Lecture 25: What happened when a pharaoh died without issue? Find out by looking at three such cases that arose toward the end of Dynasty XVIII. Tutankhamen, Aye, and Horemheb, the last king of the dynasty, left no children.

Lecture 24: The physicians of Egypt were famous throughout the ancient world. Probe the justification for this fame by examining medical papyri. We will see that there were really two approaches to medicine: clinical and magical.

Essential Reading:
John F. Nunn - Ancient Egyptian Medicine
Paul Ghaloungu - The House of Life

Lecture 25:

Lecture 23: Here I present my own research suggesting that Tutankhamen was murdered. We will see how an archaeologist's hypothesis is put together from diverse sources. We will start with the body of the victim and show what can be learned from an autopsy of a mummy. Next we discuss the circumstances surrounding the death of the boy-king that suggest murder. Finally we suggest who the murderer is.

Essential Reading:
Bob Brier - The Murder of Tutankhamen
Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt - Tutankhamen

Lecture 24:

Lecture 22: Unearthed by Howard Carter in 1922, the burial place of this young son of Akhenaten is the only royal tomb to have been found substantially intact. Follow the careful research and planning that led up to Carter's discovery, and learn the significance of the thousands of artifacts found.

Essential Reading:
Nicholas Reeves - The Complete Tutankhamen and Howard Carter Before Tutankhamen

Lecture 23:

Lecture 21: Here we see the most enigmatic and controversial pharaoh in Egypt's long history. We will use his reign to illustrate what happens when three pillars of Egyptian society - religion, the military, and the pharaoh - are altered. We will also discuss the claim that Akhenaten was the first monotheist and the first "individual in history."

Essential Reading:
Cryil Aldred - Akhenaten, King of Egypt
D.B. Redford - Akhenaten, The Heretic King

Lecture 22:

Lecture 20: We have already traced the beginning of Dynasty XVIII from the expulsion of Hyksos invaders to the reign of Tuthmosis III. In this lecture, we see the glorious Dynasty XVIII continue through two excellent pharaohs and then one great one, all descendet of Tuthmosis. We discuss the reign of Amenhotep III, "The Sun King, " in great detail to show how great Egypt was.

Essential Reading:
Ariele P. Kozloff and Betsy M. Bryan, Egypt's Dazzling Sun
Cyril Aldred - The Egyptians, Chapter 12.

Lecture 21:

Lecture 19: For 22 years, Tuthmosis III was second fiddle to his aunt Hatshepsut, who ruled as a king although she was a woman. When she died and he ruled by himself, he became one of the greatest military pharaohs Egypt had ever known. By tracing the major events in the reign of "the Napoleon of the Ancient Egypt," we will is what it meant to be a great king.

Essential Reading:
Cyril Aldred - The Egyptians, Chapter 12
Peter Clayton - Chronicle of the Pharaohs, pp. 108-111.

Lecture 20:

Lecture 18: Obelisks are a purely Egyptian invention. Quarrying, transporting, and erecting one is perhaps an even greater engineering feat than the building of a pyramid. Learn the origins and religious significance of obelisks.

Essential Reading:
Labib Habachi - The Obelisks of Egypt
Aubrey Noakes - Cleopatra's Needles

Lecture 19:

Lecture 17: One of the greatest individuals in Egyptian history, Hatshepsut appears in no official Egyptian record. We will trace her biography from marriage at the age of twelve to her half brother, Tuthmosis II, to her death as "King of Upper and Lower Egypt."

We will also see how she handles the three ways a king was supposed to distinguish himself: building, waging war, and undertaking trading expeditions. After examining her three major achievements - her temple at Deir el Bahri, the trading expedition to Punt, and two great obelisks - we will discuss why her name was systematically erased from Egyptian records. We will also discuss her relationship with Senenmut, the commoner who may have been her lover.

Essential Reading:
Joyce Tyldesley - Hatshepsut
Aidan Dodson - Monarchs of the Nile, Chapter IX.

Lecture 18:

Lecture 16: Practices we think of as defining ancient Egypt—including the use of a standing army to exact foreign tribute and the burial of the pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings—have their origins in this seminal period. We will also take a detailed look at what warfare was like in the ancient world.

Essential Reading:
Cyril Aldred - The Egyptians, Chapter 12.
Peter Clayton - Chronicle of the Pharaohs, pp. 100-103.

Lecture 17:

Lecture 15: As we have seen, during the Second Intermediate Period, Egypt was ruled by foreigners, the Hyksos.
The Hyksos introduced horses and chariots to Egypt. Were they the Israelites?

The Bible describes a lengthy sojourn of the Israelites in Egypt, but there is little archaeological evidence to support this. We examine the Joseph story in the Book of Genesis to see what light Egyptology might shed on its authenticity. Both internal and external evidence is considered.

