Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology (Bryn Mawr)

Department Website:
https://www.brynmawr.edu/archaeology

The Department of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology trains undergraduates and graduate students in the archaeology of the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern worlds. The program is interdisciplinary and encourages students to take advantage of related offerings in Departments of Anthropology, Classics, Geology, History, History of Art, and the Program in the Growth and Structure of Cities.

In collaboration with the Departments of Geology, Biology and Anthropology, a concentration in Geoarchaeology is offered together with coursework and laboratory training in Geographic Information Systems. The Ella Riegel Memorial Collection of over 6,000 artifacts is used in instruction. Students are encouraged to study material for research and to volunteer with the College Collections staff, who manage the collection.

Curriculum

The curriculum of the department focuses on the cultures of the Mediterranean regions and the Near East in antiquity. Courses treat aspects of society and material culture of these civilizations as well as issues of theory, method, and interpretation.

Major Requirements

The major requires a minimum of 10 courses. Core requirements are two 100-level courses distributed between the ancient Near East and Egypt (either ARCH B101 or ARCH B104) and ancient Greece and Rome (ARCH B102), and two semesters of the senior conference (ARCH B398 and ARCH B399). At least two upper-level courses should be distributed between Classical and Near Eastern subjects. Additional requirements are determined in consultation with the major advisor. Additional coursework in allied subjects may be presented for major credit but must be approved in writing by the major advisor; such courses are offered in the Departments of Anthropology, Geology, Greek, Latin and Classical Studies, Growth and Structure of Cities, and History of Art. In consultation with the major advisor, one course taken in study abroad may be accepted for credit in the major after review of the syllabus, work submitted for a grade, and a transcript. Credit will not be given for a course that is ordinarily offered by the department. Students can also take courses at the University of Pennsylvania in consultation with the major advisor.

The writing requirement for the major consists of two one-semester Writing Attentive courses offered within the department.

Each student’s course of study to meet major requirements will be determined in consultation with the undergraduate major advisor in the spring semester of the sophomore year, at which time a written plan will be designed. Students considering majoring in the department are encouraged to take the introductory courses (ARCH B101 or ARCH B104 and ARCH B102) early in their undergraduate career and should also seek advice from departmental faculty. Students who are interested in interdisciplinary concentrations or in study abroad during the junior year are strongly advised to seek assistance in planning their major early in their sophomore year.

Requirements for Honors

Honors are granted on the basis of academic performance as demonstrated by a cumulative average of 3.5 or better in the major.

Minor Requirements

The minor requires six courses. Core requirements are two 100-level courses distributed between the ancient Near East and Egypt and ancient Greece and Rome, in addition to four other courses selected in consultation with the major advisor.

Concentration Requirements

Concentration in Geoarcheology

The geoarchaeology concentration allows students majoring in Anthropology, Archaeology, or Geology to explore the connections among these fields with respect to how our human ancestors interacted with past environments, and how traces of human behavior are preserved in the physical environment. In Geology, the geoarchaeology concentration consists of 13 courses: GEOL B101, GEOL B202, GEOL B203, GEOL B204GEOL B205, GEOL B208GEOL B270, and GEOL B399; two semesters of chemistry; two semesters of math, statistics, or computational methods; either ARCH B101 or ANTH B101; and one 200- or 300-level elective from among current offerings in Anthropology or Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology. Paperwork for the concentration should be filed at the same time as the major work plan. For course planning advice, consult with Don Barber (Geology), Casey Barrier (Anthropology) or Peter Magee (Archaeology).

Independent Research

Majors who wish to undertake independent research, especially for researching and writing a lengthy paper, must arrange with a professor who is willing to advise them, and consult with the major advisor. Such research normally would be conducted by seniors as a unit of supervised work (403), which must be approved by the advising professor before registration. Students planning to do such research should consult with professors in the department in the spring semester of their junior year or no later than the beginning of the fall semester of the senior year.

