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Amarna Seminar


Admission requirements

This course is open to all Master and Research Master students in Classics and Ancient Civilizations.
Students with an international/other degree have to contact the study advisor to check admissibility.


The Amarna Seminar is offered by the specializations Egyptology and Assyriology together, with a yearly changing content that is determined by current research of the staff.

The Amarna period of the 14th century BCE, from the reign of Amenhotep III to that of Horemheb, is of great importance for Egyptian history, but it is also a period during which intensive interaction with the Near East is visible on various levels. Especially the Amarna tablets provide detailed information about the administration of the Egyptian foreign dominions, and about the foreign relations with neighbouring states.

In 2016-2017 there will be three topics in the course: Texts from the archive of El Amarna, by prof.dr. Wilfred van Soldt; The Archaeology of the city of Amarna, by dr. René van Walsem and Costume items in the tomb of Tutankhamun, by prof.dr. Olaf Kaper.

Course objectives

In this seminar the students are introduced to the study of the Amarna period through an intensive examination of different aspects. The three topics offered in 2016 provide three different perspectives on this period, and the student is familiarized with three different types of source material and its secondary literature. These are the cuneiform sources in the Amarna archive, the archaeological reports about the city of Amarna, and the royal objects preserved in the tomb of Tutankhamun. Through discussion in class, a presentation, and the writing of a research paper, the student will be able to actively engage in the debates on this period.


The timetable is available on the Classics and Ancient Civilizations website.

Mode of instruction


Course Load

Total course load 10 EC x 28 hours= 280 hours:

  • Lectures: 12 hours

  • Student presentations and discussion sessions: 8 hours

  • Study of compulsory literature: 60 hours

  • Presentation: 60 hours

  • Research paper: 140 hours

Assessment method

  • Participation in the discussions in the seminar (10%);

  • Presentation on a topic set during the course (30%);

  • Research paper on a topic related to one of the three themes (60%).


The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


If the overall mark is unsatisfactory, another topic may be set for a research paper, which will then be weighed as 60% of the final grade. There is no resit for the participation and presentation components.


Blackboard will be used for: the distribution of literature and materials.

Reading list

Literature will be made available during the course.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Prof.Dr. Olaf Kaper