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

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 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



  • First semester 2016 (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.
  3. Examined the impact of environmental change upon north-east Africa.
  4. Developed skills in interpreting archaeological data in the light of cultural tradition reflected in later literary material from Egypt.
  5. 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.
  6. Developed the ability to present a sustained argument drawing upon a variety of data.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 288 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