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CL2309 Aegean Bronze Age

Aegean Bronze Age

Module Organiser: Dr. Christine Morris
Duration of Course: All year
Contact Hours: 32 Lectures, 6 seminars
Weighting: 10 ECTS
Assessment: Examination 80%, Continuous assessment (two written assignments) 20%

Description:This module explores the emergence, development and eventual collapse of the first palatial societies of the Aegean, the Minoans of Crete and the Mycenaean Greeks (c. 3000 1100 B.C.). We will look at key artistic and architectural achievements, such as the palace of Knossos, remembered in later myth as the home of the Minotaur, and the stunning wall paintings of Thera, which were preserved in the volcanic eruption of the island. Among the topics covered are: the development of complex society, the nature of elite power, role of writing, the character of Bronze Age religion, social roles of art and architecture, and relations with the Near East and Egypt.

Small group seminars in this module will include practical sessions with artefacts such as pottery and figurines, discussion of archaeological ethics, and will build skills in analysing imagery and architecture.

Introductory Reading

  • O.T.P.K. Dickinson, Aegean Bronze Age. (Cambridge 1994)
  • L. Hitchcock and D. Preziosi, Aegean Art and Architecture. (Oxford 2000).
  • P.P. Betancourt, Introduction to Aegean Art. (Philadelphia 2008)
  • Cynthia Shelmerdine ed. 2008. Cambridge Companion to the Aegean Bronze Age. (Cambridge 2008).

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students should be able to demonstrate:

  • sound geographical knowledge of the Mediterranean world in the Bronze Age
  • ability to apply visual and spatial skills to the analysis of artifacts, architectural plans and other archaeological diagrams
  • knowledge of the basic character of the Aegean Bronze Age, including major events, historical processes, cultural interaction, and artistic and technological achievements
  • ability to engage with the specific problems of studying a prehistoric period and the relevant theoretical approaches
  • familiarity with, and ability to evaluate, the major debates and scholarship relevant to the module topics
  • ability to discuss the above, both orally and in writing, in a clear and scholarly manner

Last updated 14 August 2013