Courses

This page displays the schedule of Bryn Mawr courses in this department for this academic year. It also displays descriptions of courses offered by the department during the last four academic years.

For information about courses offered by other Bryn Mawr departments and programs or about courses offered by Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges, please consult the Course Guides page.

For information about the Academic Calendar, including the dates of first and second quarter courses, please visit the College's calendars page.

Spring 2024 ARCH

Course Title Schedule/Units Meeting Type Times/Days Location Instr(s)
ARCH B101-001 Introduction to Egyptian and Near Eastern Archaeology Semester / 1 Lecture: 11:10 AM-12:00 PM MWF Old Library 110
Bradbury,J.
ARCH B204-001 Animals in the Ancient Greek World Semester / 1 Lecture: 1:10 PM-2:30 PM MW Dalton Hall 25
Tasopoulou,E.
ARCH B237-001 Art and Archaeology of Central Asia Semester / 1 Lecture: 9:55 AM-11:15 AM TTH Taylor Hall C
Xin,W.
ARCH B247-001 The World of Gilgamesh Semester / 1 Lecture: 2:40 PM-4:00 PM MW Taylor Hall C
Xin,W.
ARCH B260-001 Daily Life in Ancient Greece and Rome Semester / 1 LEC: 12:55 PM-2:15 PM TTH Taylor Hall E
Tasopoulou,E.
ARCH B304-001 Archaeology of Greek Religion Semester / 1 Lecture: 1:10 PM-3:30 PM F Dalton Hall 212E
Tasopoulou,E.
ARCH B328-001 The Roman Empire in South West Asia Semester / 1 Lecture: 1:10 PM-4:00 PM T Taylor Hall, Seminar Room
Palermo,R.
ARCH B399-001 Senior Seminar: Classical Archaeology Semester / 1 LEC: 2:10 PM-4:00 PM TH Taylor Hall B
Dept. staff, TBA
ARCH B403-001 Supervised Work 1 Dept. staff, TBA
ARCH B425-001 Praxis III: Independent Study 1 Dept. staff, TBA
ARCH B504-001 Archaeology of Greek Religion Semester / 1 LEC: 1:10 PM-3:30 PM F Dalton Hall 212E
Tasopoulou,E.
ARCH B528-001 The Roman Empire in South West Asia Semester / 1 LEC: 1:10 PM-4:00 PM T Taylor Hall, Seminar Room
Palermo,R.
ARCH B602-001 Graduate Intensive Survey Semester / 0.5 LEC: 11:10 AM-12:00 PM MW Old Library 110
Bradbury,J.
ARCH B672-001 Archaeology of Rubbish Semester / 1 LEC: 1:10 PM-3:30 PM W Taylor Hall, Seminar Room
Lindenlauf,A.
ARCH B701-001 Supervised Work 1 Lindenlauf,A.
ARCH B701-002 Supervised Work 1 Tasopoulou,E.
ARCH B701-003 Supervised Work 1 Bradbury,J.
ARCH B701-004 Supervised Work 1 Palermo,R.
ARCH B701-005 Supervised Work 1 Xin,W.
CITY B201-001 Introduction to GIS for Social and Environmental Analysis Semester / 1 Lecture: 11:25 AM-12:45 PM TTH Canaday Computer Lab
Kinsey,D.

Fall 2024 ARCH

(Class schedules for this semester will be posted at a later date.)

Spring 2025 ARCH

(Class schedules for this semester will be posted at a later date.)

2023-24 Catalog Data: ARCH

ARCH B101 Introduction to Egyptian and Near Eastern Archaeology

Spring 2024

A historical survey of the archaeology and art of the ancient Near East and Egypt.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward Africana Studies

Counts Toward MECANA Studies

Counts Toward Museum Studies

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ARCH B102 Introduction to Classical Archaeology

Fall 2023

A historical survey of the archaeology and art of Greece, Etruria, and Rome.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward Museum Studies

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ARCH B104 Archaeology of Agricultural and Urban Revolutions

Not offered 2023-24

This course examines the archaeology of the two most fundamental changes that have occurred in human society in the last 12,000 years, agriculture and urbanism, and we explore these in Egypt and the Near East as far as India. We also explore those societies that did not experience these changes.

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ARCH B110 The World Through Classical Eyes

Not offered 2023-24

A survey of the ways in which the ancient Greeks and Romans perceived and constructed their physical and social world. The evidence of ancient texts and monuments will form the basis for exploring such subjects as cosmology, geography, travel and commerce, ancient ethnography and anthropology, the idea of natural and artificial wonders, and the self-definition of the classical cultures in the context of the oikoumene, the "inhabited world."