Annual Field Trip

Since 2015/16 the department has organized an annual field trip for registered majors in good standing in their Junior Year. This voluntary trip involves a city (e.g., Athens or Rome) which features in our teaching program, or a city which contains relevant museums (e.g., London, Paris, Berlin). The airfare and lodging expenses are covered by the Department. Details for the upcoming trip will be made available at the beginning of the Fall Semester. Owing to the ongoing health crisis the Spring trip 2021 may have to be cancelled.

Languages

Majors who contemplate graduate study in Classical fields should incorporate Greek and Latin into their programs. Those who plan graduate work in Near Eastern or Egyptian may take appropriate ancient languages at the University of Pennsylvania, such as Middle Egyptian, Akkadian and Sumerian. Any student considering graduate study in Classical and Near Eastern archaeology should study French and German.

Study Abroad

A semester of study abroad is encouraged if the program is approved by the department. Students are encouraged to consult with faculty, since some programs the department may approve may not yet be listed at the Office of International Programs. Students who seek major credit for courses taken abroad must consult with the major advisor before enrolling in a program. Major credit is given on a case-by-case basis after review of the syllabus, work submitted for a grade, and a transcript. Credit will not be given for more than one course and not for courses that are ordinarily offered by the department.

Fieldwork

The department strongly encourages students to gain fieldwork experience and assists them in getting positions on field projects in North America and overseas. The department is undertaking several field projects in which undergraduates may be invited to participate.

Professor Peter Magee conducts a for-credit field school at Muweilah, al-Hamriya and Tell Abraq in the United Arab Emirates. Undergraduate and graduate students participate in this project, which usually takes place during the winter break. He sends an announcement about how to apply for a position in the fall of each year. Students who participate for credit sign up for a 403 independent study with Professor Magee.

Professor Astrid Lindenlauf is also beginning a new excavation project at the ancient Greek trading post of Naukratis in Egypt, and the opportunities for work there will expand as the project gets under way.

Additional Major Experiences: Fieldwork and Museum Internships

The department strongly encourages students to gain fieldwork experience over the summer and assists them in getting positions on field projects in North America and overseas. The department is undertaking several field projects in Egypt, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates. Further field projects in Greece or the Near East are foreseen for the future. There will be opportunities for advanced undergraduates to participate in these projects.

Museum internships, either during the summer or during the term, also constitute valid major experiences beyond the classroom. The department is awarded annually one fully paid summer internship by the Nicholas P. Goulandris Foundation for students to work for six weeks in the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens, Greece. An announcement inviting applications is normally sent by the department Chair in the spring.

Opportunities to work with the College’s archaeology collections are available throughout the academic year and during the summer. Students wishing to work with the collections should consult Marianne Weldon, Collections Manager for Art and Artifacts.

Funding for Summer Learning Opportunities

The department has two funds that support students for summer internships, summer fieldwork projects, and archaeological summer projects of their own design. One, the Elisabeth Packard Fund for internships in Art History and Archaeology is shared with the Department of the History of Art, while the other is the Anna Lerah Keys Memorial Prize. Any declared major may apply for these funds. An announcement calling for applications is normally sent to majors in the spring, and the awards are made public at the annual college awards ceremony in April. To help cover expenses related to archaeological learning opportunities, which can be expensive, the department encourages majors to consider applying for funding offered by Bryn Mawr College and external funding sources.

Faculty at Bryn Mawr

Jennie Bradbury
Assistant Professor of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology

Alice Donohue
Rhys Carpenter Professor of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology

Astrid Lindenlauf
Associate Professor and Chair of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology

Peter Magee
Professor of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology

Evrydiki Tasopoulou
Visiting Assistant Professor in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology

Courses

ARCH B101  INTRODUCTION TO EGYPTIAN AND NEAR EASTERN ARCHAEOLOGY  (1.0 Credit)

Jennie Bradbury

Division: Humanities
Domain(s): A: Meaning, Interpretation (Texts)

A historical survey of the archaeology and art of the ancient Near East and Egypt.

ARCH B102  INTRODUCTION TO CLASSICAL ARCHAEOLOGY  (1.0 Credit)

Astrid Lindenlauf

Division: Humanities
Domain(s): A: Meaning, Interpretation (Texts)

A historical survey of the archaeology and art of Greece, Etruria, and Rome.

