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Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt

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Course DatesWeeksMeeting TimesStatusInstructor(s)CRN
July 11, 2016 - July 15, 20161M-F 12:15-3:05POpenEmily Drennan10583

Course Description

The Bust of Nefertiti. The great Pyramids of Giza. Karnak Temple. Book of the Dead Papyri.

These are just a few of the places and things students will examine in this course. During this course, students will be introduced to Egyptian material culture, art, and architecture, from over 3,000 years of Egyptian history. We will begin at the moment of political unification in ancient Egypt, approximately 3100 BCE, travel through Pharaonic history, and end with the periods of Greek and Roman occupation, when in 385 CE the last Egyptian temple was closed. Students will be able to recognize Egyptian artifacts, categorize them by type and date, explain the nature of their archaeological contexts, and expand on the artifacts' importance for the ancient individuals who built and used them. We will look at wall paintings, stelae, monuments like temples and pyramids, statues, ceramics, glass, and gold and silver objects coming from homes, tombs and temples.

This class is perfect for anyone interested in ancient Egypt, ancient history, art history, or archaeology of the ancient world.

This course will provide students with an overview of ancient Egyptian art, architecture, major sites, and material culture. Emphasis will be placed on the archaeology and contexts of the artifacts and how this context informs our reconstruction of ancient Egyptian political, social, and religious histories. To get a hands-on understanding of Egyptian material culture, we will look at online collections and possibly take a trip to the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum where many significant ancient Egyptian artifacts are held.

This object-based approach will provide students with analytical skills relevant to a variety of studies, including the humanities and physical sciences.

This course is designed to familiarize students with Egyptian material culture. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to identify objects by name, situate them within their historic period, and comment on their cultural significance. Issues of archaeological context, re-use, artistic freedom, access, style, and decorum will be dealt with in detail.

There are no prerequisites for this course.

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