Faculty of Arts

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Centre for Ancient Cultures


Associate Professor Colin Hope



  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


This unit focuses upon a study of how the ancient Egyptians engaged with death throughout the period when pyramids were the dominant architectural manifestation of beliefs in the afterlife of the king. While these are but one form of monument used to preserve the dead and present their expectations for the next life, they epitomise the importance of preparing for that transition. The unit explores the beliefs that prompted such complex burial arrangements and those for all classes of society, and uses these to chart the development in Egyptian culture from 3050 BCE to 1750 BCE. It explores a wide range of material evidence to track these changes and explores the range of modern theories available to understand the processes involved.


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 Middle 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 full range of sources and to assess critically the current theories encountered.


Within semester assessment: 80%
Exam: 20%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Twelve credit points of first-year Arts units.