(Offered: Spring 2021)

ARCH B104  ARCHAEOLOGY OF AGRICULTURAL AND URBAN REVOLUTIONS  (1.0 Credit)

Jennie Bradbury, Staff

Division: Humanities
Domain(s): A: Meaning, Interpretation (Texts)

This course examines the archaeology of the two most fundamental changes that have occurred in human society in the last 12,000 years, agriculture and urbanism, and we explore these in Egypt and the Near East as far as India. We also explore those societies that did not experience these changes.

(Offered: Fall 2020)

ARCH B110  THE WORLD THROUGH CLASSICAL EYES  (1.0 Credit)

Alice Donohue

Division: Humanities

A survey of the ways in which the ancient Greeks and Romans perceived and constructed their physical and social world. The evidence of ancient texts and monuments will form the basis for exploring such subjects as cosmology, geography, travel and commerce, ancient ethnography and anthropology, the idea of natural and artificial wonders, and the self-definition of the classical cultures in the context of the oikoumene, the “inhabited world.”

(Offered: Spring 2021)

ARCH B135  FOCUS: ARCHAEOLOGICAL FIELDWORK AND METHODS  (0.5 Credit)

Astrid Lindenlauf

Division: Humanities
Domain(s): A: Meaning, Interpretation (Texts)

The fundamentals of the practice of archaeology through readings and case studies and participatory demonstrations. Case studies will be drawn from the archives of the Nemea Valley Archaeological Project and material in the College's collections. Each week there will be a 1-hour laboratory that will introduce students to a variety of fieldwork methods and forms of analysis. This is a half semester Focus course.

ARCH B203  ANCIENT GREEK CITIES AND SANCTUARIES  (1.0 Credit)

Evrydiki Tasopoulou

Division: Humanities

A study of the development of the Greek city-states and sanctuaries. Archaeological evidence is surveyed in its historic context. The political formation of the city-state and the role of religion is presented, and the political, economic, and religious institutions of the city-states are explored in their urban settings. The city-state is considered as a particular political economy of the Mediterranean and in comparison to the utility of the concept of city-state in other cultures.

(Offered: Fall 2020)

ARCH B206  HELLENISTIC AND ROMAN SCULPTURE  (1.0 Credit)

Alice Donohue

Division: Humanities
Domain(s): A: Meaning, Interpretation (Texts)

This course surveys the sculpture produced from the fourth century B.C.E. to the fourth century C.E., the period, beginning with the death of Alexander the Great, that saw the transformation of the classical world through the rise of Rome and the establishment and expansion of the Roman Empire. Style, iconography, and production will be studied in the contexts of the culture of the Hellenistic kingdoms, the Roman appropriation of Greek culture, the role of art in Roman society, and the significance of Hellenistic and Roman sculpture in the post-antique classical tradition.

ARCH B208  ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN HISTORY  (1.0 Credit)

Jennie Bradbury

This course will explore some of the key historical figures, events and inventions that shaped Ancient Near Eastern societies and traditions. We will consider the impact that the modern disciplines of ancient near eastern archaeology and history have had on our understanding of this region. We will also discuss how the ancient history and more recent colonial past of this region has impacted upon and shaped our modern interpretations of this region.

ARCH B215  CLASSICAL ART  (1.0 Credit)

Alice Donohue

Division: Humanities

A survey of the visual arts of ancient Greece and Rome from the Bronze Age through Late Imperial times (circa 3000 B.C.E. to 300 C.E.). Major categories of artistic production are examined in historical and social context, including interactions with neighboring areas and cultures; methodological and interpretive issues are highlighted.

(Offered: Fall 2020)

ARCH B219  ART AND ARCHAEOLOGY OF LATE ANTIQUITY  (1.0 Credit)

This class examines the art and archaeology of the late-antique Mediterranean, tracing various iterations of artistic and architectural experimentation as well as socio-political expression from the Late Roman world of the Tetrarchs (3rd century CE) to the first Islamic Dynasty, the Umayyads (7th century CE). We will explore how the vitality of classical styles and pagan beliefs mixed with the creative energies of other “indigenous” traditions - Egyptian, Arabic, Jewish, Gallic, etc., as well as those of the new church, so as to better understand the cultural plurality and vigor of this period formally considered a “Dark Age.”

