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Theory in Egyptology


Admission requirements

Students who want to attend this course need to have been admitted to the MA Classics and Ancient Civilizations, specialization Egyptology, and to have finished two years of BA education in Egyptology or equivalent. Students who do not fulfil this requirement but are interested in taking this course need to contact the coordinator.


A tutorial with discussions on recent literature in the field of Egyptology, in which theory plays a major part. Through research tasks the student carries out an analysis of a scholarly article within a chosen topic. The research should be presented in an oral presentation during the seminar, and a written referenced version (essay) should be handed in. Each student is to present two times during the course.

Course objectives

The course encourages a critical appraisal of current practices in the fields of Egyptology with particular attention to aims and methods. The course familiarizes the student with theoretical models and abstract ways of approaching archaeological and textual data. It also serves as an introduction to the choice of topic of the MA-thesis.


Please consult the timetable on the Classics and Ancient Civilizations website

Mode of instruction


Course Load

The total course load is 140 hours (5 ec):

  • Attending lectures and seminars: 10 hours

  • Preparation time for seminars: 70 hours

  • Time to write papers: 60 hours

Assessment method

  • Presentations: 40%

  • Essays: 60%

The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average. Should the overall mark be unsatisfactory, the essays are to be revised after consultation with the teacher.


Blackboard is used for providing class assignments and additional literature

Reading list

Literature will be made known in the class; all literature is available in the library of the Netherlands Institute for the Near East.


Students are required to register for this course via uSis, the course registration system of Leiden University. General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


Prof.dr. O.E. Kaper


Students in the Research MA Classics and Ancient Civilizations are required to read additional texts for their literature analysis and essays.