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ARCH B203 Ancient Greek Cities and Sanctuaries

Not offered 2023-24

A study of the development of the Greek city-states and sanctuaries. Archaeological evidence is surveyed in its historic context. The political formation of the city-state and the role of religion is presented, and the political, economic, and religious institutions of the city-states are explored in their urban settings. The city-state is considered as a particular political economy of the Mediterranean and in comparison to the utility of the concept of city-state in other cultures.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward Museum Studies

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ARCH B204 Animals in the Ancient Greek World

Spring 2024

This course focuses on perceptions of animals in ancient Greece from the Geometric to the Classical periods. It examines representations of animals in painting, sculpture, and the minor arts, the treatment of animals as attested in the archaeological record, and how these types of evidence relate to the featuring of animals in contemporary poetry, tragedy, comedy, and medical and philosophical writings. By analyzing this rich body of evidence, the course develops a context in which participants gain insight into the ways ancient Greeks perceived, represented, and treated animals. Juxtaposing the importance of animals in modern society, as attested, for example, by their roles as pets, agents of healing, diplomatic gifts, and even as subjects of specialized studies such as animal law and animal geographies, the course also serves to expand awareness of attitudes towards animals in our own society as well as that of ancient Greece.

Writing Attentive

Critical Interpretation (CI)

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ARCH B209 Aegean Archaeology

Not offered 2023-24

TThis course explores the prehistoric cultures of the Aegean region, concentrating on Minoan Crete, Mycenaean Greece, the Aegean islands, and Troy during the Bronze Age (ca. 3000-1200 BCE). We examine Aegean art, architecture, and archaeology and consider cross-cultural contacts with Egypt and the Near East, including trade and diplomacy, the historicity of the Trojan War, and the enigmatic "Sea Peoples."

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ARCH B210 Daily Life in Ancient Egypt

Not offered 2023-24

In this course, learn about life growing up and getting old in ancient Egypt through their everyday food and drink including ancient recipes and massive factory installations for brewing beer, their clothing and adornment, education, household religion and the real beliefs of your average Egyptian often quite different from the religion sponsored by the pharaoh and the state. Learn about their illnesses and their medical treatments, types of jobs and complaints about lazy coworkers, life in the workmen's village of the great pyramid and the valley of the Kings, curses against enemies, disowning misbehaving adult children and even their leisure and playtime through games, sports, toys, and pets. This course will assess the diverse lives of a laborer, slave, foreigner, high-ranking official, pharaoh and more throughout Egypt from 2600 BC- 1080 BC in the village Lahun, the Egyptian capital Tell el-Amarna, the temple town in South Abydos, and the workman's village for the Giza pyramids and the Valley of the Kings. It will examine Egyptian life through artifacts including ivory wands and birthing bricks for childbirth, children's toys, weapons and tools, amulets, and more; tomb scenes of daily life; and societal values through fairy tales, love poetry, legal documents, letters, scribal training practice texts, work attendance rosters, and ostraca.

Writing Attentive

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

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ARCH B212 Visual Culture of the Ancient Mediterranean

Not offered 2023-24

This course explores the visual culture of the ancient Mediterranean world from the second millennium BCE to early Roman times. Drawing from an extensive variety of extant evidence that includes monuments, sculpture, paintings, mosaics, and artifacts deriving from culturally and geographically distinct areas, such as the Minoan world, Egypt, Turkey, Syria, Phoenicia, Cyprus, Greece, Macedonia, Italy, Tunisia, and Spain, the course explores how such evidence may have been viewed and experienced and how it may have, in turn, shaped the visual culture of the well-interconnected ancient Mediterranean world. Focusing on selected examples of evidence, including its materials, style, and methods of production, the course will also consider how past and current scholarly attitudes, approaches, and terminology have affected the understanding and interpretation of this evidence.

Writing Attentive

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward MECANA Studies

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ARCH B214 The Archaeology of Agricultural Revolutions in Western Asia

Fall 2023

This course examines the archaeology of one of the most fundamental shifts to have occurred in human society in the last 12,000 years, the origins of agriculture. Via assigned readings, class work and lectures we will consider the varied factors which led (or did not lead) to the adoption of agriculture, questioning what the core building blocks of agricultural life were across Western Asia and exploring societies that did not experience these changes. We will also discuss the impacts these developments have had, and continue to have, on modern society and culture in the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. Themes covered will include societal organization, identity (gender, ethnicity, culture, personhood etc.), communication, and the relationships between humans, animals, and the environment. The class will also begin to address the relationships between colonialism and archaeology in Western Asia and explore what the future of a post-colonial and anti-racist archaeology looks like in this region.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Power, Inequity, and Justice (PIJ)

Counts Toward MECANA Studies

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ARCH B222 Alexander the Great

Not offered 2023-24

This course examines the life, personality, career, and military achievements of Alexander the Great, as well as the extraordinary reception of his legacy in antiquity and through modern times. It uses historical, archaeological and art-historical evidence to reconstruct a comprehensive picture of Alexander's cultural background and examines the real and imaginary features of his life and afterlife as they developed in the Hellenistic and Roman worlds, Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and succeeding periods in both Europe and Asia. Special attention is also placed on the appeal that Alexander's life and achievements have generated and continue to retain in modern popular visual culture as evidenced from documentary films and motion pictures.

Writing Attentive

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

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ARCH B224 Women in the Ancient Near East

Not offered 2023-24

A survey of the social position of women in the ancient Near East, from sedentary villages to empires of the first millennium B.C.E. Topics include critiques of traditional concepts of gender in archaeology and theories of matriarchy. Case studies illustrate the historicity of gender concepts: women's work in early village societies; the meanings of Neolithic female figurines; the representation of gender in the Gilgamesh epic; the institution of the "Tawananna" (queen) in the Hittite empire; the indirect power of women such as Semiramis in the Neo-Assyrian palaces. Reliefs, statues, texts and more indirect archaeological evidence are the basis for discussion.

