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Warfare and Weapons in Ancient Egypt is a Course

Warfare and Weapons in Ancient Egypt

Ended May 15, 2017

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Full course description

Course Date:

Apr 17 - May 15, 2017


5 weeks


1-2 hrs/week



Course Type:



Free Certificate


Dynastic Egypt united in approximately 3100 BCE. It remained an independent land for much of its 3000 year history, before being absorbed into the Roman Empire in 30 BCE.

During this Dynastic Period, Egypt was able to recover from repeated civil wars and occasional foreign rule, and develop its military power to control a vast empire stretching from Sudan to Syria. The military success shows that Egypt understood the value of an efficient fighting force. Propaganda showing Pharaoh riding into battle standing atop a chariot while his defeated enemies flee before him is one of Egypt’s most enduring images. But how accurate is it? What do we know about the realities of weapons and warfare in ancient Egypt?

This course, led by Egyptologist Dr Nicky Nielsen, explores the art, the archaeology, the texts and the technology of Egyptian weapons and warfare from the Predynastic Period to the end of the New Kingdom (c. 3100-1000 BCE). It introduces the political situation faced by the Egyptian state at different times in its history, and investigates some of the most notable warrior Pharaohs such as Thutmosis III, the victor of the Battle of Megiddo and the self-proclaimed hero Ramesses II, who claimed that he won the Battle of Qadesh single-handedly.

This course is divided into four modules:

  • Hacking up the Land of the Sand-Dweller: The Predynastic to the end of the First Intermediate Period.
  • ‘I have made my boundary beyond that of my father!’: The Middle Kingdom and Second Intermediate Period.
  • The Game of Thrones: The 18th Dynasty.
  • The Rise and Fall of the Ramessides: The 19th and 20th Dynasties.


After completing the course you will have gained a knowledge and understanding of:

  • The relevant historical and archaeological evidence, including in-depth knowledge of Egyptian fortifications in Nubia, Sinai and Libya.
  • Key figures, including selected pharaohs (kings).
  • Key events, including the Battle of Megiddo and the Battle of Qadesh.
  • The cultures against whom the Egyptians fought, including the Hittites, the Kingdom of Kush and various Canaanite city-states.
  • Selected aspects of ancient Egyptian art.
  • Selected aspects of ancient Egyptian literature.

Course is offered by the University of Manchester.

Course Instructors

Dr. Nicky Nielsen

Dr. Nicky Nielsen


Dr. Nicky Nielsen is a Lecturer in Egyptology at the University of Manchester, where he teaches the three-year online Certificate in Egyptology and the two-year Diploma in Egyptology along with a series of short courses. He is also an Honorary Fellow at the University of Liverpool and field director of the Tell Nabasha Survey Project which conducts archaeological exploration at the ancient site of Imet in the North-eastern Nile Delta.