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

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


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 720 Reviews for Introduction to Ancient Egypt and Its Civilization

By Киселёв А С

Feb 13, 2022

I would`ve loved tests to be harder honestly

By Cecilia C

Jun 27, 2017

So interesting! I really learned a lot!

By mark s

May 7, 2021

some of the research was hard to find

By Abram y

May 26, 2020

فى بعض الفيديوهات غير مترجمة بالعربية

By laura b b

Mar 4, 2018

Good, clear and well balanced. less t

By Christopher D

Oct 11, 2017

Very interesting and informative

By Zona Z

May 21, 2021

presentation was a little off.

By Marisha W

Sep 5, 2017

Enjoyable course. Thank you!

By Gary S

Mar 5, 2022

​it was ok easy to follow

By Varun N

May 26, 2020

Good one for beginners

By Robert B C

Jan 13, 2019

Very intensive course!

By Joyce U

Apr 14, 2019

I'm learning so much.

By Elisabetta F

Oct 9, 2017

It's interesting .

By Olivia B

May 12, 2022

Very interesting

By Mark G C

Apr 24, 2020

Love course

By Catherine F

Jun 16, 2019


By Jp C

May 29, 2017


By Jamima S

Jul 6, 2019

Loved it!


Apr 27, 2019


By Ygor K B

Feb 19, 2019


By Brinda J

Dec 5, 2016


By Max B

Dec 16, 2016

The course was extremely easy. I hoped it would be more of a challenge. No homework, only a 10 questions test every week (that is also extremely easy). As someone who's always been interested in Ancient Egypt, I already knew some things and ended up being able to pass the tests with 90-100% without even following the course. It's really an introduction for people who are pretty much new to the subject, so I'd recommend it, but for people who are looking for something more, you might find it boring. Even though the teacher is nice, the description of the course made me hope that it would be more interesting visually. I mostly read the transcriptions instead of watching the videos, because the teacher would just stand there and talk without moving, and it was not stimulating to me.

By Irena M

Aug 2, 2021

T​he first three weeks of the course are rather bland and hard to follow. They mostly cosist of listing the pharaohs and the gods. The later weeks are more interesting and easier to follow as the lectures have more narrative. The presentations appear sterile and robotic, difficult to relate to. This feature of the course has less to do with the instructor (he appears quite engaging in the last lecture where he interviews one of the preservation specialist. The videos are overproduced; the instructor is not looking into the camera. Most of us chose to study through MOOCs rather than just reading the material because of personal connection, even an imitated one. The production does not aim to create one. The course could be improved.

By Evgeny P

Jun 25, 2020

The course provides conservative vision of problematic of the pyramids. In modern course I would expect from the lecturer to deal with the controversial statements, rather ending the interesting part by calling to conservative theories "facts". It is essential to remember that the history written by the writers, the course even provides an example. If thousands years from now the same approach will be applied on excavations on Sophia church in Istanbul, then it will be declared without doubt as a mosque. For the good science it is essential to remain place to doubt the current theories and solutions, and be able to revise them once having a controversial facts. This course not trying to deal with controversial facts.

By Gerton H

Jan 30, 2021

Although the different chapters gave a good, broad introduction to Ancient Egypt, I think it could get a little attention to make it a better experience. Professor Silverman unfortunately didn’t really shine in the little videos, only in the very last episode (‘In the Artifact Lab’) his nicer personality shines through his presentation. The quizzes were easy, multiple choice is of course about the only way to test the knowledge in this course. I would have liked it though if, after answering the questions and getting a grade, I could read some deeper explanation or summaries about these questions asked.

Oh whatever, I still liked this course. Thank you professor Silverman and Penn University!