Essential Reading:
The Bible, Genesis: 37-50

Lecture 16:

Lecture 14: Ancient Egypt is the only civilization in history to have been eclipsed twice and bounced back to prominence on both occasions. Dynasties XIII through XVII saw the Middle Kingdom's decline, the advent of foreign rule, and finally, the expulsion of the Hyksos by a heroic prince of Thebes and his two sons at the end of Dynasty XVII.

Essential Reading:
Aidan Dodson - Monarchs of the Nile, Chapter VIII.
Peter Clayton - Chronicle of the Pharaohs, pp. 90-97.

Lecture 15:

Lecture 13: The seven kings of Dynasty XII built pyramids, fostered great literature (often for political purposes), and consolidated power once again in the center.

Essential Reading:
H.E. Winlock - The Rise and Fall the Middle Kingdom in Thebes.
Aidan Dodson - Monarchs of the Nile, Chapter VII.

Lecture 14:

Lecture 12: The Middle Kingdom is the story of Egypt's resurrection. Dynasty XI is the dynasty of reunification, slowly bringing Egypt back to unity and greatness.

Essential Reading:
H.E. Winlock - The Rise and Fall the Middle Kingdom in Thebes.
Aidan Dodson - Monarchs of the Nile, Chapter VI.

Lecture 13:

Lecture 11: After centuries of power, pyramids, and prosperity, Egypt totally collapsed. Why? A look at this period also shows the methods that Egyptologists use to reconstruct history where the resources are scant.

Essential Readings:
Aidan Dodson - Monarchs of the Nile, Chapter V.
Peter Clayton - Chronicle of the Pharaohs, pp. 60-68.

Lecture 12:

Lecture 10: After the fantastic achievements of Dynasty IV, something—no one knows what—changed. Pharaohs stopped building pyramids and seem to have adopted sun worship. Dynasty VI resumed pyramid building on a small scale, but the death of its last king plunged Egypt into chaos.

Essential Readings:
Aidan Dodson - Monarchs of the Nile, Chapter V.
Peter Clayton - Chronicle of the Pharaohs, pp. 60-68.

Lecture 11:

Lecture 9: From leveling the foundation to setting the capstone, here are—as best as we can make out—the "nuts and bolts" of the Egyptians' most literally "monumental" feat: pyramid building. This lecture also discusses the 144-foot solar boat that was found in 1954, buried near the Great Pyramid.

Essential Readings:
I.E.S. Edwards - The Pyramids of Egypt, Chapter 3.

Lecture 10:

Lecture 8: This lecture will present a portrait of the founder of the "Fabulous Fourth" Dynasty, Sneferu. Using trial and error, he figured out how to build a true pyramid. His reign also saw Egypt's blossoming as an international power and the setting of artistic standards that would last for thousands of years.

Essential Readings:
I.E.S. Edwards - The Pyramids of Egypt, Chapters 2 and 3.

Lecture 9:

Lecture 7: As Egypt becomes a great nation led by a single all-powerful ruler, traditions arise that will last for millennia: a capital city, separate burial places (and eventually mighty pyramids) for the kings, solar boats for the trip to the next world, and more.

Essential Readings:
Aidan Dodson - Monarch of the Nile, Chapters IV and V
Peter Clayton - Chronicle of the Pharaohs, pp. 32-60.

Lecture 8:

Lecture 6: How did Egypt become history's first nation? Once King Narmer unified Upper and Lower Egypt, it took only a few hundred years to build a power that would dominate the Near East for millennia. Learn why the political structure of ancient Egypt made this possible and how the "Narmer Palette" tells this story.

Essential Reading:
Michael Rice - Egypt's Making, Chapter 3.

Lecture 7:

Lecture 5: The Rosetta Stone is a large granite stela, carved under Ptolemy V and unearthed by French troops in 1799. With inscriptions of the same text in Greek and Egyptian, it provided the key to deciphering the ancient Egyptian language.
Learn the four scripts in which ancient Egyptian can be written, as well as the three ways hieroglyphic signs can be used.

Essential Reading:
Stephen Quirke and Carol Andrews - The Rosetta Stone
Mark Collier and Bill Manley - How to Read Hieroglyphs

Lecture 6:

Lecture 4: Why does modern Egyptology begin with Napoleon? How was Egypt studied before he and his army arrived with 150 scientists in tow in 1798? How did the monumental Description de l'Egypte that Bonaparte's savants produced become the benchmark for all future publications in the field?

Essential Reading:
J. Christopher Herold - Bonaparte in Egypt
Bob Brier - The Glory of Ancient Egypt

Lecture 5:

Lecture 3: In this lecture we will try to understand how the ancient Egyptian thought. We will use three concepts to delineate different kind of thinking: mythology, religion, and philosophy. Byt the end of this lecture, the student should understand the differences among these concepts and see how they played a role in the lives of the ancient Egyptians.

