Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Bronze Age Civilisations of the Near East and Greece (PGHC11239)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course examines the interaction of state-level, palace-based Eastern Mediterranean societies during the Late Bronze Age by looking at diplomatic correspondence, the distribution of goods, the sharing of concepts and ideas or the diffusion of novel technologies. The background, nature and effects of this interaction are considered for a number of states between Egypt and the Aegean, as well as the reasons behind the eventual collapse of this system.
Course description This course examines the motivation and practicalities behind the intensive interaction between state-level societies in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Late Bronze Age. Geographically, the focus will range from Egypt, the Levant, Anatolia to the mainland Aegean and Crete. The course considers the different manifestations of palace-centred urban societies in this area which developed along different trajectories and with various degrees of contact among each other. By the Late Bronze Age (ca. 1400-1200 BC), in all of these societies, access to exotic information, goods, iconography and sometimes even human beings and their skills played an important role in establishment and legitimation of social elites.
The evidence considered stems primarily from the excavation of settlement sites and ship wrecks, monumental artwork, iconography, distribution of artefacts and textual sources such as diplomatic correspondence. Questions and debates about state formation, economical organisation, modes of interaction and trade, and different forms of governance, ideology and religion are of particular importance, as well as the influence of technological innovations and geographical factors.
This course is meant to be of interest for students who wish to learn more about early Near Eastern and Mediterranean civilisations, the development and interaction of urban, state-level societies in the Old World, and their material and textual legacy. Weekly topics include: Politics and policy in the exploration of the Eastern Mediterranean; problems at the interface between textual information and the archaeological record, diplomacy and trade in the Ancient Near East, Egypt and the Amarna Letters, Minoan-style frescoes in the Eastern Mediterranean, the archaeology of the Levantine city-states, the palatial period on Minoan Crete, the Greek mainland, Western Anatolia between Mycenaean and Hittite interests, the Hittite Empire, and the collapse of the Late Bronze Age palace societies
The course consists of weekly two-hour class meetings with lectures, presentations and group discussions. There will also be a series of one-hour meetings focussing on specific readings aimed to highlight important disputes, concepts or problems in Eastern Mediterranean studies.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Bronze Age Civilisations of the Near East and Greece (ARCA10047)
Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 33, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 163 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
1,500 word Short Essay (20%)
3,500 word Essay (80%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a detailed and critical command of the body of knowledge concerning the subject matter of the course
  2. Analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship concerning the early history of the Eastern Mediterranean and its place in the wider context of Old World archaeology
  3. Understand and apply research skills to the investigation of the material covered in the course
  4. Demonstrate the ability to develop and sustain original scholarly arguments in oral and written form by independently formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence
  5. Demonstrate originality and independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers
Reading List
Bachhuber, C. 2006. Aegean interest in the Uluburun ship. American Journal of Archaeology 110: 345-363.

Barrett, C.E. 2009. The Perceived Value of Minoan and Minoanizing Pottery in Egypt, Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 22.2, 211-234.

Broodbank, C. 2013. The making of the Middle Sea. A history of the Mediterranean from the beginning to the emergence of the classical world. London: Thames & Hudson.

Colburn, C. S. 2008. Exotica and the Early Minoan Elite: Eastern Imports in Prepalatial Crete, American Journal of Archaeology 112.2, 203-224.

Feldman, M. H. 2006. Diplomacy by design: luxury arts and an "international style" in the ancient Near East, 1400-1200 BCE. Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press.

Liverani, M. 1979. ''Irrational" Elements in the Amarna Trade. In: Three Amarna Essays. Monographs on the Ancient Near East I.5: 21-33. Malibu: Undena.

Liverani, M. 2001. International relations in the ancient Near East, 1600-1100 BC. Basingstoke & New York: Palgrave.

Liverani, M. 2013. The Ancient Near East. History, Society and Economy. London & New York: Routledge.

Parkinson, W. A. & M.L. Galaty 2007. Secondary states in perspective: An integrated approach to state formation in the prehistoric Aegean. American Anthropologist 109.1: 113-129.

Potts, D.T. (ed.) 2012. A companion to the archaeology of the ancient Near East Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

Van De Mieroop, M. 2007. The eastern Mediterranean in the age of Ramesses II. Oxford: Blackwell.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Timetable is arranged annually.
KeywordsBronze Age
Course organiserDr Ulf-Dietrich Schoop
Tel: (0131 6)50 2503
Course secretaryMiss Claire Brown
Tel: (0131 6)50 3582
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information