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Unit information: Aspects of the Aegean Bronze Age in 2015/16

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Unit name Aspects of the Aegean Bronze Age
Unit code ARCH25003
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Momigliano
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Anthropology and Archaeology
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit examines in some detail specific aspects of the Aegean Bronze Age. Students will study the archaeology of important sites such as Troy, Knossos, Mycenae, Thera, etc. and will be introduced to important current debates in Aegean archaeology on topics such as state formation, chronology, religion, craft specialisation, burials, etc. The specific aspects (and relevant archaeological evidence) to be examined will vary from year to year, depending on the unit director's current research and on the students' own interests.


  • To introduce students to the development of the discipline of Aegean Prehistory, with special reference to the Aegean Bronze Age and within the broader context of the development of Archaeology.
  • To introduce students to a various historical backgrounds and objectives of different scholars, and their contribution to scholarship.
  • To introduce students to some of the major discoveries concerning the Aegean Bronze Age in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Successful completion of this unit (involving full participation to seminars and several hours of individual reading every week) will allow students to:

1. Identify and accurately describe key issues in the development to Aegean Bronze Age studies

2. Accurately describe a number of Aegean Bronze Age sites and their main finds

3. Assess critically different types of evidence (e.g. archaeological and written evidence and their interpretations

4. Assess critically different theoretical and methodological approaches in the study of the Aegean Bronze Age, and show the ability to view them from a historical perspective

Teaching Information

A mixture of lectures by the Unit Director and student-led seminars, a Museum visit and/or handling or Minoan artefacts from the Bristol University Near Eastern and Mediterranean collections (BUNEM) and individual essay-feedback tutorials, over one teaching block (normally 2 hours per week over 12 weeks).

Assessment Information

Two essays, each of 2500-2750 words (level I/5), of which one should normally be based on an unassessed seminar presentation. Each essay is worth 50% of the total mark.

The essays are summative.

The seminar presentation is formative.

(Assesses ILOs 1-4)

Reading and References

  • Fitton, J.L. (1995) The Discovery of the Greek Bronze Age (London: British Museum Press)
  • McDonald, W.A. and C.G. Thomas (1990) Progress into the Past: The Rediscovery of Mycenaean Civilisation (2nd edition; Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indiana)
  • Cherry, J.F., Margomenou, D. and Talalay, L.E. (2005) Prehistorians Round the Pond: Reflections on Aegean Prehistory as a Discipline. Ann Arbor.
  • Shelmerdine, C. ed. 2008. The Cambridge companion to the Aegean Bronze age . Cambridge: CUP
  • Trigger, B. 2006. A history of Archaeological thought . 2nd edition; Cambridge: CUP.