Department of Archaeology and Ancient History

5EG503: Egyptian art and architecture 7.5 hp

The course is also the third course in Egyptology A (30 hp) and is also part of the Bachelor programme. The course will provide you with an overview of the ancient Egyptian art and architecture.

The course is designed to provide you with an overview of the basic principles, meaning, and interpretation of ancient Egyptian two- and three-dimensional art as well as of architecture. You will become familiar with the ideas behind the strict canon characteristic to Egyptian two-dimensional art (paintings and reliefs) that are responsible for its highly typical and, to a modern eye, rather strange and exotic appearance. You will learn about the various techniques used by the ancient artists in making such works of art, and gain familiarity with the best known exemplars thereof. As for three-dimensional art (statuary), you will similarly become acquainted with the principles and aesthetic traditions that guided the Egyptian artists at work and learn how these changed over centuries and even millennia. You will look at the various materials used in Egyptian sculpture and the technologies employed when working on them.

In the parts dedicated to architecture you will look at the building traditions of the ancient Egyptians, particularly in what pertains to monumental architecture such as temples and pyramids. You will come to understand the significance and symbolism of the various key elements of such buildings and learn to view them in their wider context. You will achieve this partly by looking at a number of key sites and monuments in more detail, focussing on their individual character (decoration programme, situating in the landscape, etc.), building history, and more general topography.