Ancient Nubia: An Introduction
Monday 23rd January 2017 - Friday 23rd June 2017
(with a 2 week break for Easter)
Delivery: Distance Learning (Online)
This course takes an in-depth look at Nubia and its relationship with Ancient Egypt.
Together we will study Nubia’s land, environment and economy, as well as its peoples, their cultures, languages and traditions.
We will look at Nubian kings and Egyptian pharaohs and the relationship between Egypt and Nubia from the late Old Kingdom to the Middle Kingdom, with a detailed study of the fortresses built by the Egyptians.
The course also explores the Egyptian expansion into Nubia, the limits of Egyptian control, and opposition to the Egyptians, as we discuss the theories and the archaeological evidence around the origin of the Kushite state.
Deadline for Registrations: Wednesday 18th January 2017
Week 1: Nubia: The Land and its Cultures
Week 2: Understanding Ancient Nubia
Week 3: Traditions, Archaeology and Archaeologists
Week 4: The Cultures of Nubia
Week 5: Archaeological Phases: A and C
Week 6: Nubian Kings and Egyptian Pharaohs
Week 7: The Kushite Kingdom of Kerma
Week 8: Nubian Kings and Theban Pharaohs
Week 9: Nubia in the New Kingdom
Week 10: New Kingdom Nubia: Towns and Temples
and From the Second to the Fourth Cataracts
Week 11: Nubia after the New Kingdom
Week 12: The Kingdom of Kush and the Egyptian 25th Dynasty
Week 13: Nubia under the ‘Late Napatan’ Kings
Week 14: A Kingdom without History: Meroe
Week 15: Meroites, Ptolemies and Romans: Trade, Building and War in Nubia
Week 16: Reconstructing Meroitic Society
Week 17: Nubian Languages
Week 18: Religion in Meroitic Nubia
Week 19: Meroitic Art and Architecture
Week 20: The End of Meroe and the X-Group, Ballana
Learning / Teaching Methods
This course is delivered via the internet using an online system called ELE: the Exeter Learning Environment. Students will be given a username and password to log in to the course. A 'unit' of course material will be released every week for students to work through and class discussions on this material will take place in the online forum.
Class discussions are asynchronous - i.e. students do not need to be online at a 'set' time - they can leave and collect messages from the online discussion environment at a time suitable for them.
Throughout the course students will be given questions to respond to in the online discussion area; these are optional and there are no assignments in terms of essays or other marked work.
As this course is non-credit-bearing there are no exams or assessments.
This course will help students to acquire:
- A detailed understanding of the major historical and cultural trends during the period, including in-depth knowledge of key issues
- An appreciation of the diversity of data sources available to Egyptologists
- An awareness of the problems of interpretation of evidence, both textual and archaeological
- Confidence in the use of relevant technical terminology
- An awareness of different theoretical approaches to the subject matter
There are no required texts for this course.
Suggested background reading
Morkot, R.G. (2000) The Black Pharaohs: Egypt’s Nubian Rulers. London: The Rubicon Press.
Fisher, M., Lacovara, P., D’Auria, S.H., Ikram, S. (eds.) (2012) Ancient Nubia: African Kingdoms on the Nile. American University in Cairo Press
Our online courses use a system called ELE: The Exeter Learning Environment. ELE works on both PCs and Macs. Students will be given their own username and password to access it.
All students are reminded that to safeguard your own work and out of courtesy to others, it is sensible to ensure that the computer you will be using has anti-virus software installed and that this is regularly updated. Likewise, mac users who use Microsoft Word should ensure that they have enabled macro virus protection (this setting is found as a tick box in Word under 'preferences').
Preparatory study is not expected.
Students who register before the deadline may be given access to the discussion environment prior to the course start. In this case, students are welcome to log in and introduce themselves to each other and to the tutor - perhaps giving a little detail about their reasons for choosing this subject - before the official start date.