Welcome to ANP491: Archaeology of Ancient Egypt

I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome everyone to the online version of ANP 491: Archaeology of Ancient Egypt.  This course will introduce students to one of the most fascinating societies in human history: ancient Egypt. The class will challenge students to explore the origins and fluorescence of the rich cultures of Egypt, ranging from the earliest foundations of the Egyptian state in the 5th century B.C. to the splendors of Roman Egypt under the rule of Cleopatra. By exploring case studies that highlight the extraordinary archaeological heritage of ancient Egypt, the course will focus students’ attentions on key anthropological concepts, such as kinship, ritual, political economy, mortuary practices, and cultural contact.

There are a few things that you need to do first before anytihng else:

  1. Watch the Class Introduction Video (located in the Week 1 Schedule section of the course website).  This will give you a run down of everything we’ll be doing in the class.
  2. Create a Twitter (http://www.twitter.com) account and subscribe to my Twitter feed (https://twitter.com/captain_primate).  Remember to use the #anp491 hashtag for class stuff
  3. Create a Gravatar account (www.gravatar.com).  Remember to use your MSU email address
  4. Login to the course website (you should have already received the invite email) and change your password and display name (if you don’t know how, check out the Tutorial Videos.
  5. Be absolutely sure you look through the entire course website (especially, the About, Assignments & Grading, and Schedule sections).  If you have any questions, send me an email or comment on this post (which would be good because it means that everyone in the class would benefit from both the question and the answer)

As a total aside, I’m interested in trying out Google+ (https://plus.google.com) to create a network for the class.  If people are interested in trying this out, raise your “virtual” hand.

You will be receiving a separate email (sent to your official MSU email address) shortly with an invite to the class blog.

PLEASE NOTE: If you registered for this class after Tuesday (July 5th), you will not have received your invite email to the class blog. Please email me ASAP, and I’ll get you set up. Also, if you are having trouble accessing the course blog, email me ASAP.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: I changed the parameters of the blog entry/response assignments slightly after I made the course intro video.  So, my discussion of that assignment (in the video) doesn’t line up with the new requirements of the assignment.  Check out the Assignments & Grading section of the course website for full details.

I’m looking forward to working with you this semester.


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About Ethan Watrall

An anthropological archaeologist who has worked in Canada, the United States, Egypt, and the Sudan, Ethan Watrall is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Michigan State University. He is Director of the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative and Director of the Digital Heritage Imaging & Innovation Lab (which is a partnership between the Department of Anthropology and The Lab for the Education and Advancement in Digital Research). Ethan is Head of Tangible Heritage & Archaeology Projects at Matrix: The Center for Digital Humanities & Social Sciences, where he served as Associate Director from 2009-2020. Ethan also serves as Adjunct Curator of Archaeology at the Michigan State University Museum. Ethan’s scholarship focuses on the application of digital methods and computational approaches within archaeology and heritage. This focus expresses itself broadly in three domains: (1) publicly engaged digital heritage and archaeology; (2) digital documentation and preservation of tangible heritage and archaeological materials; and (3) building capacity and communities of practice in digital heritage and archaeology. The thematic thread that binds these domains together is one of preservation and access – leveraging digital methods and computational approaches to preserve and provide access to archaeological and heritage materials, collections, knowledge, and data in order to facilitate research, advance knowledge, fuel interpretation, and democratize understanding and appreciation of the past.

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