Departmental Learning Goals

Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology Learning Goals

1. Departmental learning goals. A student who completes our program will know and be able to:

  1.  have basic grasp of the history and culture of ancient Greece and Rome and the areas with which they interacted, especially c. 3000 B.C.- c. A.D. 400
  2.  have basic grasp of the primary sources and evidence for that historical outline
  3.  navigate the scholarly resources giving access to primary evidence
  4.  be aware of the development of scholarly understanding of the ancient material
  5.  use different approaches to the study the material culture of ancient Greece and Rome and their neighboring cultures
  6.  see some of the issues and problems involved in archaeological interpretation and in the ways we attempt to reconstruct the Greek and Roman past using this evidence
  7.  learn how to conduct research and to write an academic paper on an archaeological topic
  8.  participate with confidence in an archaeological fieldwork project
  9.  handle and study archaeological artifacts
  10.  have a basic understanding of how archaeologists excavate and document the archaeological record
  11.  recognise and interpret the different types of archaeology and heritage found in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region
  12.  understand the ways in which sites have been interpreted, recorded and protected over time
  13.  be critically aware of the development of the discipline of archaeology and how colonial and post-colonial narratives have shaped this subject
  14.  be aware of and be able to debate about, consider and explain the modern relevance of this discipline and its future
  15.  recognise and appreciate different types of archaeology and heritage, including tangible and intangible heritage
  16.  critique and interpret concepts of value and significance within the archaeological and the cultural heritage sectors
  17.  understand the general chronological and spatial frameworks of archaeology in SW Asia over the past 12,000 years. This includes understanding some the most significant historical events within human history, including the origins and development of agriculture, writing, complex society, urbanism, mono-theistic religions and social inequalities, and recognising how they have shaped and continue to shape modern life.
  18.  understand how interpretations are developed from archaeological remains and historical texts
  19.  critically interpret material culture, architectural forms and texts and what they can tell us about how ancient humans once lived.

2. Mapping of departmental learning goals onto Bryn Mawr learning outcomes

  • Writing skills
    • with the exception, e.g. of the freshman seminar, the requirements for Professor Donohue’s courses meet or exceed the requirements for “writing attentive” courses; field- specific guidelines for preparing and writing research papers are given to the class
    • Experience of preparing research proposals and budgets (graduate level)
    • Experience of writing an academic CV
    • An understanding of the different ways of effectively presenting and debating research topics and material culture in written form
    • All classes taught have involved some form of written paper whether in terms of a short opinion piece or blog, an essay or a lengthy research paper
    • Experience of preparing a paper designed for publication e.g. in the style of a journal article (graduate level)
  • Research skills
    • with the exception of Professor Donohue’s freshman seminar, all her courses require at least one research project. Course syllabi present subject-specific bibliographies of research materials, and field-specific guidelines for research papers are given to the class.
    • All of Professor Bradbury’s classes taught have had an element of research in terms of carrying out independent research on a specific topic, a particular archaeological site or region.
      For example, students in Professor Bradbury’s senior seminar have been carrying out research about a particular site in the MENA region, exploring how this site has been documented, presented and protected with a view to developing a management plan for the future presentation and protection for this site. In contrast, students in Professor Bradbury’s 200/300 level classes have carried out research projects on their chosen subject-topics ranged from the role of witchcraft in ancient Mesopotamia to the use of monumental architecture and light at Babylon.
    • Students in Professor Bradbury’s 100 level class will be carrying out a research project based on an archaeological artefact from Egypt or the Near East and will present a short written critical analysis on the history of excavations (i.e. where the object was found, who it was found by etc.) and the different interpretations that have been made about this site/artefact.
    • Classes involving independent research projects have involved the preparation of a research bibliography, a research proposal and draft paper and a final research paper. These have involved the consultation and analysis of both primary excavation and survey reports and synthetic volumes.
  • Oral communication skills
    • Most of Professor Donohue’s courses require students to deliver an oral report on the subject of their major paper, as well as to participate in class discussion as appropriate to the nature of the course (seminar-style or lecture courses).
    • Professor Bradbury’s classes offer an understanding of the different ways of effectively presenting and debating research topics and material culture.
    • All of Professor Bradbury’s classes taught have involved some type of oral presentation ranging from the presentation of a selected research topic (upper level classes) to the summary of a weekly reading (100-200 level classes).
  • Critical thinking skills:
    • Students are discouraged from parroting received opinions and are asked instead to evaluate existing interpretations and begin to form their own.
  • Quantitative Ability
    • Not at present but future plans/possibilities.
  • Ability to view problems from multiple perspectives.
    • Professor Bradbury’s classes offer particular focus on the different ways in which to interpret, present and protect heritage and archaeology for both academics and the public.
    • Professor Bradbury’s classes emphasize that all archaeological evidence can be interpreted in multiple ways and multiple perspectives and interpretations are always presented.
    • Professor Bradbury’s classes offer important ongoing debates in archaeology which involve multiple perspectives which we have discussed, including repatriation.
    • A lot of my Professor Bradbury’s work and teaching also engages with how to make archaeological narratives accessible to disenfranchised groups, as well as accessible to countries whose main language is not English.
    • Courses address history of scholarship on subject; research papers deal with the same.
  • Problem-Solving Ability
    • In Professor Bradbury’s classes particularly within data analysis (which will hopefully be developed through classes in the future)-working out why a particular basic query is not working in archaeological databases or in ArcGIS.
    • Students have been exposed to some of this in Professor Bradbury’s classes in terms of using Google Earth.
    • Basic problem solving used when asked to interpret an archaeological plan and stratigraphy.

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