Ancient Egypt: a history in six objects

This course provides a general introduction to the history of ancient Egypt
Free tutorial
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 (575 ratings)
11,714 students
2hr 40min of on-demand video

At the end of this course students will be able to identify the main periods of ancient Egyptian history, and refer to evidence key to our understanding of this time.


  • No prerequisites; suitable for all, including those with no prior knowledge of ancient Egypt. You will need a computer or mobile device and an internet connection suitable for the playback of videos. You may also wish to have access to a printer to print out and keep optional further reading, but all of the course can be accessed directly on a computer or mobile device.


This course provides an introduction to ancient Egyptian history, using six items from the collections of the Manchester Museum. These items have been carefully chosen to reflect the development of the Dynastic Age through their origin, manufacture, decoration, and use. Week by week we will examine a different artefact and place it in its social and historical context. This will allow us to journey from Predynastic Egypt and its first king, Narmer, to Greco-Roman Egypt and its final queen, Cleopatra VII.

Since this is an introduction to ancient Egypt, no prior knowledge of the history, geography, religion or society of ancient Egypt is needed - all that we ask is that learners are open minded, tolerant and polite at all times.

The course largely consists of video guides and discussions, accompanied by recommended reading either provided in PDF format or by way of links to curated external sites.

Who this course is for:

  • All those interested in knowing more about ancient Egypt.


Archaeologist, Author and Senior Lecturer in Egyptology
Joyce Tyldesley
  • 4.7 Instructor Rating
  • 913 Reviews
  • 16,037 Students
  • 2 Courses

Joyce teaches Egyptology (the history and archaeology of ancient Egypt) to distance learning students throughout the world, from the University of Manchester, UK.

An author of more than twenty best-selling books for adults and children, Joyce holds a BA in the archaeology of the eastern Mediterranean from Liverpool University and a doctorate in prehistoric archaeology from Oxford University.

Curator of Egypt and the Sudan, Manchester Museum
Campbell Price
  • 4.8 Instructor Rating
  • 575 Reviews
  • 11,714 Students
  • 1 Course

Campbell undertook his BA, MA and PhD in Egyptology at The University of Liverpool, where he is now an Honorary Research Fellow. He has participated in fieldwork at Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham and Saqqara, Egypt. Since 2011, he has been the Curator of Egypt and Sudan at The Manchester Museum, one of the UK’s largest Egyptology collections. His research interests include Egyptian elite culture in the First Millennium BC, and the presentation of ancient Egypt in museums.

Glenn Godenho
  • 4.8 Instructor Rating
  • 575 Reviews
  • 11,714 Students
  • 1 Course

Having taken various Egyptological courses with Birkbeck College in the mid to late 90s, Glenn studied for his BA, MA and PhD at The University of Liverpool. Glenn then taught Egyptology at Swansea University and The University of Manchester, before returning to The University of Liverpool in the Department of Archaeology, Classics, and Egyptology.

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