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Archaeology of Empire 1: Egypt in the New Kingdom (Late Bronze Age) 1600-1050BC

Module titleArchaeology of Empire 1: Egypt in the New Kingdom (Late Bronze Age) 1600-1050BC
Module codeARC3129
Academic year2020/1
Module staff

Dr Robert Morkot (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

From 1550 BC Egypt established an empire in western Asia and in Nubia (Kush). The 500 years of the Egyptian New Kingdom (LBA of the Near East) saw changes in warfare, society, and religion. This was a time of some of Egypt’s most famous pharaohs – Thutmose III, Hatshepsut, Amenhotep III, Akhenaten and Ramesses II. In this module you will explore in detail the archaeological and historical evidence for Egypt’s empire, and how it has been interpreted. Broader theoretical issues about ‘empire’ and culture will be discussed. Issues about imperial collapse, successor states and cultural legacy will also be discussed. The emphasis in this module is on Egypt and the surviving evidence. The Egyptian empire in Kush is considered in detail in the linked module ARC3008.

Module aims - intentions of the module

To consider interpretation of archaeological and historical sources and to understand processes of cultural change and issues about collapse of complex states.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Acquire a sound knowledge of the historical and cultural development of the Egypt and the Near East in the period 1600-1050 BC (Late Bronze Age – Early Iron Age)
  • 2. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the range of approaches that have been used to understand the cultural change, impact of empires and collapse of complex states

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Demonstrate originality in the interpretation of a range of visual and textual materials
  • 4. Demonstrate an understanding of a range of cultural issues

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Critically assess a body of material
  • 6. Demonstrate critical awareness
  • 7. Present and discuss a specific issue within a group environment

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • The historical and archaeological framework of Egypt and the Near East during the period 1600-1050 BC
  • Changes in technology of warfare and their impact
  • Interpreting the archaeology of specific sites
  • Impact of empire on society and administration in Egypt.
  • Influences of empire on culture and religion within Egypt.
  • Collapse of complex states and what happens after: differing interpretations

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching22Lecture materials and group discussions
Scheduled learning and teaching5Seminars or equivalent
Guided independent study123To include reading and preparation for lectures, tutorials and assessments


Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Case study of an artefact, site or written source503000 words to include map/plan; illustrations and captions1-2, 4-6Written and oral feedback
Essay503000 words to include maps/plan, captions and illustrations1-6Written and oral feedback


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Case study of an artefact, site or written source3000 words: to include map/plan; illustrations and captions1-2, 4-6Referral/Deferral period
Written assignment from a choice of titles3000 words: written assignment from a choice of titles1-6Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Alcock, Susan E., Terence N. D’Altroy, Kathleen D. Morrison, and Carla M. Sinopoli, eds.  Empires. Perspectives from Archaeology and History. Cambridge University Press, 2001
  • Brewer, D. and Teeter, E., 1999, Egypt and the Egyptians. Cambridge: CUP
  • Kemp, Barry, 1989, Ancient Egypt, Anatomy of a Civilization. London: Routledge.
  • Meskell, L., 2002, Private Life in New Kingdom Egypt. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press
  • Morkot, Robert, 2005, The Egyptians, an Introduction. London: Routledge.
  • Shaw, Ian, ed., 2000, Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford: OUP.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Kush, Nubia, Egypt, Empire, Near East, Late Bronze Age

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date