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

4.6
stars
2,381 ratings
720 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

DA

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!

RR

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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551 - 575 of 720 Reviews for Introduction to Ancient Egypt and Its Civilization

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 9, 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 2, 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 Elizabeth U

Apr 18, 2022

The subject is something that I find fascinating. The information delivered provided a good overview. I liked the written transcripts which helped me spell unique names of places, Pharaohs and gods.... The reason I gave this course 4 stars (vs. 5) is that the lecturer is rather monotone. While highly knowlegeable, his delivery of the material makes a fascinating subject less interesting, almost causing me to "drop" the class.

By Catherine

Feb 3, 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 3, 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 John M

Mar 3, 2022

I found the visuals of the artifacts very fascinating. It added extra flavor to the course. However, some different prompts in the lectures may have allowed for more precise note taking. The quizzes provided some good specific questions to guage comprehension, but some of them felt like they weren't covered in the lectures or were very glossed over. Overall, I enjoyed this course.

By Harry F

Nov 6, 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 10, 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 Gopinadh K

Apr 26, 2022

​I have the same opinion : "History is the study of change over time​,and it covers all aspects of human society. Political, social, economic, scientific, technological,and cultural developments are all part of history"Ancient Egypt is not different.Its myths are jewels studded to make it more charming!In fact Egyptians were truly a class apart.

By Brandie B

Jan 23, 2021

While most of the information is correct, it only provides the Herodotus version of the Mysteries of Osiris and sanitizes much of the things presented. It is a bit expected for an intro course, though I would have hoped for better. I would love to see an intermediate to advanced course for those of us who are hobbyists in Egyptology already.

By Carlos M

Mar 9, 2021

This is my first "serious" course about Egypt.

Not only Professor Silverman was capable of impressing me with his lessons but also the suggested reading was precious, interesting and very useful for further learning.

My Chistmas present for myself will be "Ancient Egypt by David Silverman" which I MUST have.

Thank you for having me

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.

By Heidi W

Mar 12, 2021

This course was great although the professor is a bit, well, not the most exciting of speakers. The quizzes seem to include some things that are not in the video lectures and don't seem to be in the suggested readings either. Perhaps they were more clearly covered in the textbook(s) which I did not purchase.

By Elizabeth S

May 25, 2020

Very good course! Easy to follow with the videos and the examples used were great! Recommend paying attention to the forum questions even if you are not paying for the certificate fully; it helps to recap the information at the end of each week. Could easily take this course while doing multiple others.

By Alisse S

Aug 16, 2017

Wonderful bounty of information, but organization of course in short, segmented videos, all titled the same name, were hard to follow. If there were bullet points or video topic names covered, it would have been much easier to organize note taking. Overall, though, incredible class with in-depth detail.

By Annewsa G

Jun 30, 2017

The knowledge I acquired was very insightful and all inclusive. It clears your fundamental concept of the politics, cults, myth, and ritual of ancient Egypt. The lectures cover diverse topics and attention to the lectures are enough to understand the course to the point of repeating them to others.

By Patrick Q

Mar 10, 2021

There are some updates to do with ramps to build the pyramids that simply did not exist. It would have been preferable that Egyptologists make use of true experts such as: architect and geophysicist to understand how the pyramids were really constructed. Otherwise the course is nice as a whole.

By Daniel S

Feb 17, 2019

I love the course, the content, and Dr. Silverman's book. I only have one minor "complaint." The good teacher is very hard to follow in his script reading. His lecture isn't fluid, and he seems to show little passion for the subject. This makes a huge difference in presentation, in my opinion.