The primary aim of the website is support for learning across different disciplines - including learners and teachers who may know nothing about, or even be interested in, Egypt. The site is aimed at you especially if your subject includes a historical dimension - architecture, art, medicine, science, religion, literature, gender studies, cultural studies, museum studies.
The site offers Higher Education quality material to support learning across these disciplines. The material is presented by theme, place and time, rather than as structured learning courses. It can be used for teaching in the classroom if you have online facilities, or as a reference to support course learning, or as introductory material for learners to prepare presentations.
The site aims to provide all its materials within its own resources as far as possible and not to depend on external links to other websites: where there is a link to another website, you are directed via the page on links - if you find an external link no longer working, please write to Stephen Quirke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use and Access
The questions throughout the site are just prompts from us as site-creators: they can be multiplied and discussed, using the site as a springboard for small group and large group debate.
If you feel you need more confidence in the dimensions of time and place, try the introductory guides for periods: http://www.petrie.ucl.ac.uk/digital_egypt/main/toursintro.html
For any item there should be a range of different paths of access.
THEMES from the eight themes are at the front end:
This menu can also be reached from the toolbar at the top of every page on the site. Beside the themes, and also linked from the toolbar, are TIMELINE with lefthand column of links to the front page for every period, and righthand column linking to the list of rulers for the historic periods and MAPS with a series of simplified versions of the modern map of Egypt complete with the main archaeological sites and places mentioned in this website: we strongly encourage learners to explore these maps - the sense of place is essential in the task of rehumanising the western perspective on the landscape of Egypt, still blighted by the colonial experience.
The site toolbar includes an A-Z listing, often the simplest means of access to a page, if you already have a narrower subject to consult.
Examples of use in practice
Here are a few examples for how you might use the site in learning and teaching.
Gender Studies: You have coursework on the rights of women, and want an illustration: you could go to the theme 'social history' and you would find 'gender', or you could go to the A-Z and look under 'women' or 'gender'. The site provides notes and bibliography, and links through to material such as translation and images of the oldest papyrus on the treatment of women (1800 BC).
Archaeology/Technology: basket fragments have been found on a first millennium AD site near you in Britain, and you are looking for the range of techniques and some ancient examples preserving form: you could look at Roman Egypt from the timeline page, or the A-Z under 'basket', or go through the theme 'technology'. The site provides diagrams of the range of ancient basketry techniques and digital photographic illustrations of examples from the Roman Period and earlier, with bibliography.
History of Art: an introductory course addresses the definition of art - use the online seminar notes where both ancient Egyptian and ancient Greek traditions are considered: this can be found from the theme 'art and architecture' and on the A-Z listing. The site includes an account of the topic from modern European and from ancient Egyptian points of view, and links to illustrations including a gallery of the largest collection of excavated Roman Period portraits.
Remember that the illustrations of original items are taken mainly from the collections in the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology: the official distribution of finds from the 1890s to the 1970s means that similar items may be accessible near your place of learning - check the distribution lists for towns that received material from the Petrie years of excavation. Across the country, whether or not you are near the collection in UCL, you could combine online resources with museum visits.
Combining media across the site
Two rich resources among the variety of media assembled in Digital Egypt for Universities are the maps and the reconstructions.
|Use the Virtual Reality reconstructions to explore our view of the ancient environment, focussing on the built environment: do not view these reconstructions as passive observers, but seek to engage actively and critically with the models - there is a page on the impact of VR reconstructions with sample questions to raise and discuss|
Use the maps and 2D reconstructions to tie the following different
geographical levels together, working out from an individual find, or down from
the maps covering the whole of Egypt: this helps restore the humanity in space,
that risks being abstracted out of a map
|explore the reconstructions of individual archaeological finds, such as the burials from which we learn about past society and its individual members (see Tarkhan, Badari, Qau, Sedment, Naqada, and many more)|
in combination with the plans of sites for the broader local context- there is background information on the excavation of the site (see Tarkhan, Badari (cemeteries 3100-3200; cemeteries 3700, 5100, 5700), Qau (cemetery 100; cemeteries 400, 500; cemetery 800)
and with the maps of regions - you can use these, like the site plans, to relate your own experience of space to ancient geography (see Asyut-Akhmim; Lisht-Tarkhan; Ihnasya al-Madinah - Hawara - Lahun)
Underpinning this site, as its Higher Education quality assurance, learners can find select reading lists for narrower and broader topics: see for example the bibliography on single sites: Gurob, Koptos, Tarkhan, Naqada, Meydum pyramid, and many more.
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