Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code ALGY251
Coordinator Dr S Zago
Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2021-22 Level 5 FHEQ First Semester 15

Pre-requisites before taking this module (other modules and/or general educational/academic requirements):


Programme(s) (including Year of Study) to which this module is available on a required basis:


Programme(s) (including Year of Study) to which this module is available on an optional basis:


Additional Programme Information



ALGY251 is designed to promote the acquisition of key skills for the understanding of the Ancient Egyptian language at intermediate level and also key skills for interpreting and understanding Ancient Egyptian texts;

To emphasise the use of original Ancient Egyptian writings as sources for the study of Ancient Egypt, and on developing an appreciation of these texts in their social, historical and cultural context;

To help students to prepare and present a hieroglyphic text in standard transliteration and translation, and to identify appropriate forms of commentary (literary and linguistic) on such a text. Students will also develop independent use of standard reference works.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) A broader vocabulary and fluency in the reading and analysis of standard text types written in Middle Egyptian

(LO2) An increase in fluency and accuracy in translation into English

(LO3) An increased sophistication in the explicit discussion of the linguistic, cultural and historical interpretation of hieroglyphic texts

(LO4) Development through practice of a capacity to read a text closely, and to assess this document critically against comparable or relevant material.

(LO5) Development of an explicit awareness of how hieroglyphic texts prove the key evidence for writing the culture and history of pharaonic Egypt, and the methodology of text-based research

(S1) Information skills - information accessing: locating relevant information. Identifying and evaluating information sources.

(S2) Communication (oral, written and visual) - presentation skills – oral

(S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - presentation skills - written

(S4) Critical thinking and problem solving - synthesis

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching method 1 - language and text classes.
Students prepare texts ahead of class and present their work in class in turn. During class, texts are discussed with the lecturer acting as facilitator. Focus is on accuracy of reading original hieroglyphic script (transliteration), on analysis of grammatical constructions (grammatical labelling), on nuanced rendering of the original into English (translation) and on utilising the text as a primary source for the understanding of Ancient Egypt.



The programme is organised around the reading of set texts which have been selected to offer a representative sampling of texts in Middle Egyptian suitable for reading at intermediate level.  The set texts will be selected to provide students with an introduction to standard types of text found in Egypt, from a list that includes literary texts, documentary texts, and funerary texts.

Texts will be drawn from but not limited to the following list (details will be supplied on VITAL/CANVAS):

Group 1: Middle Kingdom Documentary Texts. This group of texts come from the Middle Kingdom town site of Illahun. Illahun has provided the most extensive body of documentary textual material in Middle Egyptian yet discovered from a single site. This documentary material has a particular focus on the running of the temple at Illahun and social life at the town-site itself. P UC 32058: transfer-deed of Wah (= Kahun I.1) P UC 32199: a son’s statement of claim. (= Kahun II.2) P UC 32037: transfer deed of Mery P Berlin10003: change of phyle protocol P Berlin 10005B: temple accounts P Berlin10012: letter informing of approaching festival. P. Berlin 10014 and 10050: temple directives.

Group 2: Middle Kingdom Funerary Texts. Most of the stelae studied in this group come from the religious centre of Abydos. Thousands of Middle Kingdom stelae and statues were uncovered from the site, dedicated both in the temple of Osiris and in tombs and cenotaphs along the processional routes. The Garstang Museum has an extensive collection of material from the Middle Kingdom cemeteries. The selected biographical texts will allow an examination of strategies of self-presentation at the site, including the ways in which individuals sought to connect themselves with Osiris and the transformation enabled through this connection. Stela of Ikhernofret (Berlin 1204) Examples of stelae with Appeals to the Living BM 567: stela of Amenemhet The Stela of Khusobek. The Stela of Montuw oser.

Group 3: Middle Kingdom Literary Texts. The literary text will be drawn from The Story of King Kheops and the Magicians from Papyrus Westcar (the surviving ancient text has no title and so this title is a modern one - you will find that different scholars have entitled the text in differing ways) and The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant   General Information All the hieroglyphic texts will be provided to you in photocopy form. You will also be supplied with, or directed to, suitable English translations (where available) as well as background and supporting reading material, including bibliographies, and English translations of other documents belonging to these groups).

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours           22

Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 128


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
24-hour online examination. There is a reassessment opportunity. This is an anonymous assessment. Standard UoL penalties will apply.  1 hour    50       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Coursework. There is a reassessment opportunity. Standard UoL penalties will apply. This is an anonymous assessment.  -3000 words    50       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.