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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Introduction to Ancient Egypt and Its Civilization by University of Pennsylvania

4.6
stars
1,866 ratings
572 reviews

About the Course

Colossal pyramids, imposing temples, golden treasures, enigmatic hieroglyphs, powerful pharaohs, strange gods, and mysterious mummies are features of Ancient Egyptian culture that have fascinated people over the millennia. The Bible refers to its gods, rulers, and pyramids. Neighboring cultures in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean wrote about its god-like kings and its seemingly endless supply of gold. The Greeks and Romans describe aspects of Egypt's culture and history. As the 19th century began, the Napoleonic campaign in Egypt highlighted the wonders of this ancient land, and public interest soared. Not long after, Champollion deciphered Egypt's hieroglyphs and paved the way for other scholars to reveal that Egyptian texts dealt with medicine, dentistry, veterinary practices, mathematics, literature, and accounting, and many other topics. Then, early in the 20th century, Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun and its fabulous contents. Exhibitions of this treasure a few decades later resulted in the world's first blockbuster, and its revival in the 21st century has kept interest alive. Join Dr. David Silverman, Professor of Egyptology at Penn, Curator in Charge of the Egyptian Section of the Penn Museum, and curator of the Tutankhamun exhibitions on a guided tour of the mysteries and wonders of this ancient land. He has developed this online course and set it in the galleries of the world famous Penn Museum. He uses many original Egyptian artifacts to illustrate his lectures as he guides students as they make their own discovery of this fascinating culture....

Top reviews

SD

May 28, 2018

This is indeed a great course. It is very simply put and very easy to follow up.\n\nDo join without any hesitancy if you have a genuine interest in learning about the history of ancient Egypt!

RR

Mar 25, 2020

First online course and I loved every moment of it! It felt really refreshing to hear some old names that I used to study as a child. Well done and thanks again for the amazing opportunity!

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426 - 450 of 568 Reviews for Introduction to Ancient Egypt and Its Civilization

By Matias P

Jun 21, 2019

Nice! :)

By kohn

Nov 19, 2016

Great

By Akshaya

Jun 14, 2020

Nice

By Hyejin P

Dec 05, 2018

good

By 王佑誠

Jan 07, 2018

good

By Elaine C

Feb 07, 2017

G

By Susan E B

Oct 22, 2017

As I was going through the course, it struck me that I was hearing almost the same thing I studied in my courses in the early 1970's in which the material for the sphinx and Giza pyramids was based on determinations by "scholars" from the 1880's and early 1900's. I was also surprised that no consideration was given for more recent re-interpretations of the timeframe for the sphinx, in view of studies done on the possible water erosion, possible reshaping of the head and so on. To me, these theories are worth mentioning as possibilities; thus, I felt some disappointment.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed the course overall and enjoyed seeing so many different artifacts that helped define different eras in the history of Egypt. I also enjoyed learning about the dig in which the university is involved. Thanks!

By Val R

May 31, 2020

Very good material, very well presented and paced. The opportunity to see the artifacts in the Penn museum is well worth your time. The instructor is engaging and knowledgable without being tiresome, and many of the same concepts or reinforced from lesson to lesson so you get a better idea of how all this information fits together.

I took off one star for the quizzes (note that they cover both the videos and supplemental readings, which of course if fair, but it doesn't tell you that). You cannot see what answer you gave when you check your score, so you're left guessing. A layout showing your answer vs. the correct one woud be a helpful learning reinforcement.

Also question #9 on the Week 6 quiz has two possible correct answers, according to the video.

By Diana V

Oct 13, 2020

Enjoyable introduction to Ancient Egyptian History. Interesting subject matter although the topics that were of primary interest to me were not covered in the Introduction, I did however, gain a lot of broad stroke knowledge across a variety of topics. The supporting images added to the overall enjoyment of the course. It is a wonderful privilege indeed, to have access to Penn University - Dr Silverman and have his vast knowledge made so freely available to anyone wishing to participate. The quiz at the end of each course were not difficult and provided a focus to the learning. Thank you Penn University and in particular Dr Silverman.

By Kate G

Jan 06, 2017

The course is a good general knowledge introduction to Egypt, there is lots of information stuffed into each week. The lecturer's style is super dry, but the lectures are ultimately very useful. This course style is sometimes a bit disconnected, in that the information you are given is often handled purely as information, and not quite as often contextualized. This tends to make the quizzes, and discussion prompts feel disjointed, and challenging in the way that it's difficult to use your newfound knowledge in application. That being said, I really enjoyed the class as a very direct knowledge-gathering experience.

By Toni M

Oct 15, 2017

Good information, organized in an interesting and unique way. The graphics and labeling are beautiful.

The course is flawed, however, by the way the professor is obviously reading a script from a teleprompter. His delivery is uncomfortably slow. and. Awkward. withunatural. pauses. In. hisspeech. I wish he would just talk! He seems knowledgeable but his passion for the the subject is ruined by the stilted speech. My favorite video was the last one, where he and a lab technician are in a restoration lab, and the two of them are just talking. If the entire course had been that way, it would be a 5-star winner.