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ARCH B226 Archaeology of Anatolia

Not offered 2023-24

One of the cradles of civilization, Anatolia witnessed the rise and fall of many cultures and states throughout its ancient history. This course approaches the ancient material remains of pre-classical Anatolia from the perspective of Near Eastern archaeology, examining the art, artifacts, architecture, cities, and settlements of this land from the Neolithic through the Lydian periods. Some emphasis will be on the Late Bronze Age and the Iron Age, especially phases of Hittite and Assyrian imperialism, Late Hittite states, Phrygia, and the Urartu.

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ARCH B227 The Archaeology of Syria

Not offered 2023-24

Home to a wealth of archaeological sites and cultures, Syria is perhaps now more widely known for its almost decade long conflict that has seen the displacement of millions of people and the damage to and destruction of hundreds of archaeological sites. The loss of cultural heritage is just one, very small, part of the human tragedies that have unfolded in Syria. Knowledge of the deep and recent past of this region, however, is integral for understanding its present, and its future. This course will explore human settlement and interaction within Syria over the longue durée. Using a selection of key sites, inhabited for thousands of years, we will explore several major themes including, the archaeology of inequality, the role of urban life and the importance of ritual and religion. The course will also consider the complex relationships that have always existed between Syria and its neighboring countries. Finally, we will turn to the role of archaeology, its future and potential within a post-conflict Syria.

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ARCH B229 Visual Culture of the Ancient Near East

Not offered 2023-24

This course examines the visual culture of the Ancient Near East based on an extensive body of architectural, sculptural, and pictorial evidence dating from prehistoric times through the fifth century BCE. We will explore how a variety of surviving art, artifacts, sculpture, monuments, and architecture deriving from geographically distinct areas of the ancient Near East, such as Mesopotamia, the Eastern Mediterranean, Anatolia, and Iran, may have been viewed and experienced in their historical contexts, including the contribution of ancient materials and technologies of production in shaping this viewing and experience. By focusing on selected examples of diverse evidence, we will also consider how past and current scholarly methods and approaches, many of them art-historical, archaeological, and architectural in aim, have affected the understanding and interpretation of this evidence. In doing so, we will pay special attention to critical terms such as aesthetics, style, narrative, representation, and agency.

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ARCH B233 Archaeological Fieldwork and Methods

Fall 2023

This course provides a detailed introduction to archaeological fieldwork methodology and practices. We will critically discuss different discovery and recording techniques and explore data mapping (e.g., aerial/satellite imagery, drone-based photography), collecting (using cloud-based smartphones and tablet apps, GPS-enabled artifacts collection, etc.), and processing (e.g., databases, 3D modeling, GIS-based maps). We will also learn how to draw to scale, take archaeological photographs, and create a precise representation of the stratigraphic sequence, using the Harris Matrix Composer software. The course will include seminars, lab training, and in-field (outdoor) practical sessions.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

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ARCH B235 Death and Burial in the Ancient Near East

Not offered 2023-24

Death is a shared human experience; however, it provokes a huge variety of responses; from the ad hoc and hasty burial of the deceased through to elaborate and lengthy funerary rituals. One of the most direct forms of evidence we have as archaeologists for the people who lived thousands of years ago are burials. The Ancient Near East also offers a rich corpus of textual and visual material, which can be used to explore the ways in which ancient societies conceptualized and thought about death, from the nature of the afterlife to the role of malevolent or helpful ghosts.

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward MECANA Studies

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ARCH B237 Art and Archaeology of Central Asia

Spring 2024

Exploring the rich and vibrant cultural heritage of Central Asia, this course delves into the region's history, art, and archaeology spanning from the third millennium BCE to the eighth century CE. Central Asia, constituting the territory between western China and eastern Iran, served as the heartland of the ancient Silk Road. Despite its significance, the region's history and culture often remain shrouded in mystery, largely unknown to the academic community. This course sheds light on topics related to Central Asia, such as state formation, nomadism, religious beliefs, trade, and arts and crafts production of Central Asia, while emphasizing the region's interconnectedness with the broader world.

Writing Attentive

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward MECANA Studies

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ARCH B242 Colonies and Colonization in the Ancient Mediterranean

Not offered 2023-24

This course focuses on the character and consequences of colonization, colonialism, and imperialism in the ancient Mediterranean. Using archaeological and textual evidence, we will examine the history, practice, and physical manifestations of colonization from the earliest Phoenician and Greek colonies through the imperial world of the Roman Empire. We will discuss a variety of approaches and frameworks used to explore the intersection of migration and mobility, colonization and colonialism, and imperial states and identities in the Classical world, and will explore the impact of these processes on the development of wider Mediterranean networks, identities, and histories.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

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ARCH B244 Great Empires of the Ancient Near East

Not offered 2023-24

A survey of the history, material culture, political and religious ideologies of, and interactions among, the five great empires of the ancient Near East of the second and first millennia B.C.E.: New Kingdom Egypt, the Hittite Empire in Anatolia, the Assyrian and Babylonian Empires in Mesopotamia, and the Persian Empire in Iran.

