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0152 Egyptomania: Mystery of the Sphinx and Other Secrets of Ancient Egypt


Brown University
Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World

Fall Semester 2015

Undergraduate Level Seminar
Monday/Wednesday/Friday 9:00-9:50am

Instructor: Dr. Miriam Mller





Office: Rhode Island Hall, Room 208
Email: miriam_muller@brown.edu
Phone: (401) 863-6936
Office Hours: Wednesdays 1-3pm





Course description

The pyramids, tombs, and mummies discovered during the first excavations in Egypt created a
colorful but highly romanticized image of this Land of the Pharaohs. More recent archaeological
research has unearthed new details about the daily lives of the workers who built those
pyramids, or Egypts cultural and economic connections throughout the Mediterranean. This
course will explore how both early and recent archaeology has enriched our perception of the
Gift of the Nile, while still leaving more mysteries yet to solve.

Goals

Egypt has always fascinated the public for its grandeurs, pyramids, lavish tombs, and delicate
paintings. This image of pharaonic Egypt depends partially on the splendor of the archaeological
finds discovered by the late 19th and early 20th century. The riches of entire city layouts, king
Tuts tomb, or cachettes full of royal mummies often seem unparalleled in modern-day
excavations. This course, however, will introduce and discuss discoveries of the recent past that
have changed our perception of Egyptian history and society in dramatic ways and therefore
dont lag behind their older and more famous counterparts. Minoan frescoes document
unprecedented Mediterranean interconnections, forgotten kings belong to previously unknown
dynasties, and vast workmen settlements detail the pyramid builders lives. Throughout the
course, we will treat such materials, updating our picture of Ancient Egypt, and thereby trying to
solve a few of the mysteries that this civilization still holds. We will also discuss how ancient
discoveries, deemed insignificant in the light of modern archaeology, have turned out to be
more important for our understanding of the ancient Egyptian civilization than previously
thought.


Readings and suggested textbook

Davies, V.-Friedman, R. (1998) Egypt Uncovered, New York: Stewart, Tabori&Chang



The textbook is unfortunately out of print and not available at the bookstore. A PDF as well as all
the other readings will be provided on the course website. There are used and new copies for
under 20$ on amazon if you prefer to have the hardcover copy. If necessary the instructor will
exchange readings ahead of time, but page numbers will not substantially increase.

Assignments

This course consists of lecture and discussion parts. For each week students need to go through
the required readings from the textbooks. While we will cover a specific class topic in form of
lectures on Mondays and Wednesdays, Fridays will largely consist of discussions based on more
theoretical articles related to the weekly topic. Students are required to prepare those in
advance and be able to discuss them in class. Participation in discussions will be factored into
the final grade.

There will be a mid-term and final exam which will consist of short answers and essay questions
as well as the identification of specific sites or topographical features on maps.

Two papers, a shorter one of 800-1000 words based on material from the first weeks of class
will be due by mid semester and one longer paper of 10 to 15 pages including bibliography will
be due by the end of the class. For the longer paper each student will be assigned a paper topic
in the second part of the course. These research topics will be based on personal interest,
themes explored during the course or specific issues and debates. Students are required to
discuss the topic of their choice with the instructor in the second part of the course and provide
a proposal including a bibliography on the respective topic before the final paper is due.

Grading

Participation and attendance: 15%


First paper: 15% -- Due 10/09
Mid-term exam: 15% -- Due 10/19
Final exam: 20% -- Due 12/11
Final paper (10-15 pages including bibliography):
- Proposal and bibliography: 10% -- Due 11/20
- Final paper: 25% -- Due 12/18


Schedule
Class Date

Topic

Week 1: Introduction
1

09/09

Scope, methods, overview

09/11

Video: Napolon and the expedition to Egypt

History of
Egyptian
archaeology I:
1750-1850

Week 2: Napolon and Egyptomania


Readings:
Brier, B. (2013) Egyptomania, Chapters 3 and 8, 43-68 and 151-60
Siliotti, A. (2008) Egypt Lost and Found, 80-147 and 162-75

09/14

Presentation of the Description de lgypte at John Hay Library (library


introduction by Ian Straughn)

09/16

The early exploration of Egypt

09/18

Belzoni, Drovetti, and Salt

Week 3: Great discoveries at the turn of the 20th century


History of
Egyptian
archaeology II:
1850-1950

Readings:
Bard, K. (2007) An Introduction to the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt, 1-21
Brier, B. (2013) Egyptomania, Chapter 9, 161-78
Hawass, Z. (2004) Trouble in Paradise: Carter and the Antiquities Service,
in The Golden Age of Tutankhamun, 128-43