By Valentin P

Nov 15, 2016

I did learn a few new things, but I would have to say the course is very easy to pass. The hardest part is the essay questions, but these are optional. Anyone having basic knowledge of Egyptian history could pass all the quizzes without doing anything else. You only have to get 50% correct.

The recorded lectures were good, but not great. The speaker is reading the transcript and it seems like for the first time. He is not speaking naturally and it's a bit stiff.

Nevertheless, for someone just starting, the course has all the essential information needed and you will learn a lot.

By Mitchel W

Jun 23, 2017

Course was intresting, material was explained in a way that most people would have understood it. Even without a degree in history or anything like that. However David P Silverman is not a person to be put in front of a camera. He doesn't look at the camera and I think this is caused because most of the time he is reading of what he wants to say. Apart from that he speaks in one tone all the time wich in due time gets quit boring. Try to sound more entheusiastic. I know he probarbly is, it just doesn't show on camera.

By Paraskevi G

Nov 09, 2017

Very interesting course that doesn't require the learner to have any knowledge on ancient Egypt. Regardless, it is also interesting for people involved in Archaeology (especially beginners who may not have had much contact with the area yet) since it provides interesting and accessible information. The lector is easy to comprehend, very knowledgeable and shows many examples but it is obvious that he reads his speech from a screen in front of him and that makes his lectures rather stiff and less enthusiastic.

By Jill R

Sep 02, 2019

It was an interesting course, the lectures were kind of dry but the information delivered was worth sitting through them for not to mention the artifacts themselves, always moving to see them. The quizzes could have been better as some of the questions could be ambiguous or referenced material that wasn't discussed, some may have had more than one correct answer depending on which archaeologist one decided to stand with. Overall, I enjoyed it and plan on taking the next installment, Wonders of Ancient Egypt.

By Catherine

Feb 03, 2020

Although I enjoyed the course, I am dismayed at the number of spelling errors in the transcript for all weeks. I believe a voice recognition program was used but it seems no one reviewed the final transcript before posting. Faïence was a common mis-spelling. If I could download the entire transcript for each week (I could only find the transcript available by segment) I would be glad to note errors so they can be corrected.

By Jay G

Nov 13, 2017

Great course. I wish it demonstrated more of the Nubian culture of Egypt as well. One of the last videos, was disappointing to see a clearly black Mummy whose name was Pontious (sp) which means Black or Nubian, and the narrator made a disclaimer on it. Also, the narrator appeared as if he was frightened and reading from a script the entire time. Sort of took away from the lecture. Other than that it was a good class.

By Tom L

Nov 14, 2017

Informative for the beginner but Dr Silverman really does have to work on his deadpan delivery as the excitement of the teacher spreads to the student. The only time he cracked a smile was when he was talking in the lab. There was little personal insight into the life of the ancient Egyptians and many points were raised with an "I will come back to that" which never seemed to materialize.

By Cynthia M K

Feb 03, 2020

Adorei fazer esse curso e aprendi muito. No entanto, tenho algumas críticas a fazer. O curso é um pouco cansativo porque o narrador fala, masas imagens não são muito explicativas. As provas pedem detalhes que muitas vezes são totalmente desimportantes. O texto em português precisa urgentemente de uma revisão, tanto da grafia como do conteúdo. Tem horas que o texto em português atrapalha.

By Harry F

Nov 07, 2016

The course was interesting and contained a lot of information. However, the quiz questions are not all answered in the lectures. Several times I had to go to outside sources to answer some questions. Please go through your quiz materials and make sure that the answers are presented clearly in the lectures. Or more easily, rewrite the quizzes to contain only lecture material.

By Julie H

Sep 10, 2018

This was a very interesting course and I learnt a great deal from it. I did feel that it could have been presented in a more dynamic and engaging way, although I recognise that the presenter is obviously an expert in this field and has a wealth of knowledge. I'm sure that if I visited the sites of Ancient Egypt again I would see them differently and in a much more informed way.

By Christian C

Apr 24, 2018

Overall great intro slash brief overview of Ancient Egypt. Felt that week 2 was a little overwhelming in that it basically just lists dynasties and dates non-stop. Also felt that the videos themselves could have been longer rather than having 10 2-5 minute videos each with an intro and credits scene. Overall well done and will be taking the second course.

By Sharon P

Dec 11, 2016

The course was very enjoyable. I would like to see a video lesson the geography of Egypt as there is much mention of locations in the early lessons. There is nothing about temples or rituals or the Valley of the Kings. Perhaps this could be a 2-part course with more themes. Many of the url links I tried to look at do not work. That needs to be addressed.

By Dimple P K

Jun 22, 2017

Loved being able to take a course on a subject that I'm passionate about. I was fortunate to visit Egypt before taking this course so when I went through this course, it was a refresher to what I had learned during my trip. The professor was extremely informative but he seemed to jump around quite a bit and came off dry.

By Rebecca C

Dec 26, 2019

A very informative course with a lot of amazing detail included. Highly recommend to others with an interest in Ancient Egypt. Associated reading texts were great and the videos were filled with additional interesting information, however some of the links on the additional reading pages are no longer active.