138TS - Archaeology of Egypt


Brief Introduction

This course will cover selected topics on the archaeology of ancient Egypt, incorporating the latest archaeological discoveries from sites like the Great Pyramids and Valley of the Kings. We will place the impressive monuments of this great civilization in the context of the rise and development of Egyptian civilization. How did construction of huge pyramids and majestic temples contribute to the power and authority of the Pharaohs? What was the relationship between kings, nobles, and commoners? What was life like along the Nile at the height of Egyptian civilization? Egypt is often looked at as a static, unchanging civilization, but we will see how society and religion evolved to meet new challenges through the 3000 years of Pharaonic history. Throughout there will be an emphasis on material culture as source for the political, social and economic dynamics of ancient Egypt. We will look both at the grand artifacts of kings like Tutankhamen and the simple objects of everyday life found in villages like Deir el-Medina, the community of workmen who built the tombs in the Valley of the Kings.

Syllabus (SS 2010)



City of Amarna & Medinet Habu Temple  
Midterm Study Guide

Gebel Hagg Project

Final Study Guide


Required Texts
Ancient Egypt. Anatomy of a Civilization. Barry J. Kemp. Second Edition. New York: Routledge, 2006.
Introduction to the Archaeology of Egypt. . Kathryn Bard. Oxford: Blackwell, 2007.
Ancient Egypt.
David P. Silverman (ed.). New York: Oxford University Press,1997.
“They did take it with them.”
Stuart Tyson Smith. KMT Magazine,
Vol. 2:3, 1991, pp. 28-45 ( on reserve).
“The First Imperialists.”
Stuart Tyson Smith. KMT Magazine,
Vol. 3:3, 1992, pp. 40-49; 78-79
Class News!
  Summer Syllabus now uploaded.

Summer ERes Password = patron

Midterm Review Session after class Thursday, July 12, next door in HSSB 1174 (not in the normal classroom, HSSB 1173).


Extra Credit
Visit a Museum Exhibit for 2-5 points Extra Credit!

  1. Egyptian Gallery of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (currently closed for reinstallation).

  2. Egyptian Gallery of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.
  3. Getty Villa (Mummy portraits and art from Greco-Roman Egypt).

Just write a 1-5 page essay/critique of the exhibit – what was your favorite thing? How well was it organized? Select 5 objects from the exhibit and show how they connect to themes from the class. Use citations for maximum credit and attach a ticket stub.

*Note that because of the small size of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art's collection, you must put in extra effort for full credit.

  *A visit to another Egyptian exhibit may be substituted, including travelling exhibitions and permanent installations like the Rosecrucian Museum in San Jose, the Egyptian section of the Museum of Man in San Diego, or farther away at the Field Museum in Chicago, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, etc.