09/21

Mariette, Maspero, and Petrie

09/23

Carnavon, Carter, and King Tut

09/25

First scientific excavations in Egypt

Week 4: Egypts earliest history revisited


Readings:
Davies-Friedman, Chapter 1, 10-52
Writing:
hieroglyphs and Friedman, R.F. (2008) Excavating Egypt's Early Kings: Recent Discoveries in
other scripts
the Elite Cemetery at Hierakonpolis, in Egypt at its Origins 2: Proceedings
of the International Conference "Origin of the State. Predynastic and Early
Dynastic Egypt", Toulouse (France), 5th-8th September 2005, ed. G. Midant-
Reynes and Y. Tristant, 1157-94
9

09/28

Before state formation

10

09/30

Invention of writing

11

10/02

Early kings and labels

Week 5: The pyramids builders lives


Readings:

Architecture I:
pyramids

Davies-Friedman, Chapter 2, 53-107


Lehner, M. (2002) The Pyramid Age Settlement of the Southern Mount at
Giza, Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 39, 27-74
Tallet, P.-Marouard, G. (2014) The Harbor of Khufu on the Red Sea Coast
at Wadi al-Jarf, Egypt, Near Eastern Archaeology 77/1, 4-14

12

10/05

The Giza workmens settlement

13

10/07

The Red Sea Coast journals

14

10/09

How to construct a pyramid?


First paper due!

Everyday life
and society I:
class

Week 6: An Ancient Egyptian middle class?


Readings:
Richards, J.E. (1998) Ancient Egyptian Mortuary Practice and the Study of
Socioeconomic Differentiation, in Anthropology and Egyptology: A

Developing Dialogue, ed. J. Lustig, 33-42


Mller, M. (2015) Late Middle Kingdom Society in a Neighborhood of Tell
el-Dabca/Avaris, in Household Studies in Complex Societies. (Micro)
Archaeological and Textual Approaches, ed. M. Mller, 339-70
Moreno Garca, J.C. (2013) Limits of Pharaonic Administration: Patronage,
Informal Authorities, Invisible Elites and Mobile Populations, in
Diachronic Trends in Ancient Egyptian History: Studies Dedicated to the
Memory of Eva Pardey, ed. M. Brta and H. Kllmer, 88-101
Kemp, B.J. (2006) Model Communities, in Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a
Civilization, 193-244
15

10/12

Long Fall Weekend Holiday

16

10/14

Model communities and new evidence from Abydos and Tell el-Dabca

17

10/16

Invisible elites?

Week 7: The barbarians are not so barbaric


Readings:

Geography: race Davies-Friedman, Chapter 3, 108-151


and ethnicity Kendall, T. (2007) Egypt and Nubia, in The Egyptian World, ed. T.
Wilkinson, 401-16

Schneider, T. (2010) Foreigners in Egypt: Archaeological Evidence and


Cultural Context, in Egyptian Archaeology, ed. W. Wendrich, 143-63
18

10/19

Mid-term exam

19

10/21

Egypt in Nubia Asia in Egypt

20

10/23

Friend or foe?

Week 8: A new dynasty from Abydos?


Readings:
Ryholt, K.S.B. (2004) The Turin King-list, gypten und Levante 14, 135-55

Dating I: written
Ryholt, K.S.B. (1997) Abydos Dynasty, in The Political Situation in Egypt
accounts
during the Second Intermediate Period, 163-66

Wegner, J. (2015) A Royal Necropolis at South Abydos: New Light on


Egypts Second Intermediate Period, Near Eastern Archaeology 78/2, 68-
78
21

10/26

Revisiting the Turin king list

22

10/28

Senebkay and new kings of the 14th dynasty

23

10/30

More rivals in the midst of Egypt?

Politics: the
Eastern

Week 9: Egypts Mediterranean interconnections


Readings:

Mediterranean

Steele, L. (2007) Egypt and the Mediterranean World, in The Egyptian


World, ed. T. Wilkinson, 459-75
Bietak, M. (2007) Egypt and the Levant, in The Egyptian World, ed. T.
Wilkinson, 417-48
Barnes, J.T. (2013) Gift Exchange and Seaborne Contact in Eighteenth
Dynasty Egypt: The Case of Keftiu Artists at Tell el-Dabca (Avaris), Journal
of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 5 (1), 1-13

24

11/02

Minoans in Egypt

25

11/04

Levantine connections

26

11/06

Travelling merchants?

Week 10: The Valley of the Kings is not dead


Readings:
Weeks, K.R. (2007) Pharaoh's Children: the Tomb of the Sons of Ramesses
II in the Valley of the Kings, in Discovery! Unearthing the New Treasures of
Archaeology, ed. B.M. Fagan, 56-7

Architecture II:
tombs

Bickel, S. (2014) KV 40, the Tomb of 18th Dynasty Princesses & Princes:
Surprising Discovery in the Valley of the Kings; Preliminary
Report, KMT 25/3, 22-33
Bickel, S.-Paulin-Grothe, E. (2014) KV 40: a Burial Place for the Royal
Entourage, Egyptian Archaeology 45, 21-4
Hawass, Z. (2007) The Tomb of Tutankhamuns Mother? An 18th Dynasty
Chamber in the Valley of the Kings, in Discovery! Unearthing the New
Treasures of Archaeology, ed. B.M. Fagan, 50-5

27

11/09

Ramses many sons

28

11/11

A tomb full of royal mummies

29

11/13

Still undiscovered royal tombs?

