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Viewing: NELC 168 C1: Women in Ancient Egypt

Last approved: Tue, 02 Oct 2018 16:57:33 GMT

Last edit: Fri, 28 Sep 2018 20:40:05 GMT

First Name Last Name Userid Title Home School Org Short Name
Diane Moderski moderski ADMIN COORDINATOR School of Arts and Sciences Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations
Spring 2019
Fall 2018
Women in Ancient Egypt
This class will examine the many roles played by women in ancient Egypt. From goddesses and queens, to wives and mothers, women were a visible presence in ancient Egypt. We will study the lives of famous ancient Egyptian women such as Hatshepsut, Nefertiti and Cleopatra. More independent than many of their contemporaries in neighboring areas, Egyptian women enjoyed greater freedoms in matters of economy and law. By examining the evidence left to us in the literature (including literary texts and non-literary texts such as legal documents, administrative texts and letters), the art, and the archaeological record, we will come away with a better understanding of the position of women in this ancient culture.

Foundational Approach

Course not offered every year
Cross Cultural Analysis
Adjunct Faculty

Methods of Assessment


Cross Cultural Analysis

This course considers the many varied roles of woman (human and divine) in ancient Egypt. The course relies heavily on translation of the ancient Egyptians’ own texts (religious, literary and documentary) and examination of the artistic output of the ancient Egyptians (statuary, relief, painting) .
As part of this course, we do consider the social status and opportunities of ancient Egyptian women in contrast to/comparison with other neighboring ancient cultures of the Mediterranean and Near East.
While the focus of this course is the role of women in the ancient society, the student must first have a basic understanding of the chronology, history, governmental structure (kingship) and religious beliefs of the ancient Egyptians. The beginning of the class introduces students to this framework.
The students read a variety of ancient texts in translation. We talk about inherent bias in the texts as they were largely composed by men and represent the worldview of the elite/literate. We then turn to other categories of evidence (archaeological, for example) to help us to determine what may be a more balanced view. We use artifacts from the Penn Museum collection to help us foster this understanding.

Cultural Diversity in the US


Quantitative Data Analysis


Formal Reasoning


Administrative Fields

Key: 823