Introduction to Ancient Egypt and Its Civilization

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About this course: Colossal pyramids, imposing temples, golden treasures, enigmatic hieroglyphs, powerful pharaohs, strange gods, and mysterious mummies are features of Ancient Egyptian culture that have fascinated people over the millennia. The Bible refers to its gods, rulers, and pyramids. Neighboring cultures in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean wrote about its god-like kings and its seemingly endless supply of gold. The Greeks and Romans describe aspects of Egypt's culture and history. As the 19th century began, the Napoleonic campaign in Egypt highlighted the wonders of this ancient land, and public interest soared. Not long after, Champollion deciphered Egypt's hieroglyphs …

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When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: Colossal pyramids, imposing temples, golden treasures, enigmatic hieroglyphs, powerful pharaohs, strange gods, and mysterious mummies are features of Ancient Egyptian culture that have fascinated people over the millennia. The Bible refers to its gods, rulers, and pyramids. Neighboring cultures in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean wrote about its god-like kings and its seemingly endless supply of gold. The Greeks and Romans describe aspects of Egypt's culture and history. As the 19th century began, the Napoleonic campaign in Egypt highlighted the wonders of this ancient land, and public interest soared. Not long after, Champollion deciphered Egypt's hieroglyphs and paved the way for other scholars to reveal that Egyptian texts dealt with medicine, dentistry, veterinary practices, mathematics, literature, and accounting, and many other topics. Then, early in the 20th century, Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun and its fabulous contents. Exhibitions of this treasure a few decades later resulted in the world's first blockbuster, and its revival in the 21st century has kept interest alive. Join Dr. David Silverman, Professor of Egyptology at Penn, Curator in Charge of the Egyptian Section of the Penn Museum, and curator of the Tutankhamun exhibitions on a guided tour of the mysteries and wonders of this ancient land. He has developed this online course and set it in the galleries of the world famous Penn Museum. He uses many original Egyptian artifacts to illustrate his lectures as he guides students as they make their own discovery of this fascinating culture.

Created by:  University of Pennsylvania
  • Taught by:  David P. Silverman, Eckley Brinton Coxe, Jr. Professor of Egyptology

    Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations
Level Intermediate Language English How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.5 stars Average User Rating 4.5See what learners said Coursework

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University of Pennsylvania The University of Pennsylvania (commonly referred to as Penn) is a private university, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. A member of the Ivy League, Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, and considers itself to be the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


Welcome to the Course
This module includes a discussion thread to introduce yourself, and suggested readings and resources.


1 video, 2 readings expand


  1. Video: Course Introduction
  2. Discussion Prompt: Introduce Yourself!
  3. Reading: Suggested Course Textbook
  4. Reading: Additional Readings and Resources


WEEK 2


History and Chronology



10 videos, 1 reading expand


  1. Video: History and Chronology Part 1
  2. Video: History and Chronology Part 2
  3. Video: History and Chronology Part 3
  4. Video: History and Chronology Part 4
  5. Video: History and Chronology Part 5
  6. Video: History and Chronology Part 6
  7. Video: History and Chronology Part 7
  8. Video: History and Chronology Part 8
  9. Video: History and Chronology Part 9
  10. Video: History and Chronology Part 10
  11. Discussion Prompt: The Kingdoms vs. the Intermediate Periods
  12. Reading: Suggested & Further Reading

Graded: History and Chronology Quiz

WEEK 3


The Pharaoh and Kingship



7 videos, 1 reading expand


  1. Video: The Pharaoh and Kingship Part 1
  2. Video: The Pharaoh and Kingship Part 2
  3. Video: The Pharaoh and Kingship Part 3
  4. Video: The Pharaoh and Kingship Part 4
  5. Video: The Pharaoh and Kingship Part 5
  6. Video: The Pharaoh and Kingship Part 6
  7. Video: The Pharaoh and Kingship Part 7
  8. Discussion Prompt: Ancient Egyptian Kingship vs. Modern Leadership
  9. Reading: Suggested & Further Reading

Graded: The Pharaoh and Kingship Quiz

WEEK 4


Gods and Goddesses



11 videos, 1 reading expand


  1. Video: Gods and Goddesses Part 1
  2. Video: Gods and Goddesses Part 2
  3. Video: Gods and Goddesses Part 3
  4. Video: Gods and Goddesses Part 4
  5. Video: Gods and Goddesses Part 5
  6. Video: Gods and Goddesses Part 6
  7. Video: Gods and Goddesses Part 7
  8. Video: Gods and Goddesses Part 8
  9. Video: Gods and Goddesses Part 9
  10. Video: Gods and Goddesses Part 10
  11. Video: Gods and Goddesses Part 11
  12. Discussion Prompt: Your Favorite Creation Myth
  13. Reading: Suggested & Further Reading

Graded: Gods and Goddesses Quiz

WEEK 5


The Pyramids and the Sphinx



10 videos, 1 reading expand


  1. Video: The Pyramids and the Sphinx Part 1
  2. Video: The Pyramids and the Sphinx Part 2
  3. Video: The Pyramids and the Sphinx Part 3
  4. Video: The Pyramids and the Sphinx Part 4
  5. Video: The Pyramids and the Sphinx Part 5
  6. Video: The Pyramids and the Sphinx Part 6
  7. Video: The Pyramids and the Sphinx Part 7
  8. Video: The Pyramids and the Sphinx Part 8
  9. Video: The Pyramids and the Sphinx Part 9
  10. Video: The Pyramids and the Sphinx Part 10
  11. Discussion Prompt: Evolution of Royal Burials
  12. Reading: Suggested & Further Reading

Graded: The Pyramids and the Sphinx Quiz

WEEK 6


Mummies and Mummification



7 videos, 1 reading expand


  1. Video: Mummies and Mummification Part 1
  2. Video: Mummies and Mummification Part 2
  3. Video: Mummies and Mummification Part 3
  4. Video: Mummies and Mummification Part 4
  5. Video: Mummies and Mummification Part 5
  6. Video: Mummies and Mummification Part 6
  7. Video: In the Artifact Lab
  8. Discussion Prompt: Why Mummify?
  9. Reading: Suggested & Further Reading

Graded: Mummies and Mummification Quiz
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