Writing Attentive

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward MECANA Studies

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ARCH B246 Classical Antiquity in Movies

Fall 2023

This course explores the visual representations and the narratives of the Graeco-Roman times on screen. From silent films to modern Hollywood productions through Netflix, Amazon, and other streaming services productions, students will discuss the impact of classical antiquity in the film-making industry. We will be looking into how the depiction of different aspects of the Greek and Roman past (literature, history, art, archaeology) are used (and misused) on screen and in which way these productions influence the way we understand the ancient world.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Counts Toward Film Studies

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ARCH B247 The World of Gilgamesh

Spring 2024

This course explores how the people of ancient Mesopotamia perceive and comprehend the fundamental questions of human existence, such as the intricacies of life and death, gender and sexuality, the relationship between humans and the divine, and the definition of self-identity in relation to the outside world, through an examination of the literary works and archaeological remains from the ancient Near East. Guided by the epic tale of Gilgamesh, the legendary king of Uruk in Mesopotamian mythology, we will journey back to the mesmerizing world of the fourth and third millennium BCE, when human civilizations first emerged and thrived. This course offers an immersive experience, enabling students to unleash their intellectual creativity through dramatic performances and curation of a digital exhibit showcasing early Mesopotamian civilization.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward MECANA Studies

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ARCH B252 Pompeii

Not offered 2023-24

Introduces students to a nearly intact archaeological site whose destruction by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 C.E. was recorded by contemporaries. The discovery of Pompeii in the mid-1700s had an enormous impact on 18th- and 19th-century views of the Roman past as well as styles and preferences of the modern era. Informs students in classical antiquity, urban life, city structure, residential architecture, home decoration and furnishing, wall painting, minor arts and craft and mercantile activities within a Roman city.

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward Museum Studies

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ARCH B254 Cleopatra

Fall 2023

This course examines the life and rule of Cleopatra VII, the last queen of Ptolemaic Egypt, and the reception of her legacy in the Early Roman Empire and the western world from the Renaissance to modern times. The first part of the course explores extant literary evidence regarding the upbringing, education, and rule of Cleopatra within the contexts of Egyptian and Ptolemaic cultures, her relationships with Julius Caesar and Marc Antony, her conflict with Octavian, and her death by suicide in 30 BCE. The second part examines constructions of Cleopatra in Roman literature, her iconography in surviving art, and her contributions to and influence on both Ptolemaic and Roman art. A detailed account is also provided of the afterlife of Cleopatra in the literature, visual arts, scholarship, and film of both Europe and the United States, extending from the papal courts of Renaissance Italy and Shakespearean drama, to Thomas Jefferson's art collection at Monticello and Joseph Mankiewicz's 1963 epic film, Cleopatra.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward Gender/Sex Studies (Min/Conc)

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ARCH B260 Daily Life in Ancient Greece and Rome

Spring 2024

The often-praised achievements of the classical cultures arose from the realities of day-to-day life. This course surveys the rich body of material and textual evidence pertaining to how ancient Greeks and Romans -- famous and obscure alike -- lived and died. Topics include housing, food, clothing, work, leisure, and family and social life.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

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ARCH B301 Greek Vase-Painting

Not offered 2023-24

This course is an introduction to the world of painted pottery of the Greek world, from the 10th to the 4th centuries B.C.E. We will interpret these images from an art-historical and socio-economic viewpoint. We will also explore how these images relate to other forms of representation. Prerequisite: one course in classical archaeology or permission of instructor.

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ARCH B303 Classical Bodies

Not offered 2023-24

An examination of the conceptions of the human body evidenced in Greek and Roman art and literature, with emphasis on issues that have persisted in the Western tradition. Topics include the fashioning of concepts of male and female standards of beauty and their implications; conventions of visual representation; the nude; clothing and its symbolism; the athletic ideal; physiognomy; medical theory and practice; the visible expression of character and emotions; and the formulation of the "classical ideal" in antiquity and later times.

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ARCH B304 Archaeology of Greek Religion

Spring 2024

This course approaches the topic of ancient Greek religion by focusing on surviving archaeological, architectural, epigraphical, artistic and literary evidence that dates from the Archaic and Classical periods. By examining a wealth of diverse evidence that ranges, for example, from temple architecture, and feasting and banqueting equipment to inscriptions, statues, vase paintings, and descriptive texts, the course enables the participants to analyze the value and complexity of the archaeology of Greek religion and to recognize its significance for the reconstruction of daily life in ancient Greece. Special emphasis is placed on subjects such as the duties of priests and priestesses, the violence of animal sacrifice, the function of cult statues and votive offerings and also the important position of festivals and hero and mystery cults in ancient Greek religious thought and experience.

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ARCH B305 Topics in Ancient Athens

Not offered 2023-24

This is a topics course. Course content varies.

