Pyramids, sphinxes, and ankhs,
oh my! In this course, you will learn
about the salient features of ancient Egyptian civilization, including its
geography, history, religion, political structures and art. We will examine ancient
Course Objectives: I hope that in the course of the semester you will:
1. Explore the disciplines of history, Egyptology and archaeology and the assumptions and methods that historians bring to the past, namely by analyzing important primary and secondary sources.
2. Achieve an understanding of an important non-Western civilization.
3. Become familiar with a variety of different methodologies, sources, and ways of approaching ancient history and be able to compare and contrast the different approaches.
4. Develop critical thinking, oral, and written skills in the progress of class discussions, thoughtful essay assignments, exams, and group presentations.
5. Cultivate self-awareness and interest in other cultures as you consider how similar events and issues that faced people in the ancient world continue to confront us in our contemporary world.
Instructor: Allison Thomason
Office: 1214 Peck Hall
Office Hours: M,W, F , W , or by appointment
Phone: 650-3685 (my office); 650-2414 (department office)
Expectations of Students, Classroom Conduct, and Attendance Policy:
1) Students are expected to arrive on time, attend class alertly, conduct yourself with respect for your fellow students and myself, and participate in class discussions.
2) Consistent lateness to class, disrespectful treatment of or behavior towards others (e.g. whispering, note-passing), and early departures will seriously affect your grade and can result in involuntary withdrawal from the course (for policies on academic conduct, see SIUE’s Student Conduct Code: http://www.siue.edu/POLICIES/1i9.html).
3) Lectures and readings may not cover the same material in the same manner, but you are responsible for the information contained in BOTH for your exams. Since much of this class will involve VISUAL IMAGES seen in class (slides, maps, etc.), it is important for you to come to class. If you have to miss a class, make sure that you get the notes from someone.
4) In addition, I hope that you will contribute to the group and class discussions, and ask questions in class. This will not only help your attendance and participation grade, but it will also help you to become more engaged in the class, and therefore more prepared for exams and more understanding of history.
5) Pop quizzes will be given to check attendance and reading comprehension.
Attendance/Participation/Reading 150 points
Map and Chronology Quiz 50 points
Written Assignment #1 100 points
Written Assignment #2 100 points
Midterm Exam 150 points
Final Exam 200 points
Summaries for Presentations (per person) 150 points
TOTAL 1000 points
There will be two written assignments, which will be handed out in class. Each must be 3 pages long, no more than double-spaced, 12-point font, and 1-inch margins. The first assignment will be questions concerning the issue “Who were the Egyptians and why does it matter?” The second assignment will deal with the video “This Old Pyramid”.
At the end of the semester, you will give group oral presentations on a topic of Egyptian social or cultural history chosen from the following list, or you may suggest your own topic, with the approval of the instructor:
Egyptomania in the 3rd millennium A.D., Private and Family Life, Images of Women in Egyptian Art, Social and Legal Roles of Women, Priests and Rituals, Scribes and Literacy, Music and Dance, Legal Institutions, Medicine and anatomy, Economy and Trade, Work: agriculture and crafts, Foreigners in Egypt; Egyptian temple architecture; Egyptian tomb architecture; Amarna art; Egyptian queens; reproduction, marriage and relationships…
This presentation must be well researched and organized, and each of you must contribute equally to both the research and presentation and demonstrate to me that this has happened in the presentation. You will be graded individually on both your knowledge of the material, your contribution, and your style of presentation. In addition, your peers will evaluate your effort in the group project and presentation. I encourage you to use visual aids such as handouts, slides, computer images, and posters to enhance your presentation.
Summaries for Group Presentations:
Each individual must hand in a two-page summary of the segment of the Group Presentation for which he or she will be responsible. This summary must be well organized and must contain all the relevant information that you will discuss in your presentation. In addition, it should list at least 3 pertinent and valid references that you consulted.
Make-up quizzes (excluding pop quizzes) and exams will only be given in cases of unforeseen medical or family emergencies. You will need to contact me prior to the exam time if you would like to be excused from an exam, and will be granted a make-up or not at my discretion. Make-up exams must be taken within one week of the original exam date and the exam time will be scheduled at my discretion (in consultation with you). If you do not show up for a quiz or an exam and I did not excuse you ahead of time, you will receive a zero (0) on the exam.
