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

1,916 ratings
585 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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551 - 575 of 581 Reviews for Introduction to Ancient Egypt and Its Civilization

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 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 M. D C J

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 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!

By Gorret F

Jun 24, 2019

Un cours intéressant parfois un peu dense

By Yuen L T L

Feb 24, 2019

The quiz was the best part

By Angeliki K

Dec 16, 2016

I was actually very excited for this course, yet it disappointed me. The lectures were monotonous and stiff, I found myself watching the videos on mute with the subtitles on! (p.s. the persons who transcribed the videos should have taken the time to see and hear what they were translating since there are quite a few errors on names, locations, even simple words). I also found the lessons rather superficial, did not "dive" into the heart of this great civilization. Finally, having read a book or two on the subject, the whole experience added almost nothing to my previous knowledge on ancient Egypt. The course is good for those who have no previous knowledge on the subject and wish to learn the basics regarding Egypt, its gods, mummies etc.

By Wendi S

Jun 2, 2017

While the information is interesting, the speaker is horrendous. I can't put it any nicer. He is monotonous and is obviously reading from a prompter. There is no excitement in him to make me want to be excited to learn anything new. There are breaks in his speaking as if he is waiting for the prompter to move to the next page. All he does is stand and never moves, very boring and very dry.

Some of the later lessons were a bit better. At least we saw more pictures to support the information and didn't have to watch the speaker just standing there.

By Jennifer O

Nov 12, 2016

I found listening to the instructor just read notes became very tedious very quickly. I had to force myself to finish this course which rather defeated my goal of learning for fun. The only video that engaged me was the very last one set in the artifact lab. I also feel that if you are going to offer transcriptions of the lectures, someone should proofread them. Not to do so is shoddy work and doesn't do Coursera or Penn any favors.

By Caelyn M

Nov 29, 2016

I was disappointed by this course. I thought it was poorly organized and focused too much on trivia and not enough on motivating and contextualizing Ancient Egyptian civilization. I was hoping to come away from this course with a richer understanding of Ancient Egypt. The lectures were surprisingly dry.

By Karolina D

Sep 13, 2020

The material was indeed interesting however the way of presenting it was surprisingly terrible. The manner of speech and lack of mimics and expression of the professor was disappointing and I preferred to read the script rather than watch the videos :(

By Katharina H

Apr 10, 2017

Unfortunately, I did not find the course overly engaging and only provided very basic information. It would have been more interesting to look at a few things more in depth.

By Sharon C

Jul 31, 2020

While the content is great, the lecturer isn't the most riveting to listen to. He stands as a statue most of the time and seems uncomfortable in front of the camera.

By Bhavik D

May 5, 2020

How is it possible to teach one of the most exciting optics in the most uninteresting, convoluted and rash manner with preposterously odd quiz questions?

By Stanislaus G

Dec 9, 2016

Great information, however, the professor who is clearly a specialist just stood and read the lectures. Not as interesting as they could have been.

By Francine

Nov 28, 2016

Very interesting subject matter, however, sadly brought in a boring way, resulting in my quitting the course.