ARCH B222  ALEXANDER THE GREAT  (1.0 Credit)

Evrydiki Tasopoulou

Division: Humanities

This course examines the life, personality, career, and military achievements of Alexander the Great, as well as the extraordinary reception of his legacy in antiquity and through modern times. It uses historical, archaeological and art-historical evidence to reconstruct a comprehensive picture of Alexander’s cultural background and examines the real and imaginary features of his life and afterlife as they developed in the Hellenistic and Roman worlds, Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and succeeding periods in both Europe and Asia. Special attention is also placed on the appeal that Alexander’s life and achievements have generated and continue to retain in modern popular visual culture as evidenced from documentary films and motion pictures.

(Offered: Fall 2020)

ARCH B224  WOMEN IN THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST  (1.0 Credit)

Evrydiki Tasopoulou

Division: Humanities

A survey of the social position of women in the ancient Near East, from sedentary villages to empires of the first millennium B.C.E. Topics include critiques of traditional concepts of gender in archaeology and theories of matriarchy. Case studies illustrate the historicity of gender concepts: women’s work in early village societies; the meanings of Neolithic female figurines; the representation of gender in the Gilgamesh epic; the institution of the “Tawananna” (queen) in the Hittite empire; the indirect power of women such as Semiramis in the Neo-Assyrian palaces. Reliefs, statues, texts and more indirect archaeological evidence are the basis for discussion.

(Offered: Spring 2021)

ARCH B225  THE ART AND ACHAEOLOGY OF GRECO-ROMAN EGYPT  (1.0 Credit)

Staff

This course examines the art and archaeology of Greco-Roman Egypt from the conquests of Alexander the Great in the 4th century BCE to the Late Roman Era, ca. 4th century CE.

ARCH B226  ARCHAEOLOGY OF ANATOLIA  (1.0 Credit)

Evrydiki Tasopoulou

Division: Humanities

One of the cradles of civilization, Anatolia witnessed the rise and fall of many cultures and states throughout its ancient history. This course approaches the ancient material remains of pre-classical Anatolia from the perspective of Near Eastern archaeology, examining the art, artifacts, architecture, cities, and settlements of this land from the Neolithic through the Lydian periods. Some emphasis will be on the Late Bronze Age and the Iron Age, especially phases of Hittite and Assyrian imperialism, Late Hittite states, Phrygia, and the Urartu.

(Offered: Fall 2020)

ARCH B227  THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF SYRIA  (1.0 Credit)

Jennie Bradbury

Home to a wealth of archaeological sites and cultures, Syria is perhaps now more widely known for its almost decade long conflict that has seen the displacement of millions of people and the damage to and destruction of hundreds of archaeological sites. The loss of cultural heritage is just one, very small, part of the human tragedies that have unfolded in Syria. Knowledge of the deep and recent past of this region, however, is integral for understanding its present, and its future. This course will explore human settlement and interaction within Syria over the longue durée. Using a selection of key sites, inhabited for thousands of years, we will explore several major themes including, the archaeology of inequality, the role of urban life and the importance of ritual and religion. The course will also consider the complex relationships that have always existed between Syria and its neighboring countries. Finally, we will turn to the role of archaeology, its future and potential within a post-conflict Syria.

(Offered: Fall 2020)

ARCH B240  ARCHAEOLOGY AND HISTORY OF ANCIENT MESOPOTAMIA  (1.0 Credit)

Jennie Bradbury

Division: Humanities
Domain(s): A: Meaning, Interpretation (Texts)

A survey of the material culture of ancient Mesopotamia, modern Iraq, from the earliest phases of state formation (circa 3500 B.C.E.) through the Achaemenid Persian occupation of the Near East (circa 331 B.C.E.). Emphasis will be on art, artifacts, monuments, religion, kingship, and the cuneiform tradition. The survival of the cultural legacy of Mesopotamia into later ancient and Islamic traditions will also be addressed.

