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Unit information: The Ancient Egyptian World of the Dead in 2015/16

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Unit name The Ancient Egyptian World of the Dead
Unit code ARCHM0070
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Dodson
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Anthropology and Archaeology
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This unit explores in detail a variety of aspects of Egyptian funerary archaeology, including: religious beliefs; mummification; mortuary containers; tomb architecture; tomb decoration; cemetery topography; modern study of Egyptian cemeteries and ethical issues.


• To introduce students to the key issues within the field of Egyptian funerary archaeology

• To develop a detailed understanding of the of way in which the various elements of the ancient Egyptian funerary ensemble develop and evolve over time and place

• To encourage students to develop a critical and evaluative understanding of the relevant archaeological and literary sources and their interpretations

• To encourage enhanced oral and written skills

• To develop and enhance the skills of synthesis of a wide body of material and application to ancient Egyptian funerary belief and practice.

• To foster time-management skills

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the unit, a successful student will be able to:

1) Discuss in detail the key elements of Egyptian funerary belief and practice during the last three millennia BC.

2) Present an extensive, detailed view of way in which the various elements of the ancient Egyptian funerary ensemble develop and evolve over time and place

3) Analyse and evaluate critically the relevant archaeological and textual sources and their interpretations

4) Utilise enhanced oral, written, synthesis and time-management skills

Teaching details

One 2-hr lecture each week. Three one-hour seminars during the Teaching Block.

Assessment Details

Two 2500-word essays, each worth 50% (assessing ILOs 1-4).

Reading and References

A. Dodson & S. Ikram, The Tomb in Ancient Egypt (London, 2008). S. Ikram & A.Dodson, The Mummy in Ancient Egypt (London, 1998). G.A. Reisner, The Development of Egyptian Tomb Down to the Accession of Cheops (Cambridge, MA, 1936).