ARA8293 : From Palaces to City States: Structure, Mobility and Change in Late Bronze Age and Iron Age Greece

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module aims:
•       To provide students with an advanced understanding of the social, cultural and economic developments in the Greek world between 1300BC and 600BC.
•       To provide students with a detailed knowledge of some of the key archaeological sites and elements of material culture from the period.
•       To provide students with sophisticated understanding of the key current approaches and debates in the scholarship.
•       To stimulate students to critically engage with current approaches and debates.
•       To encourage students to frame their own questions regarding the period.

Outline Of Syllabus

The period covered by this module witnesses radical changes in the Greek world. At the beginning, Greece was dominated by palace-states that were interconnected in a complex network of relationships with urban societies elsewhere in the eastern Mediterranean: Egypt, the Hittite empire, the Canaanite city states and Cyprus. The module starts by exploring this ‘first international age.’ This era came to an end with a crisis that witnessed both the disappearance of palace-cities and the introduction of new technologies and new ways of living. New forms of society emerged as did new networks entangling Greece with the rest of the world. By the end of the period a new form of urbanism had emerged and Greek material culture had spread to every coastline of the Mediterranean and beyond. In this module we will explore these extraordinary changes and the debates archaeologists are having in trying to understand them.

The module will consist of 2 hour sessions. Each of which will consist of a lecture followed by student presentations on key sites, objects or debates, and seminar discussions on set readings.

One-on-one tuition meetings will guide students in framing and approaching an assessed essay question.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion931:0093:00Essay and presentation research and preparation
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading751:0075:00Weekly reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00Hybrid seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching24:008:00One on one tutorials (based on 8 students)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching12:002:00Workshop for student presentations and feedback
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Hybrid seminars will consist of material introduced by the teacher and case-studies introduced by the students, which will serve as the basis for discussion over a single two-hour session. Reading will be assigned in advance on the case studies and informing the discussion. The aim is to create a cooperative learning environment in which students take an active role in developing research skills and in supporting each other’s development, while being guided by staff expertise and experience.

One on one tutorials provide structured support for the students’ development as autonomous researchers.

A workshop of student presentations and feedback directly supports the assessment component of the module, whilst developing the students’ oral presentation, peer assessment and reflexion skills.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research paper2A1004,000 words (excluding bibliography) on a topic agreed with the module leader
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation2M10 minute student presentation on topic of the research essay, with 5 minutes discussion time
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The written research-essay, due after the close of teaching for the semester, builds on the knowledge and skills content that the students engage with in the course of the module. Student will be asked to devise a research question on the basis of the material and themes covered during small-group teaching. Tutorials will give guidance in this structured step into autonomy. Students will present their plans for this research essay and a sample of the proposed content during a workshop session. This will allow them to obtain both staff- and peer- feedback. It will also ensure that the aims of the assessment are fully clarified. This research essay builds on the knowledge outcomes of module through the deployment of the skills outcomes.

Reading Lists