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Unit information: Maritime Cultures in 2015/16

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Unit name Maritime Cultures
Unit code ARCHM0062
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Mark Horton
Open unit status Not open




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

Description including Unit Aims

This unit provides a maritime perspective on the development of human cultures, through the study of their boats and ships, maritime technology and material culture. While global in scope, particular sessions will be devoted to prehistoric maritime cultures in north west Europe, Bronze and Iron Age Mediterranean, early medieval Europe and the maritime cultures of the Atlantic world and the Indian Ocean.


Students will develop a perspective on the importance of the sea as a form of communication, linking cultures, developing trade and commerce and long distance communications.

They will understand the relationships between world cultures and maritime technology.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate a detailed knowledge of maritime and boat building technologies, including the major institutional and economic shifts in maritime activity in the past.

They will develop skills in recording historic vessels and develop a familiarity with nautical terminology.

Teaching Information

20 two hour lectures (including fieldtrips).

Assessment Information

3,000 word essay (75%) and presentation (25%).

Reading and References

  • McGrail, S. 2004. Boats of the World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Unger, R. W. 1999. Cogs Caravels and Galleons: The Sailing Sip 1000-1650. Edison, New Jersey: Chartwell Books.