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AAH4060 - Predynastic and Early Dynastic Egypt

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Colin Hope


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


It is widely recognised that the genesis of the Pharaonic state lay within the traditions which emerged within Egypt during the Predynastic Period, c.4500-3050 BCE, and that the ensuing Early Dynastic Period was a transitional phase. This subject analyses the development of Egyptian culture attempting to document the processes which culminated in Unification. It will examine Egypt's links with the neighbouring regions to determine spheres of influence and impact. In the process it will explore modern theories of the emergence of complex society as they relate to Egypt, the impact of environmental change on this development and the techniques used to explore non-literate societies.


Upon successful completion of this unit students will have:

  1. Developed a knowledge of the archaeological record of the Predynastic and Early Dynastic Periods. 2. Understood the complex cultural processes which led to the emergence of the unified Egyptian state.
  2. Examined the impact of environmental change upon north-east Africa.
  3. Developed skills in interpreting archaeological data in the light of cultural tradition reflected in later literary material from Egypt.
  4. Explored current theories of the emergence of complex society in the Near East and how the Egyptian evidence might be interpreted in light of them.
  5. Developed the ability to present a sustained argument drawing upon a variety of data.


Essay (3000 words): 35%
Seminar presentation (1500 words): 15%
Research essay (4500 words): 50%

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 2 hour seminar) per week