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ARCH B308 Ceramic Analysis

Not offered 2023-24

Pottery is one of the most common artifacts recovered during archaeological excavation. It is fundamental for reconstructing human behavior in the past and establishing the relative chronology of archaeological sites. This course focuses on the myriad of ways archaeologists study ceramics including the theories, methods, and techniques that bridge the gap between, on the one hand, the identification and description of pottery and, on the other, its analysis and interpretation. Topics covered include typology, seriation, production, function, exchange, specialization and standardization, site formation processes, ceramic characterization, and data management. The course will consist of lectures, discussions, student presentations on a chosen case study, and laboratory work. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

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ARCH B312 Bronze Age Internationalism

Not offered 2023-24

This course explores the rise and fall of the first international age in the eastern mediterranean. We will focus on the cultural and diplomatic connections between Egypt, Syria, Anatolia and the Aegean during the Bronze Age, c. 2000-1200BCE.. Prerequisites: ARCH B101 or B104 or B216 or B226 or B230 or B240 or B244.

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ARCH B314 Ancient Greek Seafaring and Shipwrecks

Fall 2023

This course examines the diverse evidence for ancient Greek seafaring and shipwrecks in the Mediterranean Sea from prehistory to the beginning of the Roman Empire. By focusing on archaeological, literary, iconographic, and epigraphic evidence, the course explores ancient Greek, Phoenician, Etruscan, and Roman interconnections in the Mediterranean Sea, through special attention to trade routes, commerce, colonization, economy, naval and maritime technology, cultural interactions, sea exploration, and piracy.

Writing Attentive

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ARCH B316 Trade and Transport in the Ancient World

Not offered 2023-24

Issues of trade, commerce and production of export goods are addressed with regard to the Bronze Age and Iron Age cultures of Mesopotamia, Arabia, Iran and south Asia. Crucial to these systems is the development of means of transport via maritime routes and on land. Archaeological evidence for traded goods and shipwrecks is used to map the emergence of sea-faring across the Indian Ocean and Gulf.

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ARCH B317 Cultural Heritage and Endangered Archaeology

Not offered 2023-24

This course will examine how and why archaeological sites are 'endangered'. Primarily focusing on the Near East and North Africa (the MENA region), we will examine the different types of archaeological and heritage sites found across this broad region, and some of the threats and disturbances affecting them. We will consider how different interest groups and stakeholders view, value and present historical and archaeological sites to the general public, as well as the success of modern initiatives and projects to safeguard the heritage of the MENA region. Our research will consider the ethics of cultural preservation, as well as the issues and problems encountered by heritage specialists working in areas of modern conflict. Whilst not all damage can be prevented, the course will consider how different threats and disturbances might be mitigated. Prerequisite: Upper level 300-level course. Students should have completed at least two 100 level/200 level courses in either classical or near eastern archaeology.

Writing Attentive

Course does not meet an Approach

Counts Toward MECANA Studies

Counts Toward Museum Studies

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ARCH B328 The Roman Empire in South West Asia

Spring 2024

This course examines the impact - or lack thereof - the Roman Empire had on the visual and material culture in the Eastern Mediterranean and South-West Asia from the 2nd century BCE to the 5th century CE. To understand the local response to Rome's expansion, we study the complex political and social structures that were in place in these regions long before the arrival of Rome as well as the agents that continuously negotiated between Rome, local polities, and external factors (i.e., nomadic tribes). We will explore the multi-faceted world of the easternmost provinces of the Roman Empire with reference to archaeological, visual, and textual sources and adopt counter-narrative approaches to critically discuss the nature of colonial and imperial encounters. The completion of ARCH B101 (Egyptian and Near Eastern Archaeology) or 102 (Classical Archaeology) is a prerequisite for this course.

Counts Toward MECANA Studies

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ARCH B329 Archaeology and National Imagination in Modern Greece

Not offered 2023-24

This course explores the link between archaeology, antiquity and the national imagination in modern Greece from the establishment of the Greek state in the early nineteenth century to present times. Drawing from a variety of disciplines, including history, archaeology, art history, sociology, anthropology, ethnography, and political science, the course examines the pivotal role of archaeology and the classical past in the construction of national Greek identity. Special emphasis is placed on the concepts of Hellenism and nationalism, the European rediscovery of Greece in the Romantic era, and the connection between classical archaeology and Philhellenism from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. Additional topics of study include the presence of foreign archaeological schools in Greece, the Greek perception of archaeology, the politics of display in Greek museums, and the importance and power of specific ancient sites, monuments, and events, such as the Athenian Acropolis, the Parthenon, and the Olympic Games, in the construction and preservation of Greek national identity.

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ARCH B330 Archaeological Theory and Method

Not offered 2023-24

A history of archaeology from the Renaissance to the present with attention to the formation of theory and method.

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ARCH B352 Ancient Egyptian Archaeology

Not offered 2023-24

This course will examine two aspects of ancient Egyptian Archaeology. This first is the history of archaeological work in Egypt: tracing methodological developments, the impact of imperialism, colonialism, and race-based theories of the 19th and early 20th centuries on the development of archaeological thought, and where the field of archaeology in Egypt stands today. The second will examine settlements in ancient Egypt - from workmen's villages to planned "temple towns" to "lost cities" - in order to understand the built environment inhabited by the ancient Egyptians. Although the material that the ancient Egyptians used to build their homes, as well as their location in the flood-plain, often makes finding and studying settlements difficult, there are sources of evidence that can help us to rediscover where and how the ancient Egyptians lived, and allow us to reevaluate older theories about ancient Egyptian culture and society.

