Postgraduate Course: Archaeology of Late Antique Religion (PGHC11499)
|School||School of History, Classics and Archaeology
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||The arrival of the monotheistic religions (especially Christianity and Islam) thoroughly transformed the urban and rural landscapes of the Mediterranean world, replacing past places of worship and building new memories and associations. Drawing on landscape, text and material culture (art, architecture and objects), this thematic course explores the material manifestations of late antique belief systems.
Religion permeated all aspects of life in the ancient world from quotidian activities carried out in private residences to large scale festivals using whole cities as their backdrop. The arrival of the monotheistic religions (especially Christianity and Islam) thoroughly transformed the urban and rural landscapes of the Mediterranean world, replacing past places of worship and building new memories and associations. Drawing on landscape, text and material culture (art, architecture and objects), this thematic course explores the material manifestations of late antique belief systems. We start by interrogating the archaeological sources, assessing their potential and limitations. From here, the course explores the many different ways in which religious beliefs are manifested addressing individual monuments, cities of God, monasticism, pilgrimage, baptism, burial, art and the economies of religious institutions.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2019/20, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Coursework comprising a 4,000-5,000-word essay (80%)
Presentation in class (20%)
||Students are expected to discuss their coursework with the Course Organiser at least once prior to submission, and are encouraged to do so more often. Meetings can take place with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment. Students will also receive feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- demonstrate, in their essays and in seminar participation, a sound knowledge of the material culture of late antique religions in the Mediterranean world.
- demonstrate, in their essays and in seminar participation, the ability to critically engage with different forms of historical evidence (material culture and texts).
- demonstrate, in their essays and in seminar participation, the ability to interpret and evaluate archaeological publications.
- demonstrate, in their essays and in seminar participation, an awareness of Christianity and Islam as systems of belief and practice.
- demonstrate, in their essays and in seminar participation, bibliographical research skills and to be able to independently find additional information on topics related to the archaeology of late antique religions
|Brooks-Hedstrom, D.L. 2017. The monastic landscape of late antique Egypt: an archaeological reconstruction. Cambridge.|
Elsner, J. and Rutherford, I. 2007. Pilgrimage in Graeco-Roman and Early Christian Antiquity: seeing the Gods. Oxford.
Flood, F.B. and Necipoglu, G. (eds.) 2017. A Companion to Islamic Art and Architecture. Hoboken, NJ.
Gwynn, D.M., Bangert, S. and Lavan, L. (eds.) 2010. Religious diversity in late antiquity. Leiden and Boston.
Insoll, T. 2004. Archaeology, ritual, religion. London.
Kristensen, T.M. 2013. Making and breaking the Gods: Christian responses to pagan sculpture in Late Antiquity. Aarhus.
Nilsson Stutz, L. and Tarlow, S. 2013. The Oxford handbook of the archaeology of death and burial. Oxford
Wesler, K.W. 2012. An archaeology of religion. Lanham, Maryland.
Wheatley, P. 2001. The places where men pray together: cities in Islamic lands, seventh through the tenth centuries. Chicago, London.
Yasin, A.-M. 2009. Saints and church spaces in the late antique Mediterranean: architecture, cult, and community. Cambridge.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Dr Louise Blanke
Tel: (0131 6)50 2368
|Course secretary||Mrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948