Subject Areas and Themes for the Term Paper

This listing contains general subject areas and overall themes from which students may choose in order to formulate the particular topics of their term papers. Specific topics must be approved by the instructor to receive a passing grade. All students must meet with the instructor to discuss their proposed paper topics and clear them in advance before beginning work on the paper. The instructor reserves the right to limit the number of students in the class working on any one topic or theme.

Nearly any topic in Egyptian social, political, military or economic history can be integrated with an understanding of enviromental issues, including: weather, climate, land, cultivation, desert, river, ocean, etc.

Egyptians as explorers of territories around them (e.g., Weni, Harkhuf), exploratory expeditions on land or sea

The extent of Egyptians' understanding of geography, local and/or foreign

Voyages to the land of Punt, its location, how to get there, and geographical and natural history related to Punt

Egyptians as a seagoing and maritime people, shipbuilding and sailing, river and ocean

Issues in travel, transportation and the movement of people, cargo, products; technology and nature of transportation

(Issues in) the Archaeology of New Kingdom and material culture relating to land and environment

Environmental Conditions and the Development of Egyptian Culture

Environment and the Progress of and History (how did environmental issues affect Egyptian historical progress?)

Natural disasters in Ancient Egypt and extent of Egyptian abilities to cope and adapt (Nile failures, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, violent storms, etc.)

Issues related to the Nile River and irrigation (technology, organization, coordination, etc.)

Effects of the failure of the annual inundation and extent of ability of Egypotians to adapt

Nature of Egyptian corvee labor system as pertains to land tenure and government coordination of projects related to earth and land

Agricultural system, organization, cropping, etc. related to land and environment

Egyptian system of land tenure and the organization of productive properties, categorizations of the types of land and their uses, crops sown, etc.

Egyptian mining and quarrying, ownership, organization, products, technology, exploitation of land and geography for stone, gems, minerals, metals, etc.

The organization of the Egyptian Empire in Canaan (Western Asia) within the context of land, topography and geography

Adaptation and invention of civil and urban architecture in Egypt to the environment, or related land issues of any kind

Crime and Punishment in Egypt reflecting on land and environment, e.g., prison mines, quarries, etc.

Development of Funerary Architecture (private or royal) in the New Kingdom as an adaptation to the environment, or related land issues of any kind

Development of the Egyptian Military and adaptation of methods of warfare to various environments, including policy and organization in the New Kingdom (adaptation of strategies and tactics to land, river, and topography)

Egyptian urban history (excluding Ptolemaic and Roman era cities)

Form and organization of Egyptian cities, including case studies in urbanism, comparisons and contrasts, etc. (Memphis, Thebes, Elephantine, etc.)

Egyptian literary and official texts that reflect on the environment or related land issues of any kind (what do literary texts and documents say about land; how do they describe and treat land and refer to environment? What seems to be their base assumptions about land and environment from the way they are referenced and mentioned as background issues in stories, poetry, letters, documents, or even official government statements, edicts and decrees?)

Egyptian women: their roles, activities and status in society as related to the environment, or related land issues of any kind, e.g., women as administrators of land, farms, fields and households