Undergraduate Syllabus


The Ancient Egypt Archaeology Program introduces students to the history, art and architecture of Pharaonic Egypt in a real and tangible setting. This is a six-week course that includes a two week on-line component and four weeks of archaeological exploration based out of the Upper Egyptian city of Luxor. Upon successful completion of the program, students will earn a total of six Villanova University credits (HIS 3095 and AAH 3009).

Students will gain an overall understanding and familiarity with ancient Egyptian history, archaeology, art and architecture. They will learn to recognize the most important archaeological problems relating to the reconstruction of ancient history. Students will gain the ability to discuss issues and evidence from the material culture of Pharaonic Egypt. During the program students will investigate topics such as, what did art mean to the Ancient Egyptians? Why did they invest such wealth and effort into its production? Students will also look at the ways in which historical, religious, and social changes affected the developments in Egyptian art and architecture.

Before departure, students will be introduced to the chronology of Egyptian history so that developments in the material culture can not only be recognized, but also appreciated. The landscape of Egypt played a large role in what types of artifacts the ancient Egyptians produced and how they created them. Therefore, in this early part of the course students will become familiar with the geography of Egypt and the resources this area had to offer.

Additionally, during the on-line pre-departure section students will become familiar with the particulars of traveling in Egypt and how to prepare for their four-week stay abroad. Issues such as health and safety, culture, and local sensitivities will be addressed.

Since the majority of existing structures in ancient Thebes date to the New Kingdom or later, the on-line component builds a foundation for students to appreciate their stay in modern Luxor. Developments in the art and architecture from the Early Dynastic Period through the New Kingdom will be covered on-line.

Once in Egypt students will attend 75-minute lectures Sunday through Thursday. In their free time they should visit the list of sites and prepare for their exams. The lectures are focused on the sites included in the list below.

There will be a total of 4 exams, one of which will deal with the material covered on-line.


Exam 1            25%

Exam 2            25%

Exam 3            25%

Exam 4            25%


Bard, Kathryn A. 2008. An Introduction to the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt. Blackwell Publishing.

Selection of Readings available on Blackboard Learning


Once in Egypt, students will live in flats in the Egyptian section of Luxor. Two meals will be provided daily at the residence¾a self-serve breakfast in the morning and a late lunch (the main meal). Additionally, the flats have kitchens, and restaurants and grocery stores are easily accessible. Luxor not only has many options for tradition Egyptian fare but also has numerous ethnic restaurants (Indian, Thai, etc.) and British-owned pubs.

There will be a long weekend (June 7-9) available for individual travel when destinations such as the Pyramids at Giza, the famous Ptolemaic city of Alexandria, Aswan, or the Red Sea can be visited.