


  • Class attendance (1 ects);

  • Oral presentation (2 ects);

  • Two essays (2 ects).

Reading list

To be announced.

Time schedule

Course schedule details can be found in the MA time schedule.