Week 11: Mummies!


Readings:
Davies-Friedman, Chapter 5, 192-219

Afterlife:
David, R.-Archbold, R. (2000) Conversations with Mummies, Chapter 6, 168-
mummification 183
Hawass, Z. (2003) Secrets from the Sand, Chapter 5, 180-239
Binder, M. (2014) On the Antiquity of Cancer. Evidence for Metastatic
Carcinoma in a Young Man from Ancient Nubia, PLOS One 9/3, 1-11
30

11/16

The Valley of the Golden Mummies

31

11/18

Worlds oldest evidence for cancer and other diseases

32

11/20

What can we learn from mummies?


Final paper proposal and bibliography due!

Week 12: Akhenatens forgotten people


Readings:

Everyday life
and society II:
health and diet

Kemp et al. (2013) Life, Death and Beyond in Akhenatens Egypt.


Excavating the South Tombs at Amarna, Antiquity 87, 64-78
Dabbs, G.R.-Zabecki, M. (2014) Abandoned Memories: A Cemetery of
Forgotten Souls? in Remembering the Dead in the Ancient Near East, ed.
B.W. Porter and A.T. Boutin, 217-50

33

11/23

The cemeteries of Amarna

34

11/25

Thanksgiving Holiday

35

11/27

Thanksgiving Holiday

Week 13: Historical chronology and radiocarbon dating


Dating II:
science

Readings:
Bard, K. (2007) An Introduction to the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt, 36-40
Shortland, A.J.-Bronk Ramsey, C. (2013) Radiocarbon and the Chronologies
of Ancient Egypt, Chapters 2-3, 8, 19-39, 76-109

36

11/30

King lists, celestial events, and wine dockets

37

12/02

A 150-year offset in the Delta?

38

12/04

A radiocarbon based chronology for Egypt?

Week 14: Alexandrias underwater mysteries and modern surveying


techniques
Readings:

History of
Goddio, F.-Darwish, I. (1998) The Topography of the Submerged Royal
Egyptian
Quarters of the Eastern Harbour of Alexandria, in Alexandria. The
archaeology III: Submerged Royal Quarters, ed. F. Goddio et al., 1-52
1950-2015

Parcak, S. (2009) The Skeptical Remote Senser: Google Earth and Egyptian
Archaeology, in Beyond the Horizon: Studies in Egyptian Art, Archaeology
and History in Honour of Barry J. Kemp 2, ed. S. Ikram and A. Dodson, 362-
82

39

12/07

Cleopatras palace

40

12/09

Underwater archaeology, satellite imaging, and geophysical survey

41

12/11

Final exam

42

12/18

Final paper due!

Bibliography
Baines, J.-Malek J. (2000) Cultural Atlas of Ancient Egypt > lists all important sites
Bard, K.A. (2007) An Introduction to the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt > textbook
Bard, K.A. (ed.) (1999) The Encyclopedia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt
Bierbrier, M.L. (2012) Who Was Who in Egyptology (fourth edition) > with references to many of
the personalities that we will discuss in the first part of this course
Brier, B. (2013) Egyptomania
David, A.R. (1996) The Pyramid Builders of Ancient Egypt
Davies, W.V.-Friedman, R. (1998) Egypt Uncovered > textbook
Davies, W.V.-Schofield, L. (eds.) (1995) Egypt, the Aegean and the Levant
Fagan, B.M. (2007) Discovery! Unearthing the New Treasures of Archaeology
Kemp, B. (2006) Ancient Egypt. Anatomy of a Civilization (second edition)
Lehner, M. (1997) The Complete Pyramids
Redford, D.B. (ed.) (2001) The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt
Reeves, N. (2000) Ancient Egypt. The Great Discoveries > with references to all the new
discoveries in Egypt up until 2000
Reeves, N.-Wilkinson, R.H. (1996) The Complete Valley of the Kings
Romer, J. (2000) Great Excavations. John Romers History of Archaeology
Shaw, I. (2000) The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt
Siliotti, A. (2008) Egypt Lost and Found > with references to the publications of many of the
personalities that we will discuss in the first part of this course
Wendrich, W. (2010) Egyptian Archaeology > current state of the field
Wilkinson, R.H. (2008) Egyptology Today
Wilkinson, T. (2007) The Egyptian World > great overview