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

2,292 ratings
697 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

May 27, 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!

Mar 24, 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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651 - 675 of 695 Reviews for Introduction to Ancient Egypt and Its Civilization

By Alice B

Mar 28, 2021

It was okay in terms of the content and what I actually learnt. However, my main criticism would be with the quizzes. Some of the questions were about things not covered in the lessons and required additional reading. Which in itself is not a bad thing, but considering the quizzes are meant to be about things learnt in the lesson material, it would have made more sense to stick to lesson material only as not everyone doing this course will have time (or the money) for the extra resources. Also, any question that were incorrect, just had an X by them and the correct answer wasn't given - meaning if you got a question wrong you weren't told the right answer so couldn't learn anything.

By Judy P

Jun 21, 2020

The lecturer is obviously knowledgeable, but his delivery seems dispassionate. I would have enjoyed seeing him with a chalk board, outlining his points and personalizing the information with references to his own archaeological experiences.

The text accompanying the videos seems to be computer-generated. It has sentence fragments, misspellings, and artificial paragraph segmentation that does not follow the vocal presentation. English is my primary language, and that appears to be true for the instructor. Because I am a person who learns more by reading that by listening, the inaccuracies in the text were a distraction from the fascinating subject matter.

By Sarah M

Jun 28, 2020

I enjoyed learning about Ancient Egypt; However, I found the instructor to be monotonous. Dr. Silverman is a brilliant man, but does not seem to enjoy lecturing. I think this course could use a revamp with more engaging, interactive lectures, as well as some editing in the video transcriptions. I would also suggest more diagrams and visual depictions of timelines for those of us who are visual learners. I don't mean to be negative; I just think constructive criticism is a handy tool to ensure improvement.

By Sara C F

Apr 23, 2020

I found much of the information to be accurate, however; many mistakes were made during the filming of the videos. I have noticed that no corrections were made to the quizzes after videos were finalized, leaving many questions to have more than one answer from the notes taken, or for questions to not have been addressed at al during the lessons. Overall the course was information but is in need of editing.

By Jigna C

Nov 12, 2021

Beautiful and wonderful subject but narration is sometimes boring and lifeless. anyone can read a prompt and give lecture. But that will not enthrall.

To be engaged to this subject the narration has to keep you engaged. Am sorry but had to mention it.

The professor may be excellent in his research but sometimes for these courses we need good emotive speakers.

By Germain

Jun 22, 2021

T​he chronology part was fascinating, but in terms of pure civilization I was expecting more on the topics of arts and craft, medicine and architecture. Nevertheless, the trivia about pyramids, mummies and mythology is really well-written and fun to follow! Thank you for the opportunity!

By Deborah E

Feb 9, 2021

The smaller videos for each week were not particularly helpful. I would have preferred longer videos with quick quizzes in each before the big quiz at the end. Printable transcripts for each lecture would be helpful as part of the course notes and additional info.

By Mary S

Jun 14, 2017

The lecturer has a flat, boring delivery. The content is interesting. However the text on which this course is based is very good. It is lavishly illustrated. The print is too small in the paperback edition, but it's big enough in the hardcover edition.

By Myvanwy W

Dec 8, 2019

some of the exam questions were misleading (the way they were phrased was misleading) and sometimes the delivery was difficult to follow because of the structure of the lectures but I enjoyed this course nonetheless and found the content very interesting.

By Rebecca H

May 20, 2020

Over halfway through. Overall good information. However, the instructor talks fast and is really to the point with no babble, so taking notes can involve A LOT of pausing the videos, something to be aware of before beginning this course.

By Oliver G

Jun 15, 2020

An interesting course that gives a little insight into Ancient Egypt, I think the videos could have been a little longer and more fleshed out in terms of content. But it was a okay course, quick and easy enough to follow along with.

By Lynn H

Mar 14, 2017

There was a lot to try to remember from one quiz to the next and I have memory problems, but if you're a person with normal memory abilities, I guess that wouldn't be a problem. I really enjoyed learning more about ancient Egypt.

By Saud I A

Feb 18, 2021

Beautifully and comprehensively expressed Ancient Egypt. Gave me so many insights in the life of ancient Egyptians. Like so many today they were obsessed with life after death.

By Cindy D

Apr 22, 2020

in the first few weeks i found it very slow and hard to take in the info... the course gets more interesting as you go forward. I enjoyed the the two weeks the most

By Daniela C

Nov 5, 2019

The information was well organized and presented well. However, the presentation was at times dry monotone. Over all, the course taught me what I wanted to learn.

By Mark

Feb 9, 2017

Informative course for anyone not familiar with the ancient Egyptians; The quizzes have a low (50%) threshold in order to pass, but are not always easy.

By Emma W

Jul 6, 2020

While the topics are incredibly interesting, one would wish for a little more enthusiasm in the presentation of the knowledge and the course material.

By Dayna A

Nov 25, 2016

A very basic overview of Egyptian history, not as detailed as I had expected. It didn't cover as many topics as I would have liked.

By Gary W

Oct 18, 2019

Author is quite slow in presentation. Otherwise material is good and the pictures are well coordinated with the material

By Ananya G

Jun 7, 2017

I think this course is very informative but I feel, the narration is very flat and some modulation can be used.

By Silke S

Sep 24, 2020

A bit too theoretical, a list of information. Only the last Video was a bit interaction with other researchers

By Peter M

Sep 19, 2020

I enjoyed the course. Dr. Silverman needs to stop reading a teleprompter - he literally was reading a script.

By Whitney B

Mar 1, 2021

The video lectures are short and disjointed. Maybe they would make more sense as an add on to the text.

By Ahmad k

Dec 4, 2016

A very enlightening course ... i would have liked to hear more about the mythology and the gods roles

By Alisha M

May 21, 2017

Too simple a course... Would be nice to have more structure period wise and content wise!