Writing Attentive

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ARCH B355 The Achaemenid Empire

Fall 2023

This course explores the art, history, and archaeology of the Achaemenid Empire. Between 550 and 330 B.C., the Achaemenid kings of Iran controlled the largest and greatest empire the world has seen up until that time. By studying the art, architecture, politics, religion, burial customs, administration, economy, and warfare of Achaemenid Persia, the course offers a unique insight into the wealth, splendor, and diversity of one of the most powerful empires of the ancient Near East. Because the Achaemenid Empire exerted great influence on the ancient Mediterranean world, the contacts and conflict between ancient Greece and Persia will be also examined, from an ancient Greek perspective, in order to understand how this perspective contributed to the misapprehension of the Achaemenid Empire in modern Western thought.

Writing Attentive

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ARCH B359 Topics in Classical Art and Archaeology

Not offered 2023-24

This is a topics course. Topics vary. A research-oriented course taught in seminar format, treating issues of current interest in Greek and Roman art and archaeology. 200-level coursework in some aspect of classical or related cultures, archeology, art history, or Cities, or related fields is strongly recommended.

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ARCH B398 Senior Seminar in Near Eastern Archaeology

Section 001 (Fall 2023): Near Eastern Archology

A weekly seminar on topics to be determined with assigned readings and oral and written reports.

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ARCH B399 Senior Seminar

Section 001 (Spring 2024): Classical Archaeology

A weekly seminar on common topics with assigned readings and oral and written reports.

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ARCH B403 Supervised Work

Supervised Work

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ARCH B425 Praxis III: Independent Study

Counts Toward Praxis Program

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ARCH B501 Greek Vase Painting

Not offered 2023-24

This course is an introduction to the world of painted pottery of the Greek world, from the 10th to the 4th centuries B.C.E. We will interpret these images from an art-historical and socio-economic viewpoint. We will also explore how these images relate to other forms of representation. Prerequisite: one course in classical archaeology or permission of instructor.

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ARCH B504 Archaeology of Greek Religion

Spring 2024

This course approaches the topic of ancient Greek religion by focusing on surviving archaeological, architectural, epigraphical, artistic and literary evidence that dates from the Archaic and Classical periods. By examining a wealth of diverse evidence that ranges, for example, from temple architecture, and feasting and banqueting equipment to inscriptions, statues, vase paintings, and descriptive texts, the course enables the participants to analyze the value and complexity of the archaeology of Greek religion and to recognize its significance for the reconstruction of daily life in ancient Greece. Special emphasis is placed on subjects such as the duties of priests and priestesses, the violence of animal sacrifice, the function of cult statues and votive offerings and also the important position of festivals and hero and mystery cults in ancient Greek religious thought and experience.

Back to top

ARCH B505 Topics in Ancient Athens

Not offered 2023-24

This is a topics course. Topics vary.

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ARCH B508 Ceramic Analysis

Not offered 2023-24

Pottery is one of the most common artifacts recovered during archaeological excavation. It is fundamental for reconstructing human behavior in the past and establishing the relative chronology of archaeological sites. This course focuses on the myriad of ways archaeologists study ceramics including the theories, methods, and techniques that bridge the gap between, on the one hand, the identification and description of pottery and, on the other, its analysis and interpretation. Topics covered include typology, seriation, production, function, exchange, specialization and standardization, site formation processes, ceramic characterization, and data management. The course will consist of lectures, discussions, student presentations on a chosen case study, and laboratory work.

Back to top

ARCH B512 Bronze Age Internationalism

Not offered 2023-24

This course explores the rise and fall of the first international age in the eastern Mediterranean. We will focus on the cultural and diplomatic connections between Egypt, Syria, Anatolia and the Aegean during the Bronze Age, c. 2000-1200BCE.

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ARCH B514 Ancient Greek Seafaring and Shipwrecks

Fall 2023

This course examines the diverse evidence for ancient Greek seafaring and shipwrecks in the Mediterranean Sea from prehistory to the beginning of the Roman Empire. By focusing on archaeological, literary, iconographic, and epigraphic evidence, the course explores ancient Greek, Phoenician, Etruscan, and Roman interconnections in the Mediterranean Sea, through special attention to trade routes, commerce, colonization, economy, naval and maritime technology, cultural interactions, sea exploration, and piracy.

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ARCH B516 Trade and Transport in the Ancient World

Not offered 2023-24

Issues of trade, commerce and production of export goods are addressed with regard to the Bronze Age and Iron Age cultures of Mesopotamia, Arabia, Iran and south Asia. Crucial to these systems is the development of means of transport via maritime routes and on land. Archaeological evidence for traded goods and shipwrecks is used to map the emergence of sea-faring across the Indian Ocean and Gulf while bio-archaeological data is employed to examine the transformative role that Bactrian and Dromedary camels played in ancient trade and transport.