Plagiarism and Use of Internet:
Plagiarism is the use of someone else's writing without giving credit to that individual. Plagiarism can take several forms. It can consist of paraphrase or word-by-word transcription; the uncited source can be a published work, from a web site or discussion group on the internet, or the unpublished work of another student or acquaintance. It is every student's responsibility to know what plagiarism is and to avoid committing it. If you are in doubt, it is better to document a source than not to. The penalty for this offense is quite serious, and can result in failure of an assignment, the course and potential withdrawal from the university. For the Department of History’s information on plagiarism, see www.siue.edu/HISTORY/plagiarism.html. For SIUE’s policies on academic conduct, see the Student Conduct Code: http://www.siue.edu/POLICIES/1i6.html.
History of Ancient
3) Primary Documents in Translation (Handout)=Documents
*** BRING TO CLASS EVERY DAY***
4) Visual Materials for Ancient
5) Other Handouts as noted below in class schedule
In addition, there will be a few general reference books available on reserve for this course for your general perusal, for studying exams, etc.:
and Malek, Atlas of Ancient
Akhnaten, King of
The Art and Architecture of Ancient
5) Lehner, The Complete Pyramids
6) Tutankhamun Treasures: a loan exhibition from the Department of
antiquities of the
Women in Ancient
et. al., Ancient
9) Civilizations of the Ancient Near East (4-volume Reference set)
In REFERENCE: DS57.C55.1995
Schedule and Required
Class topics are subject to change, Exam dates and
Assignment due dates are fixed and will not change.
You will understand my lectures and contribute more if you read the sections that we will be discussing before you come to class. After hearing the lecture, you might also choose to go BACK OVER the reading to familiarize yourself even more with the topics, names, and dates.
Week 1: Monday: Orientation
(Aug. 23-27) Wednesday: Introduction to how to study Egyptian history
Friday: Introduction to dating, archaeological concepts
Week 2: Monday:
(Aug. 30-Sept. 3
Wednesday: DISCUSSION of race and ethnicity: Who were the Egyptians and why does it matter?
Handout: “Ethnic Diversity in Ancient
Friday: Geography and climate
Week 3: Monday: NO CLASS, Labor Day
(Sept. 6-10) Wednesday: language and religion
Friday: Historical overview
WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT #1 Due
Documents, “Memphite Theology of Creation”
Week 4: Monday: Early Dynastic period and state formation
MAP and CHRONOLOGY QUIZ
2, 3: Zoser at
Week 5: Monday: Dynasty 4: Snefru
Wednesday: Dynasty 4:
Friday: Dynasty 4:
Week 6: Monday: Dynasties 5-6 and First Intermediate Period
Documents, “Pyramid Texts”
Documents, “Autobiography of Ankhtify”
Wednesday: Video, “Pyramid”, instructor at Conference
Friday: Video, continued, instructor at Conference
Week 7: Monday: Middle Kingdom
Documents, “Prophecies of Neferti”
Wednesday: Middle Kingdom and Second Intermediate Period: Hyksos
Documents, Three “Hyksos” sections
Friday: Early 18th Dynasty
WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT #2 Due
Week 8: Monday: Hatchepsut and Tutmosis III
Documents, “Annals of Tutmosis III”
Wednesday: Amunhotep III and the Egyptian Empire
Friday: MIDTERM EXAM
Week 9: Monday: Akhnaten and Amarna
Documents, “The Great Hymn to the Aten”
Wednesday: Amarna, continued
Friday: VIDEO: Tutankhamun
TOPICS for Group Presentations ASSIGNED TODAY
Week 10: Monday: Tutankhamun, continued
Friday: Library Session: “Researching the Ancient World
Week 11: Monday: The Egyptian Empire in
Wednesday: Ramesses II,
Friday: Merneptah and the Exodus, Ramesses III and the Sea Peoples
Week 12: Monday:
Regular folks in the
Wednesday: Late Period: Nubians, Libyans, Assyrians
Friday: Tips on Group Presentations; Ptolemaic
Week 13 Monday: VIDEO: Cleopatra
(Nov. 15-19) Summaries for Group Presentations due (Groups 1-6)
Wednesday: VIDEO: Cleopatra
Sometime this week: EXTRA VIDEO SESSION at NIGHT for Cleopatra
(For 25 points of EXTRA CREDIT)
Friday: VIDEO and DISCUSSION: Cleopatra
Week 14 NO CLASS, Thanksgiving Break
Week 15 Monday: Group Presentations 1-2
(Nov. 29-Dec. 3) Summaries for Group Presentations due (Groups 7-10)
Wednesday: Group Presentations: 3-4
Friday: Group Presentations: 5-6
Week 16: Monday: Group Presentations: 7-8
(Dec. 6-10) Wednesday: Group Presentations: 9-10
Friday: Course Summary
Week 17: FINAL EXAM: Monday, Dec. 13,