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BA Classics / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Introduction to Mediterranean & Classical Archaeology

Unit code CAHE10122
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Classics & Ancient History
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This course offers an introduction to the archaeology of Greece and Rome and more broadly of the Mediterranean in Classical Antiquity. Using a thematic approach, students will be introduced to the study of material evidence from the Classical world and to key-themes and debates in the fields of Classical and Mediterranean Archaeology. The course will consider a wide range of sources, from archaeological remains of ancient cities and sites, to artworks and everyday use objects, studied in their wider historical, cultural and social context with the aim to enlighten the relationship of classical archaeology to other disciplines such as ancient history, classical languages and cultures, and art history. 


This course aims to:

  • to be introduced to the study of Classical Archaeology
  • to learn how to analyse material evidence as sources for the study of Classical civilization and ancient history
  • to locate material evidence into the wider historical background
  • to learn how to use archaeological objects for research



Topics covered in weekly lectures and seminars may include the following: Mediterranean and Classical archaeology: Methods and scopes; Greek Art and Architecture; Athens in the Classical period; Hellenistic capitals and royal courts; Roman Imperial Art; The household: Greece, Rome and beyond; The archaeology of religion: temples, rituals and domestic cults; Death and burials in the Mediterranean world; Entertainment and spectacles; Archaeology and socio-economic history: the circulation of goods, people and ideas in classical antiquity; special case studies from the eastern and western part of the Mediterranean (Egypt, the Middle East, South Italy) and Roman Britain. Artefact studies: pottery, coinage, sculpture, inscriptions, manuscripts including object handling sessions at the Museum.


Teaching and learning methods

  • 2 x 1 hour lecture a week

  • 1 x 1 hour seminar a week

  • 1 dedicated consultation hour a week

  • Blackboard: course material, handouts and other supporting material

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • to understand how archaeological sites and objects are related with the study of classical antiquity
  • to understand how objects were produced, used and exchanged or commodified in the classical world
  • to be able to classify ancient objects according to their aims, contents and material aspect

Intellectual skills

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • To construct an argument in written and oral form
  • To assimilate and summarise large quantities of evidence, and to engage critically and analytically with this evidence
  • To conduct independent research
  • To present the results in a professional manner with appropriate and detailed reference to sources and modern published scholarship

Practical skills

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • To manage time
  • To engage with collections of material evidence
  • To engage in critical discussion and debate

Transferable skills and personal qualities

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • To be able to communicate ideas in appropriate written and oral form
  • To work in groups
  • To analyse data and be able to interpret them

Employability skills

Analytical skills
The course involves a large number of important employment skills, most notably an ability to analyse and examine complex information, an ability to synthesise an argument in a cogent form, the ability to collaborate with experts in different fields, the retrieve information from complex sources and present it in a compelling and cogent fashion.

Assessment methods

Assessment task

Formative or Summative


Weighting within unit (if summative)

Essay 1


1,000 words


Essay 2


1,000 words




1.5 hours



Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Written feedback


Oral feedback





Recommended reading

·         S.E. Alcock, R. Osborne (eds.) Classical Archaeology, Chichester: John Wiley & Sons 2012 (2nd ed.)

·         C. Freeman, Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean, Oxford 2014 (3rd ed.)

·         J.G. Pedley, Greek Art and Archaeology, Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall 2012 (5th ed.)

·         M.D. Stansbury-O’Donnell, A History of Greek Art. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons 2015.

·         P. Zanker, Roman Art, Los Angeles:  Getty Publications 2010

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Seminars 11
Tutorials 11
Independent study hours
Independent study 156

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Maria Kopsacheili Unit coordinator

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