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ARCH B517 Cultural Heritage and Endangered Archaeology

Not offered 2023-24

This course will examine how and why archaeological sites are 'endangered'. Primarily focusing on the Near East and North Africa (the MENA region), we will examine the different types of archaeological and heritage sites found across this broad region, and some of the threats and disturbances affecting them. We will consider how different interest groups and stakeholders view, value and present historical and archaeological sites to the general public, as well as the success of modern initiatives and projects to safeguard the heritage of the MENA region. Our research will consider the ethics of cultural preservation, as well as the issues and problems encountered by heritage specialists working in areas of modern conflict. Whilst not all damage can be prevented, the course will consider how different threats and disturbances might be mitigated.

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ARCH B528 The Roman Empire in South West Asia

Spring 2024

This course examines the impact - or lack thereof - the Roman Empire had on the visual and material culture in the Eastern Mediterranean and South-West Asia from the 2nd century BCE to the 5th century CE. To understand the local response to Rome's expansion, we study the complex political and social structures that were in place in these regions long before the arrival of Rome as well as the agents that continuously negotiated between Rome, local polities, and external factors (i.e., nomadic tribes). We will explore the multi-faceted world of the easternmost provinces of the Roman Empire with reference to archaeological, visual, and textual sources and adopt counter-narrative approaches to critically discuss the nature of colonial and imperial encounters.

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ARCH B529 Archaeology and National Imagination in Modern Greece

Not offered 2023-24

This course explores the link between archaeology, antiquity and the national imagination in modern Greece from the establishment of the Greek state in the early nineteenth century to present times. Drawing from a variety of disciplines, including history, archaeology, art history, sociology, anthropology, ethnography, and political science, the course examines the pivotal role of archaeology and the classical past in the construction of national Greek identity. Special emphasis is placed on the concepts of Hellenism and nationalism, the European rediscovery of Greece in the Romantic era, and the connection between classical archaeology and Philhellenism from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. Additional topics of study include the presence of foreign archaeological schools in Greece, the Greek perception of archaeology, the politics of display in Greek museums, and the importance and power of specific ancient sites, monuments, and events, such as the Athenian Acropolis, the Parthenon, and the Olympic Games, in the construction and preservation of Greek national identity.

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ARCH B530 Archaeological Theory & Method

Not offered 2023-24

A history of archaeology from the Renaissance to the present with attention to the formation of theory and method.

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ARCH B552 Egyptian Architecture: New Kingdom

Not offered 2023-24

A proseminar that concentrates on the principles of ancient Egyptian monumental architecture with an emphasis on the New Kingdom. The primary focus of the course is temple design, but palaces, representative settlements, and examples of Graeco-Roman temples of the Nile Valley will also be dealt with.

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ARCH B555 The Achaemenid Empire

Fall 2023

This course explores the art, history, and archaeology of the Achaemenid Empire. Between 550 and 330 B.C., the Achaemenid kings of Iran controlled the largest and greatest empire the world has seen up until that time. By studying the art, architecture, politics, religion, burial customs, administration, economy, and warfare of Achaemenid Persia, the course offers a unique insight into the wealth, splendor, and diversity of one of the most powerful empires of the ancient Near East. Because the Achaemenid Empire exerted great influence on the ancient Mediterranean world, the contacts and conflict between ancient Greece and Persia will be also examined, from an ancient Greek perspective, in order to understand how this perspective contributed to the misapprehension of the Achaemenid Empire in modern Western thought.

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ARCH B602 Graduate Intensive Survey

Spring 2024

This course introduces the art and archaeology of the ancient Near East and Egypt, from ca. 10,000 to 330 BCE. Supplementing the lectures, discussions, and readings of ARCH B101, graduate students will participate in an additional weekly discussion of methodological and interpretive issues and topical debates in the field, based on the reading of relevant case-studies and analyses.

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ARCH B603 Graduate Intensive Survey

Fall 2023

A historical survey of the archaeology and art of Greece, Etruria, and Rome.

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ARCH B634 Problems in Classical Art

Not offered 2023-24

This is a topics course. Topics vary. A seminar dealing with current issues in the art of ancient Greece and related traditions.

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ARCH B635 Power, politics, and the cityscape of Rome

Not offered 2023-24

The city of Rome served as both a symbolic center of the Roman world and a physical space in which this symbolic role was monumentalized and negotiated. This course explores the ways in which political and social competition were inscribed on the cityscape from its earliest years through the end of the Republic and beyond, both in its topography and in the specific monuments constructed as the result of individual and group initiatives. Case studies explored in this course include the triumph and the process of memory construction in the city, the association of political movements and conflicts with specific urban topographies, the function of Rome and specific spaces within it as "museums" for foreign plunder, elite tombs as sites of competing elite identities, the shifting relationship between public and private in the Forum, and the competitive monumentalization of the city at the end of the Republic, especially in the Campus Martius.

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ARCH B672 Archaeology of Rubbish

Spring 2024

This course explores a range of approaches to the study of waste and dirt as well as practices and processes of disposal and recycling in past and present societies. Particular attention will be paid to understanding and interpreting spacial disposal patterns, identifying votive deposits (bothroi), and analyzing the use of dirt(y waste) in negotiating social differences.