Essential Reading:
Erik Hornung - Conception of God in Ancient Egypt.
Sigfried Morenz - Egyptian Religion

Lecture 4:

Lecture 2: In this lesson, we will see just how old "old" is. The basic divisions of prehistory will be discussed, and each category will be defined and its specific characteristics delineated. Once these categories are clear, we will discuss the difficulties of studying a prehistoric civilization and how its remains are dated. We discuss relative and absolute dating and the various techniques used to achieve them.

Essential reading:
Michael Hoffman - Egypt Before the Pharaohs

Lecture 3:

History of Ancient Egypt
(48 lectures, 30 minutes/lecture)
Taught by Bob Brier
Long Island University
Ph.D., The University of North Carolina

The Big Picture - In this course, you chronologically survey the full 3,000 years of recorded ancient Egyptian history. Because Egyptian history lasted so long, Egyptologists divide it into three periods called Kingdoms:

- The Old Kingdom saw the beginnings of nationhood for Egypt under one supreme ruler, the pharaoh. During this time, the pyramids were built and the rules of Egyptian art were established that would govern for 3,000 years.
- The Middle Kingdom, a period of stabilizing after the Old Kingdom collapsed, saw a nation fighting to regain its greatness.
- The New Kingdom, the glamour period of ancient Egypt, was when all the stars—Hatshepsut, Tutankhamen, Ramses the Great, Cleopatra, and others—appeared.

The Base: The first five lectures are foundational. Professor Brier shows what Egypt was like before writing, how Egyptologists piece together the history of ancient Egypt, and how hieroglyphs were deciphered. These lectures show how Egyptology has been one ongoing detective story—and reveal Napoleon's massive contribution to what we know.

The Old Kingdom: In Lectures 6–10, you see the Egyptians rise to a greatness far surpassing any other people in the Near East, learn of a king who united Egypt by might, and discover a pharaoh who showed Egypt how to build the pyramids. While you see how the pyramids were built, you learn just what it was that made Egypt great. At the end of these lectures, you see Egypt collapse into a dark age about which little is known, and with Professor Brier, you try to assess what happened.

The Middle Kingdom: Lectures 11–15 discuss Egypt's successful attempt to pull itself together, only to collapse once again. You study heroic kings from the south who battle to unite the country and establish a peace that would last for two centuries—as long as the United States has existed. Then Egypt is invaded by the mysterious people called the Hyksos, as the kings of the south battle Egypt back to greatness. These lectures also look in detail at the Old Testament story of Joseph in Egypt to see what light it might shed on this period.

The New Kingdom: Lectures 16–25 deal with the fabulous Dynasty XVIII, the period of Egypt's greatest wealth and personalities. Examining in-depth the kings and queens of this period, you study:

- Hatshepsut, the woman who ruled as king and whose history was systematically erased from Egyptian records
- Akhenaten, the first monotheist—and, arguably, the first individual—in history, who changed the religion of Egypt
- Tutankhamen, the son of Akhenaten, who became the most famous of Egypt's kings when his undisturbed tomb was discovered in 1922
- Egyptian medicine and why Egyptian physicians were justly the most famous in the ancient world.

Lectures 26–28 are a brief excursion into Professor Brier's specialty: mummies. You even learn how to make one. You also see that mummies are like books—packed with information—if you know how to read them.

Lectures 29–35 focus on the end of the New Kingdom, the last great epoch of Egyptian history, dominated by Ramses the Great. Professor Brier discusses the unnamed pharaoh of the Exodus, as well as Egyptian magic.

Greatness, but under Greek Rule: Lectures 36–41 recount the invasion of Egypt by a series of conquering peoples, including Nubians, Libyans, and Persians. Professor Brier examines the causes of Egypt's decline and the ways the falling pharaohs reached back 1,500 years to grasp at greatness.

Lectures 42–47 chart the rule of the Ptolemies, Greek kings. This period begins with the conquest of Alexander the Great and ends with Cleopatra. For 200 years, once-mighty Egypt was ruled by kings named Ptolemy, all of whom descended from General Ptolemy, who served under Alexander. These lectures examine what life was like for an Egyptian under the oppressive rule of their Greek masters. And they detail some of the achievements of this period, including the library at Alexandria.

Lecture 48 concludes the series with a summary of Egypt's legacy and suggestions for continuing study.

Lecture 1: What makes ancient Egypt so interesting? How do we know what we know about it? What can you, as a student, expect from these lectures?

Lecture 2:


Created 5 months ago.

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Category Education

"I will get my education - if it is in home, school, or anyplace."

This is a channel with Lectures and courses from The Teaching Company on various subject, such as: History, Philosophy, Myths, War, Literature, Art and Culture.

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