nl en

Egyptian funerary archaeology


Compulsory attendance


Admission requirements

Degree students (including Dutch BA graduates): BA degree (or equivalent) in Archaeology or a relevant discipline.

SAP and Exchange Students: BA degree. Admission only after formal application.


This course will focus on the spatial organisation within cemeteries, the layout of tombs and what this may tell us about ancient Egyptian culture and social organisation. A range of typical and exceptional tomb designs will be described and illustrated from the multiple points of view of architecture, decorative arrangement, style, location and contents.
The students will receive a prospectus of the main cemeteries of ancient Egypt and will become familiar with the methods of tomb construction and decorative techniques. Owing to the richness and ubiquity of tomb sites and the relatively small number of archaeological accessible settlement sites, the larger part of our knowledge of ancient Egyptian society and history is still derived from the study of sepulchres.

Course objectives

  • Detailed knowledge of Egyptian cultural beliefs and their influence on the design of the tomb;

  • Detailed knowledge of the different theories on the methods of tomb construction;

  • Ability to analyse the iconography and to discuss the individual kinds of scenes that are to be found within Egyptian funerary monuments;

  • Ability to trace the development of the Egyptian tomb from the dawn of Egyptian history down to the Roman domination;

  • Ability to discuss excavation results, and to critically evaluate the used methods;

  • Ability to critically assess current research and assigned literature and voice one’s own well-argumented opinion;

  • Ability to choose a research topic, find relevant literature, apply current views on one’s own research topic, and present this via a PowerPoint presentation, and the ability to handle a stimulating discussion afterwards;

  • Ability to answer written questions demonstrating a solid knowledge of Egyptian funerary archaeology;

  • Research skills and the ability to evaluate the findings of other scholars.

Ects distribution

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 7 classes (1 ects);

  • 560 pages of literature (4 ects).


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

Mode of instruction

Lectures and individual assignments dealing with the specific research questions and research items concerning the Egyptian funerary archaeology. The research topics will be dealt with in the form of student class presentations, reading of books/articles, and a final written exam.

Assessment method

  • Written exam;

  • Active participation in class discussions;

  • Student class presentation;

  • Reading of assigned literature.

Assessment deadline

Exam dates can be found in the examination schedule.

Reading list

The reading list will be given to the participating students prior to the beginning of the course.


Register for this course via uSis.
Instructions for registration can be found in the uSis manual.

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to apply.

Contact information

For more information about this course, please contact dr C. Greco.