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ARCH B680 Problems in the Archaeology of Mesopotamia

Not offered 2023-24

This course will explore the different approaches and technologies used to study Mesopotamia. We will problematize existing terminologies for this historical region and consider how research methods and questions have changed in recent years. Topics covered may include: ancient gender roles, cultural heritage, landscape theory and approaches, new technologies and religion and ritual amongst others.

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ARCH B701 Supervised Work

Fall 2023, Spring 2024

Unit of supervised work

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ARCH B705 Curatorial Praxis

Fall 2023

For students completing a curatorial internship only. Students on a F1 VISA require CPT authorization to engage in an internship off campus and must register for the course.

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CHEM B208 Topics in Art Analysis

Not offered 2023-24

This is a topics course and topics will vary. All courses will cover a variety of methods of analysis of works of art centered around a specific theme. Using both completed case studies and their own analysis of objects in the Bryn Mawr College collection, students will investigate a number of instrumental methods of obtaining both quantitative and qualitative information about the manufacture, use and history of the objects. This course counts towards the major in History of Art.

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CITY B201 Introduction to GIS for Social and Environmental Analysis

Fall 2023, Spring 2024

This course is designed to introduce the foundations of GIS with emphasis on applications for social and environmental analysis. It deals with basic principles of GIS and its use in spatial analysis and information management. Ultimately, students will design and carry out research projects on topics of their own choosing. Prerequisite: At least sophomore standing and Quantitative Readiness are required (i.e.the quantitative readiness assessment or Quan B001).

Quantitative Readiness Required (QR)

Counts Toward Data Science

Counts Toward Environmental Studies

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CSTS B208 The Roman Empire

Not offered 2023-24

Imperial history from the principate of Augustus to the House of Constantine with focus on the evolution of Roman culture and society as presented in the surviving ancient evidence, both literary and archaeological.

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CSTS B639 Italy and the Rise of Rome

Not offered 2023-24

This course examines the archaeology and history of the Italian peninsula in the first millennium BCE, with a particular focus on the dynamics of Rome's rise from small settlement to the dominant power on the Italian peninsula. Through an examination of the textual, epigraphic, numismatic, and archaeological evidence from Rome and the other major powers in Italy in this period, including the Etruscans, Samnites, and Greek colonial cities, we investigate the major debates and issues surrounding Rome's rise to power, including the nature of Roman imperialism, processes of "Romanization" or acculturation among non-Romans, and the social and political conflicts and pressures which played a role in shaping the character of the Roman state in the first millennium BCE.

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GSEM B619 Death and Beyond

Fall 2023

The question of what happens after the moment of death has always fascinated humanity - at one moment there is a living person, the next only a corpse; where did the person go? Every culture struggles with these questions of death and afterlife - what does it mean to die and what happens after death? This seminar will examine a variety of types of evidence - archaeological, poetic, and philosophical - to uncover ideas of death and afterlife in some of the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world, with particular attention to the similarities and differences between ideas of death and beyond in the cultures of Greece, Egypt, and Mesopotamia. Van Gennep's model of death as a rite de passage provides the basic structure for the class, which is divided into three sections, each concerned with one section of the transition: Dying - leaving the world of the living; Liminality - the transition between the worlds; and Afterlife - existence after death. This anthropological model allows us to analyze the different discourses about death and afterlife.

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GSEM B624 Greek Tragedy in Performance

Not offered 2023-24

In this seminar we will approach Greek dramatic texts from two angles: theoretically and experientially. On the one hand, we will be reading (in English translation) the tragedies of the three great playwrights of Classical Athens-Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides-while examining their treatment of myth, systems of metaphor and imagery, and the role of the chorus, as well as the relevance of Greek tragedy for subsequent centuries down to the present day. Special attention will be given to such themes as fate and predestination; relation between mortals and immortals; disability; euthanasia; slavery; and the impact of war on women and children. On the other, concurrent with our textual analysis, we will be reading Constantin Stanislavski, Michael Chekhov and other modern theater theorists. We will be applying these acting techniques to the texts in practice (i.e., performing them in class!) as we ask the question, What can be gained from stepping inside the plays and trying them on? No prior acting experience is necessary: just a curiosity about bringing ancient texts to life through the medium of one's body!

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GSEM B652 Interdepartmental Seminar: History and Memory

Section 001 (Fall 2022): History and Memory

Not offered 2023-24

The seminar will begin by establishing the categories of history and memory, as they have been constituted across the humanistic disciplines, defining and refining the epistemological and ontological distinctions between the two. Readings will be drawn first from the writings of Nietzsche and Freud and then move to the work of Barthes, Caruth, Connerton, Foucault, Guha, Gundaker, La Capra, Margolit, Nora, Sebald, Todorov, and Yerushalmi. Once a grounding context is established, the second half of the seminar will be organized around a set of categories, ranging from the material to the theoretical, through which we will continue our explorations in history and memory, among them, the following: trauma, witness, archive, document, evidence, monument, memorial, relic, trace. It is here that we would each draw specifically on our own disciplinary formations and call upon students to do the same. The seminar would, of course, be open to all students in the graduate group.

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Contact Us

Department of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology

Old Library
Bryn Mawr College
101 N. Merion Avenue
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania 19010
Phone: 610-526-5053 or 610-526-5334
Fax: 610-526-7955