This course provides a general introduction to the history of ancient Egypt, based on six key items selected from the collections of The Manchester Museum.
As an introduction, you will learn a little about The Manchester Museum and its Egyptian collection and look at Egyptian geography. Our first examined artefact is a decorated Predynastic pot. This will lead you into a discussion of state formation, which includes a consideration of stone-working technologies and an introduction to the hieroglyphic script.
Week 2: Old Kingdom Egypt
In week 2, a ‘false door’ will open our discussion of tomb development in general, and the great Giza pyramids in particular. We will end this week by visiting the tomb of the local governor Ankhtifi and considering his important inscription.
Week 3: Middle Kingdom Egypt
This week you will meet the famous ‘spinning statue’ of the Manchester Museum. This will lead you into an exploration of aspects of daily life in ancient Egypt, including a visit to the pyramid-builders’ town of Kahun and an introduction to the intact tomb group belonging to the ‘Two Brothers’.
Week 4: New Kingdom Egypt
The study of a column recycled in the Ramesside Period in the fourth week will guide you into the age of wealth and empire. You will meet the soldier Ahmose, and the prominent royal women, Hatshepsut and Nefertiti.
Week 5: Third Intermediate Period and Late Period Egypt
In week 5 a cartonnage coffin will spark an exploration of the Egyptian approach to death towards the end of the dynastic period. We will read the myth of the healing goddess Isis and her resurrected husband Osiris, and examine burial customs and temple statues.
Week 6: Greco-Roman Egypt
This final week will start by examining a terracotta figure of the traditional Egyptian god Bes, who is now dressed like a Roman solder. With Egypt now heavily influenced by the wider Mediterranean world, we will consider the presentation and importance of both human and animal mummies. We will end our history by considering the evidence for the death of Egypt’s last queen, Cleopatra VII.
- Glenn Godenho - Egyptology
- Joyce Tyldesley - Egyptology
- Campbell Price - Manchester Museum