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Introduction to Middle Egyptian


Admission requirements



Introduction into the Egyptian hieroglyphic script and the grammar of Middle Egyptian. Middle Egyptian is the classical phase of the Egyptian language, which was employed from ca. 2000 BC onwards. The most important literary texts of the Middle Kingdom period were written in this phase of the language. Middle Egyptian remained in use especially for writing religious texts into the Roman period. With the use of a textbook and regular examination the script will be taught as well as the most important rules ofthe grammar and a basic vocabulary.

Course objectives

Knowledge of the signs and insight into the principles of the hieroglyphic script.
Knowledge of the transliteration of the hieroglyphic script.
Knowledge of a basic vocabulary of Middle Egyptian.
Knowledge of the grammar and insight in its rules, in order to learn to read sentences in the original script.
The class provides the necessary background knowledge for following the class Lectuur Middelegyptisch and for the study of other phases of the ancient Egyptian language, such as Old Egyptian, Late Egyptian, Demotic and Coptic. The knowledge of hieroglyphs is also required for the study of the cursive script, Hieratic.


The timetable

Mode of instruction


Course Load

Totale studielast 10 EC x 28 uur = 280 uur.

  • Bijwonen college: 13 x 6 uur = 78 uur

  • Voorbereiden colleges: 60 uur

  • Voorbereiding voor toetsing deeltentamen: 40 uur

  • Voorbereiding voor toetsing eindtentamen: 103 uur

  • Toetsing: 4 uur

  • Nabespreking: 1 uur

Assessment method


Weekly tests in class (10%)
Midterm exam about simple sentences in hieroglyphs, which should be transliterated and translated into English (30%)
Final exam about sentences in hieroglyphs of a more complex grammatical structure, which should be transliterated and translated into English (60%)


The final marking for the course is based on multiple marks.


Only the final exam can be taken again in a resit.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used.

Reading list

James P. Allen, Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs, third edition, Cambridge ea 2014 (earlier editions are not allowed)


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte, please contact the teache
Registration Contractonderwijs, please contact the teache


O.E. Kaper


  • This course is an Admission requirement for the course Reading Middle Egyptian and Egyptische Epigrafie.

  • Students with an academic interest in the subject matter are welcome, on the condition that there are places available. In case of a shortage of available places, Majorstudents Ancient Near East-studies BA and MA have priority.