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The Origins of Egyptian civilisation


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.


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.

Course objectives

  • 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.


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

Mode of instruction

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.

Assessment method

  • Class attendance (1 ects);

  • Oral presentation (2 ects);

  • Two essays (2 ects).

Reading list

To be announced.


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 N. Shirai.