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AAH2970 - The Early Dynastic Period and Old Kingdom in Egypt, 3050-2150

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Dr Colin Hope


Not offered in 2007


This unit commences with the study of the unification process that resulted in the emergence of Egypt as the first territorial state in the Near East. The ensuing Early Dynastic Period, Old Kingdom and First Intermediate Period are studied through a combination of literary and documentary texts, surviving monuments and objects of material culture. An historical outline of these periods provides a framework within which social, cultural and religious developments are reviewed. While the focus is upon internal affairs particularly during the Old Kingdom (Pyramid Age), Egypt's relations with the Sudan, Libya, the Near East and the Mediterranean are examined.


Upon successful completion of this unit students will:

  1. Have gained an understanding of the evolution and main features of Egyptian culture from the emergence of a unified state until the end of the Old Kingdom.
  2. Have acquired an awareness of the limitations/extent of our knowledge of this culture; i.e., of the types of material that have survived and the variety of ways in which they are interpreted.
  3. Be able to display a basic understanding of the Egyptian perception of their world.
  4. Be able to display knowledge of the main sources of our textual and archaeological reconstruction of the culture.
  5. Have acquired the ability to access the tertiary sources and to assess critically the current theories encountered.


Document analysis (500 words): 15%
Tutorial presentation (oral/written, 500 words): 15%
Essay (2500 words): 45%
Examination (1 hour): 25%

Contact hours

3 hours (2 x 1 hour lectures and 1 x 1 hour tutorial) per week