ARCH B244  GREAT EMPIRES OF THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST  (1.0 Credit)

Division: Humanities

A survey of the history, material culture, political and religious ideologies of, and interactions among, the five great empires of the ancient Near East of the second and first millennia B.C.E.: New Kingdom Egypt, the Hittite Empire in Anatolia, the Assyrian and Babylonian Empires in Mesopotamia, and the Persian Empire in Iran.

ARCH B252  POMPEII  (1.0 Credit)

Evrydiki Tasopoulou

Division: Humanities

Introduces students to a nearly intact archaeological site whose destruction by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 C.E. was recorded by contemporaries. The discovery of Pompeii in the mid-1700s had an enormous impact on 18th- and 19th-century views of the Roman past as well as styles and preferences of the modern era. Informs students in classical antiquity, urban life, city structure, residential architecture, home decoration and furnishing, wall painting, minor arts and craft and mercantile activities within a Roman city.

ARCH B263  ROMAN ARCHAEOLOGY: LIFE IN THE CITY  (1.0 Credit)

Evrydiki Tasopoulou

Division: Humanities
Domain(s): A: Meaning, Interpretation (Texts)

This course explores the art and architecture of ancient Rome from the Republic through the Empire. By focusing on specific topics, such as residences, markets, religious life, death and entertainment, and by surveying a rich variety of available evidence that spans from architectural remains, inscriptions and monuments to paintings, architectural sculpture and mosaics, the course highlights the importance of art historical and archaeological inquiry for our understanding of urban life and experience in one of the greatest cities of the ancient world.

ARCH B303  CLASSICAL BODIES  (1.0 Credit)

Alice Donohue

Division: Humanities
Domain(s): A: Meaning, Interpretation (Texts)

An examination of the conceptions of the human body evidenced in Greek and Roman art and literature, with emphasis on issues that have persisted in the Western tradition. Topics include the fashioning of concepts of male and female standards of beauty and their implications; conventions of visual representation; the nude; clothing and its symbolism; the athletic ideal; physiognomy; medical theory and practice; the visible expression of character and emotions; and the formulation of the “classical ideal” in antiquity and later times.

ARCH B305  TOPICS IN ANCIENT ATHENS  (1.0 Credit)

Astrid Lindenlauf

Division: Humanities
Domain(s): A: Meaning, Interpretation (Texts)

This is a topics course. Course content varies.

(Offered: Fall 2020)

ARCH B306  MONUMENTAL PAINTING  (1.0 Credit)

Evrydiki Tasopoulou

Division: Humanities

The Mediterranean tradition of large-scale painting begins in prehistoric times and continues through Late Antiquity and beyond. Important examples survive on the walls of houses, tombs and other structures at sites in the Bronze Age Aegean, in Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic Anatolia, Macedonia, Magna Graecia, and Etruria, Rome and the famous sites of Pompeii and Hercul- aneum preserved by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Technical, artistic, cultural and interpretive issues will be considered.

ARCH B312  BRONZE AGE INTERNATIONALISM  (1.0 Credit)

Jennie Bradbury

Division: Humanities

This course explores the rise and fall of the first international age in the eastern mediterranean. We will focus on the cultural and diplomatic connections between Egypt, Syria, Anatolia and the Aegean during the Bronze Age, c. 2000-1200BCE.. Prerequisites: ARCH B101 or B104 or B216 or B226 or B230 or B240 or B244.

ARCH B316  TRADE AND TRANSPORT IN THE ANCIENT WORLD  (1.0 Credit)

Peter Magee

Division: Humanities
Domain(s): A: Meaning, Interpretation (Texts)

Issues of trade, commerce and production of export goods are addressed with regard to the Bronze Age and Iron Age cultures of Mesopotamia, Arabia, Iran and south Asia. Crucial to these systems is the development of means of transport via maritime routes and on land. Archaeological evidence for traded goods and shipwrecks is used to map the emergence of sea-faring across the Indian Ocean and Gulf while bio-archaeological data is employed to examine the transformative role that Bactrian and Dromedary camels played in ancient trade and transport.

