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Wonders of Ancient Egypt

University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

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  • Provider Coursera
  • $ Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session In progress
  • Language English
  • Certificate Paid Certificate Available
  • Effort 1-2 hours a week
  • Start Date
  • Duration 6 weeks long

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Colossal pyramids, imposing temples, golden treasures, enigmatic hieroglyphs, powerful pharaohs, strange gods, and mysterious mummies are features of Ancient Egyptian culture that have fascinated people over the millennia. The Bible refers to its gods, rulers, and pyramids. Neighboring cultures in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean wrote about its god-like kings and its seemingly endless supply of gold. The Greeks and Romans describe aspects of Egypt's culture and history.

As the 19th century began, the Napoleonic campaign in Egypt highlighted the wonders of this ancient land, and public interest soared. Not long after, Champollion deciphered Egypt's hieroglyphs and paved the way for other scholars to reveal that Egyptian texts dealt with medicine, dentistry, veterinary practices, mathematics, literature, and accounting, and many other topics. Then, early in the 20th century, Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun and its fabulous contents. Exhibitions of this treasure a few decades later resulted in the world's first blockbuster, and its revival in the 21st century has kept interest alive.

Join Dr. David Silverman, Professor of Egyptology at Penn, Curator in Charge of the Egyptian Section of the Penn Museum, and curator of the Tutankhamun exhibitions on a guided tour of the mysteries and wonders of this ancient land. He has developed this online course and set it in the galleries of the world famous Penn Museum. He uses many original Egyptian artifacts to illustrate his lectures as he guides students as they make their own discovery of this fascinating culture.

This course focused on five key areas in the study of Ancient Egypt: 1) Principles of Egyptian Art, 2) The Basics of the Language of Ancient Egypt: Hieroglyphs, 3) Egyptian Magic, 4) Akhenaten, Tutankhamun, and the Religion of the Aten, and 5) The Burial of Tutankhamun and the Search for his Tomb.

This course is intended to accompany, and ideally to follow, Introduction to Ancient Egypt (also available on Coursera).

Taught by

David P. Silverman

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Reviews for Coursera's Wonders of Ancient Egypt
4.5 Based on 2 reviews

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  • 1
John Q
5.0 5 months ago
by John completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
Having studied the ancient history of Egypt for many years, it was wonderful to review the history of ancient Egypt. I learned a few new things and reviewed some I had forgotten. l enjoyed the course...Thanks.
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Tracy C
4.0 2 weeks ago
by Tracy completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
I have taken a few courses on Ancient Egyptian culture as I have always been very interested in it. The course content is really fantastic and I got a lot out of it. The module on hieroglyphics was especially interesting.

While I would rate the course easy in terms of the ability to pas it, I did find the method of presentation a bit dry. It is sometimes difficult to stay engaged because every module is simply a collection of videos of Dr. Silverman talking. Each module has a quiz at the end and an optional discussion forum. I have previously always participated in thes…
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