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Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology



Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
Brown University
Box 1837 / 60 George Street
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: (401) 863-3188
Fax: (401) 863-9423
[email protected]

Valerie: Discuss the developing role of wheat in post-Pharaonic Egypt. In what ways did the production of wheat change over time? Did its significance or role in the Egyptian state vary? What sort of social institutions/organizations/practices came about because of wheat and how do these things illuminate our study of post-Pharaonic Egyptian society?

Hannah: Discuss the impact of religion in the social, economic, and political development of Egypt from the Ptolemaic period to the Mamluk dynasty. How have specific religions been used to either further or rebel against government control? Is a religiously controlled state ultimately a stronger one? In detail, provide 3 examples where religion was a major factor in either the success or failure of different groups who inhabited major urban centers of Egypt.

Ben: What makes the Cairo geniza such an important archeological find? Is it atypical in terms of the population its documents represent? How do the documents themselves represent the progression of Egyptian history through the Arab period, and how does the geniza give us insight regarding the religious scene in Cairo at the time?

Cecilia: Return to one period in early post-pharaonic Egypt (Ptolemaic, Roman, or Byzantine) and choose one period in "Islamic Egypt" to compare it to (Fatimid, Ayyubid, Mamluk, etc.). How has Egypt changed in this time? To what extent have certain elements remained the same? Consider economic, religious, and social factors (maybe even recall our discussions on cosmopolitanism).

Ian B: Discuss Ptolemaic, Roman, or Byzantine Alexandria in comparison to Fatimid, Ayyubid, or Mamluk Cario. What functions did the capitals serve? In what way are political, social, and religious factors similar and disimilar in both cities?<meta></meta><meta></meta>

Marissa: Discuss evolution of Christianity from pre-Islamic Egypt to post-Arab conquest. What divisions arose within the church and what were their effects? How did the religion rise and fall?

Harrison: As we have seen, even in antiquity, the memory of Egypt's past held powerful sway over the collective imagination. Dealing with a time period from this course, examine three cases where certain regimes, groups, or individuals re-used or re-appropriated elements of Egypt's past (think about physical spaces, material culture, or religious/political iconography). How was Egypt's past re-used? Why was it so effective?

Sabrina: Consider the significance and impact of the Library of Alexandria in relation to the social culture of Ptolemaic Egypt. Was the Library an accurate representation of the culture or was it an idealized exaggeration? How did the Library interact with society and was its use more in its actual function or in the idea of its existence?

Liz: Describe the growth of Cairo/Fustat from the foundation of Fustat during the Arab Conquest through the building of Qal'a al-Jabal under the Mamluks. How did the changing physical structure relate to the changes in political and social structure? How did the choice of capital city/royal residence affect the ruler's ability to govern and connect with the ruled population?

Jenneth: Consider the geography of Egypt within its own borders and in relation to the greater Mediterranean and beyond. How has it affected its sphere of influence and dominance, and what role has it played in determining the location of key cities. Cite 3 specific examples.

Sophie: Discuss the rise of new religions in Egypt.  Compare the ways that Christianity in the Ptolemaic through Byzantine rule and Islam after the Arab conquest spread through the population.  Focus on how and why the new (foreign) religion took over from the previous religion. 

Kathryn: Examine Egypt's relationship with foreign countries in the time period we have studied. What kind of factors (e.g. economic, political) influenced Egypt's dealings with other countries? Did any of the other countries influence Egypt? What evidence shows us this?