May 20, 2024  
2020-2021 Catalogue 
2020-2021 Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

ARCH 21908 - Archaeology of Ancient Near East

Course Credit: 1
Maximum Credit: 0
Archaeology of Ancient Near East In this course we will examine the history and prehistory of the ancient Near East-Egypt, Levant, Mesopotamia-using anthropology, archaeology, and history. Our goal is to become familiarized with the archaeological evidence to explore major anthropological issues in Near Eastern prehistory and history. In doing so, we will investigate and reconstruct ancient economic, social, and political systems. We will also examine established archaeological canon and will incorporate more recent studies that will shed light on the shortcomings of the canon. The course follows a basic chronological sequence-from the arrivals of the first humans to the Arab conquest of Persia in 651 CE. We will focus on significant developments in this period, emphasizing a) the environmental and cultural reasons behind the origins of agriculture; b) the spread and evolution of Neolithic societies; c) the rise of social complexity and the “urban revolution;” and d) the political, environmental, linguistic, and religious factors that engendered cultural diversity across the Near East. We will examine these developments through archaeological remains, specifically through an examination of key sites. In the historic period, we will also incorporate appropriate evidence from ancient cuneiforms, hieroglyphics and historical accounts. Prerequisite(s): Prerequisite of a minimum of two courses in the major or permission of the instructor. [AH, C, HSS]