ARCH B317  CULTURAL HERITAGE AND ENDANGERED ARCHAEOLOGY  (1.0 Credit)

Jennie Bradbury

This course will examine how and why archaeological sites are ‘endangered’. Primarily focusing on the Near East and North Africa (the MENA region), we will examine the different types of archaeological and heritage sites found across this broad region, and some of the threats and disturbances affecting them. We will consider how different interest groups and stakeholders view, value and present historical and archaeological sites to the general public, as well as the success of modern initiatives and projects to safeguard the heritage of the MENA region. Our research will consider the ethics of cultural preservation, as well as the issues and problems encountered by heritage specialists working in areas of modern conflict. Whilst not all damage can be prevented, the course will consider how different threats and disturbances might be mitigated. Prerequisite: Upper level 300-level course. Students should have completed at least two 100 level/200 level courses in either classical or near eastern archaeology.

(Offered: Fall 2020)

ARCH B322  THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE: COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES  (1.0 Credit)

Staff

Division: Humanities
Domain(s): A: Meaning, Interpretation (Texts)

An examination of the growth of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire at its height, from its acquisitions of the Hellenistic kingdoms (second and first centuries, B.C.E.) to its domination of Europe, North Africa and the Near East.

ARCH B333  NOMADS AND ARCHAEOLOGY  (1.0 Credit)

Jennie Bradbury

Division: Humanities

This course will explore the historical importance of mobile groups in regions such as the Ancient Near East and some of the archaeological traces they may leave behind. Using ethnographic, anthropological and archaeological literature we will discuss the different ways in which mobile populations have been conceptualized, portrayed and treated by non-mobile societies and the relationship between these different groups. The course will also consider how new technologies and archaeological methods might enable us to fill in some of the gaps in our understanding and how we might be able to place mobile populations at the center, rather than at the periphery, of our archaeological narratives.

ARCH B355  THE ACHAEMENID EMPIRE  (1.0 Credit)

Evrydiki Tasopoulou

Division: Humanities

This course explores the art, history, and archaeology of the Achaemenid Empire. Between 550 and 330 B.C., the Achaemenid kings of Iran controlled the largest and greatest empire the world has seen up until that time. By studying the art, architecture, politics, religion, burial customs, administration, economy, and warfare of Achaemenid Persia, the course offers a unique insight into the wealth, splendor, and diversity of one of the most powerful empires of the ancient Near East. Because the Achaemenid Empire exerted great influence on the ancient Mediterranean world, the contacts and conflict between ancient Greece and Persia will be also examined, from an ancient Greek perspective, in order to understand how this perspective contributed to the misapprehension of the Achaemenid Empire in modern Western thought.

(Offered: Spring 2021)

ARCH B359  TOPICS IN CLASSICAL ART AND ARCHAEOLOGY  (1.0 Credit)

Alice Donohue

Division: Humanities

This is a topics course. Topics vary. A research-oriented course taught in seminar format, treating issues of current interest in Greek and Roman art and archaeology. 200-level coursework in some aspect of classical or related cultures, archeology, art history, or Cities, or related fields is strongly recommended.

(Offered: Spring 2021)

ARCH B398  SENIOR SEMINAR  (1.0 Credit)

Alice Donohue

Division: Humanities

A weekly seminar on topics to be determined with assigned readings and oral and written reports.

(Offered: Fall 2020)

ARCH B399  SENIOR SEMINAR  (1.0 Credit)

Jennie Bradbury

Division: Humanities

A weekly seminar on common topics with assigned readings and oral and written reports.

(Offered: Spring 2021)

ARCH B403  SUPERVISED WORK  (1.0 Credit)

Alice Donohue, Astrid Lindenlauf, Evrydiki Tasopoulou, Jennie Bradbury

Division: Humanities

Supervised Work

(Offered: Fall 2020, Spring 2021)

ARCH B425  PRAXIS III: INDEPENDENT STUDY  (1.0 Credit)

Jennie Bradbury