MIDEAST 391 - Humanities Topics in Middle East Studies
Fall 2022, Section 002 - Ancient Nubia: Empire and Identity in Northeast Africa
Instruction Mode: Section 002 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Middle East Studies (MIDEAST)
Department: LSA Middle East Studies
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
At least one previous course in Middle East studies. Students should not elect the same topic twice.
May be elected twice for credit.
Primary Instructor:


Thousands of years ago the Nile Valley was the birthplace of many ancient cultures. Yet the monuments and texts of Egypt have long overshadowed the vibrant cultures and kingdoms that lay further to the south in the region known as Nubia (or Kush), in what is today southern Egypt and northern Sudan. From the origins of village life and agriculture to the massive temples and tombs of Kerma to the pyramid burials of kings and queens at Meroe, this course introduces students to the world of ancient Nubia. It also interrogates how Nubia has been understood as part of, or at times excluded from, ancient history writ large.

Bordered by Egypt to the north and sub-Saharan Africa to the south, Nubia's wealth and international contacts were based on its control of rich gold resources as well as extensive trade in ivory and other commodities from sub-Saharan Africa. Developing as both a trade partner and military opponent of Egypt, and in later times its Greek and Roman rulers, Nubia’s cultural contacts also extended into the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, to the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.

This course centers Nubia as a major African civilization and as a critical player in the ancient world more broadly from the first settlements of the Nubian Nile Valley as early as 10,000 BCE, through the rise of the Kingdom of Kush by 2000 BCE and extending to the final collapse of the capital city of Meroe around 350 CE. We will examine material culture as well as cultural practices such as burial. We will also read key ancient texts in translation and examine key monuments and objects in detail.

Intended Audience:

Upper-level undergraduates in Middle East Studies, African Studies, Anthropology, Museum Studies, and History of Art

Class Format:

Two 90-minute meetings weekly


MIDEAST 391 - Humanities Topics in Middle East Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
Note: Meets-with MIDEAST 595.001 and COMPLIT 434.001
002 (SEM)
 In Person
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
Note: Meets-with MIDEAST 595.002 and AAS 358.011
003 (SEM)
 In Person
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
Note: Meets-with JUDAIC 318.002
004 (SEM)
 In Person
MW 4:00PM - 5:30PM
Note: Judaic-homed course: JUDAIC 318
005 (SEM)
 In Person
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
Note: Judaic-homed course: JUDAIC 318

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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