Institute of Archaeology


Introduction to Egyptian and Near Eastern Archaeology


The overall aim of this module is to provide an introduction to the archaeology of Egypt and the Near East, from the beginning of the Holocene (about 12,000 years ago) to the end of the Iron Age (330 BC). The module also explores how this time range has been interpreted in later periods, including the 21st century AD.

Some of the specific aims of the module are:

  • To provide an introduction to the archaeology and early history of the Near East, with emphasis on the civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Levant, Anatolia, and Iran.
  • To consider the nature and interpretation of archaeological and textual sources in approaching the past of Egypt and the Near East.
  • To consider major issues in the development of human society in Egypt and the Near East, including the origins and evolution of sedentism, agriculture, complex societies, urbanism, literacy, and early empires.

Major issues include the history of exploration of Egypt and the Near East; and the impact of these early cultures on other regions.

The module is taught through two-hour lectures over Term II. Assessment is by means of two essays (about 2500 words each).

Course information

For registered students


  • Runs every year