Syllabus – CLAS/ARTH 2029

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Current Students: For the most up-to-date syllabus, please refer to your Desire2Learn course shell for CLAS/ARTH 2029.                            

Required Textbooks

  • Robins, Gay. The Art of Ancient Egypt: Revised Edition. 2nd Harvard University Press, 2008. (ISBN: 978-0674030657)
  • Smith, W. Stevenson. The Art and Architecture of Ancient Egypt. Revised edition. Yale University Press, 1999. (ISBN: 978-0300077476)
  • Wilkinson, Toby. The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt. Reprint edition. Random House, 2013. (ISBN: 978-0553384901)


Grade Breakdown

Attendance                                                        10%

3 Online Responses                                         15%

Midterm Exam (online essay)                       20%

Research Paper (submitted online)             30%

Final Exam (slide ID & essay)                       25%


Attendance & Assessments

Please be on time, present, and prepared for lecture every week. Attendance is mandatory. You may receive one excused absence over the course of the semester. However, I must be informed of your absence prior to class on the day you intend to be gone. I will not post lectures online, so you will be responsible for getting missed notes from your classmates. It is also essential that you attend class and take careful notes. It is not required to do the readings before lecture. Some of you may find it more effective to read after class each week. However, it is critical that you complete the readings before we meet the following week. Due to the volume of content, I cannot cover everything in lecture, so doing the readings in a timely fashion is the only way to keep up with the material.


D2L proctored assessments must be submitted within the timeframe provided for submission. No late accommodations will be made. If a technological error occurs when you are taking the assessment, you must email campus OIT for resolution. Technical errors will not be accepted as excuses for late or missing work. Keep in mind that you must save all responses on D2L before submitting. D2L assessments will not be reopened. All assessments are to be completed individually. No group work, cheating, or plagiarism will be tolerated. These actions will result in an automatic F.


Participation and Online Responses

I encourage and welcome participation and discussion in lecture. However, I know some individuals are not comfortable speaking in class, and listening is equal in importance to speaking. Being a good listener is difficult to measure, so I’ve devised a way for everyone to voice thoughts and opinions. At the end of most lectures, I will pose a thought-provoking question to the class. These questions will require contemplation and analysis, but right or wrong answers will not be readily apparent. A synthesis of your readings, lecture material, and critical thinking must be executed in order to construct a response. You will be assessed on these topics in weeks 5, 9, and 12. D2L will randomly choose one of 3 or 4 questions for which you must construct a response in 30 minutes. The prompts can be found in the content tab on D2L and on my website under the “online study” tab. Quality responses to all discussion prompts will earn you up to 15% toward your final grade.


Research Paper

You will be constructing a short research paper due two weeks prior to the final exam. Your paper should be 5-7 pages in length and present an argument. Use Times or Times New Roman font, 12-point, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins. (Do not exceed 12 pages in length for this essay.) Don’t let the length requirement concern you. It’s not as “bad” as it sounds. I intend to assist you in the process. The broad topic for your essay is the New Kingdom. A multitude of controversial topics exist in the study of this Egyptian time period. You will note that your paper proposal and bibliography are due far prior to our coverage of this time period in class. I want you to explore these sections of your texts far in advance to find a theory, structure, artistic piece, individual, etc. that is interesting to you. Certainly feel free to use the content I present in lecture in your research and writing, but I want you to write about your interests. Be sure to narrow your topic to something specific and construct an argument.


Research Paper Grade Break Down

Paper Proposal                    3%

Working Bibliography        3%

Rough Draft                          4%

Final Draft                             20%


Hybrid Format

This course incorporates a hybrid instructional format. What does this mean? The class is not entirely structured for in-class construction, nor is it an online study. It is a hybrid of the two incorporating aspects of both. Lecture will be conducted once a week, and an online component will be required for completion almost every week. This isn’t always a submitted, graded assignment. Often it will be a guided independent study allowing you to dive deeper into the material than time allows in lecture. The benefit to this style is that you only have to schedule one class a week for two hours. Traditionally formatted courses require 2-3 meetings a week for a total of 2 ½ – 3 hours. It also provides the opportunity to study ancient topics that interest you at your own pace. The online component will be conducted through D2L. A variety of assessments and instructional styles will be implemented (i.e. guided readings, study guides, quizzes, videos, recorded lectures, self-guided research, short essays, etc.).


SCHEDULE OF READINGS: (This schedule is subject to change.)


Week 1: Introduction to Egyptian Archaeology


Wilkinson, “Author’s Note” and “Introduction”

Smith, “Preface” and Chap. 1

Robins, “Foreword” and Chap. 1


ONLINE LECTURE: Predynastic Period and Transition to Early Dynastic (c. 5000-3000 BC)

Wilkinson, Part I Intro and Chap. 1-2

Smith, Chap. 2

Robins, Chap. 2


Week 2: The Old Kingdom – Part I (Dynasties 1-3)


Wilkinson, Chap. 3

Smith, Chap. 3-4

Robins, Chap. 3


ONLINE LECTURE: The Old Kingdom – Part II (Dynasty 4)

Wilkinson, Chap. 4

Smith, Chap. 5

Robins, Chap. 4


Week 3: The Old Kingdom – Part III (Dynasties 5-8)


Wilkinson, Chap. 5

Smith, Chap. 6-7


Online Response #1 (Prompts from weeks 1-3)

Midterm Essay Topics on Predynastic and Old Kingdom Egypt Posted on D2L and Course Website


Week 4: First Intermediate Period and the Middle Kingdom – Part I (Dynasties 8-11)


Wilkinson, Part II Intro and Chap. 6-7

Smith, Chap. 8-9

Robins, pp. 80-96 (stop at 12th Dynasty)


MIDTERM EXAM (Short Essay – Prompt Under “Week 3 Content”)


Week 5: The Middle Kingdom – Part II (Dynasties 12-13)


Wilkinson, Chap. 8-9

Smith, Chap. 10-11

Robins, pp. 96-109


Research Paper Proposal Due (Guidelines on the Syllabus and D2L)


Week 6: The Second Intermediate Period (Dynasties 14-17)


Wilkinson, pp. 179-189

Smith, Chap. 12

Robins, Chap. 7


Research Paper Working Bibliography (at least 8 sources)


Week 7: The New Kingdom – Part I (Dynasty 18)


Wilkinson, pp. 189-256

Smith, Chap. 13-15

Robins, Chap. 8


Online Response #2 (Prompts from weeks 4-7)

Research Paper Rough Draft (at least 5 pages)


Week 8: The New Kingdom – Part II (The Amarna Period)


Wilkinson, pp. 257-292

Smith, Chap. 16-18

Robins, Chap. 9


ONLINE LECTURE: The New Kingdom – Part III (Dynasty 19-20)

Wilkinson, pp. 292-359

Smith, Chap. 19

Robins, Chap. 10

Watch Ancient Egypt: Life and Death in the Valley of the Kings (in D2L content folder “Week 8”)


Research Paper Final Draft Submission Due


Week 9: Third Intermediate Period and the Late Period (Dynasties 21-31)


Wilkinson, Part V Intro and Chap. 19-22

Smith, Chap. 20-21

Robins, Chap. 11-12


ONLINE LECTURE: Ptolemaic Egypt and Egypt Under the Romans (c. 332 BC – AD 360)

Wilkinson, Chap. 23-24 and the Epilogue

Robins, Chap. 13-14


Online Response #3 (Prompts from weeks 8-10)



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