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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Classical Art/Classical Archaeology

Undergraduate Course: Mediterranean Maritime Archaeology (CACA10029)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course covers the maritime archaeology of the Mediterranean from the Bronze Age through Late Antiquity from shipwrecks to harbours to the people involved in ancient seafaring. The course will be organized both chronologically and thematically.
Course description By studying both marine and terrestrial elements - the broadly conceived 'maritime cultural landscape' of the Mediterranean world - this course aims to broaden students' understanding of the many roles that the Mediterranean Sea played in daily life in antiquity from the Bronze Age through the early Medieval Period. Much of the course will focus around the practicalities of sailing. Who were the ship captains, merchants, and sailors of antiquity? How did they plan their journeys? How long were journeys and how did various factors such as wind patterns and seasonality affect journey length? How did technological aspects of seafaring (from harbours to ship construction) develop over time? In addition to using archaeological and textual evidence, the course will also draw upon ethnographic studies and more recent data on shipping to inform the ancient picture. The course will culminate in a project where students design maritime voyages from beginning to end, detailing port activities, ship design and loading techniques, navigation dangers, and ports of call. This project will combine all the elements of the course into a practical outline of the realities of maritime life in the ancient Mediterranean.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Ancient History 2b: Themes and Theories in Ancient History (ANHI08013) OR Classical Art 2A: The Development of Greek and Roman Art (CACA08009) OR Classical Archaeology 2b: Materials and Methods (CACA08010)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A Pass in 'Ancient History 2b' (ANHI08013) OR in 'Classical Art 2A' (CACA08009) OR in Classical Archaeology 2b (CACA08010) is required (or at the Course Organiser's discretion).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 3 courses in Classics related subject matter (at least 2 of which should be in Classical Archaeology) at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an advanced understanding of the many subfields contained under the broad heading of maritime archaeology;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an awareness of the ethical issues involved in maritime archaeology;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, sound knowledge of the history and development of ancient seafaring in the Mediterranean;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to draw together multiple strands of evidence to produce a coherent picture of maritime life in antiquity;
  5. demonstrate, especially in their class presentation, an ability to conduct personal research related to the course topic and to present this research to the lecturer and their fellow students.
Reading List
Blackman, D. J. 1982a. Ancient harbours in the Mediterranean. Part 1.International Journal of
Nautical Archaeology, 11, 79-104.
Blackman, D. J. 1982. Ancient Harbours in the Mediterranean. Part 2. International Journal of
Nautical Archaeology, 11, 185-211.
Blackman, D. J. 2008. Harbors. In: Oleson, J. P. (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Engineering
and Technology in the Classical World. Oxford, 638-670.
Bowens, A. (ed.) 2009. Underwater Archaeology: The NAS Guide to Principles and Practice.
Casson, L. 1995 (2nd ed.). Ships and Seamanship in the Ancient World. Princeton.
Gould, R. 2000. Archaeology and the Social History of Ships. Cambridge.
Muckelroy, K. 1978. Maritime archaeology. New studies in archaeology. Cambridge
Parker, A. J. 1981. Stratification and contamination in ancient Mediterranean shipwrecks.
International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 10, 309-335.
Parker, A. J. 1990. Classical Antiquity: the maritime dimension. Antiquity, 64, 335-46.
Parker, A. J. 1992. Ancient shipwrecks of the Mediterranean & the Roman provinces. Oxford.
Reed, C. M. 2003. Maritime traders in the ancient Greek world. Cambridge.
Steffy, J.R. 2012 (re-print). Wooden Ship Building and the Interpretation of Shipwrecks. Texas A&M
University Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements In order for a student from outwith Classics to be enrolled on this course, contact must be made with a Course Secretary on 50 3582/3580 in order for approval to be obtained.
KeywordsMediterranean Maritime Archaeology
Course organiserDr Candace Rice
Course secretaryMs Elaine Hutchison
Tel: (0131 6)50 3582
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