Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2018-2019 (archived)


Department: Archaeology


Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2018/19 Module Cap Location Durham


  • Archaeology in Britain (ARCH1071), Ancient Civilisations of the East (ARCH1111), Cities in Antiquity (ARCH1131), Medieval to Modern (ARCH1141) or Ancient Civilisations: Sources, Approaches and Methods (ARCH1XXX).


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To enable students to gain a broad overview of the archaeology of the Mediterranean from 750 BC – AD 700.
  • To develop knowledge and to practice evaluative skills through essays and seminar presentations and to test these skills by essay and written examination.


  • The module studies the forms and meanings of the Greek and Roman world and its traditions. It is a core module for students following the degree in Archaeology and Ancient Civilisations.
  • The module focuses in particular on the processes of Greek colonization of the western Mediterranean and the Greek influence in the eastern Mediterranean.
  • The module will enable students to gain a broader understanding of the processes of expansion of Roman power and to compare and contrast with the Greek world.
  • The modules will help students to develop different ways of looking at “Romanization” and to be able to compare how different cultures (eastern and western) reacted to the Roman presence
  • The module adopts both a chronological and a thematic approach, considering urban and rural settlements types and forms in different parts of the Mediterranean and beyond. .
  • The module enables students to make an independent visual and historical analysis with the aim of judging and understanding archaeological evidence for the ancient world.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • A knowledge of cities and rural settlement types in the East and West Mediterranean on a general level, based on an acquaintance with specific case studies through seminar presentations and discussions.
  • Understanding of the principal framework of scholarly debate relating to the Ancient Civilisations of the Mediterranean.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • An ability to handle a range of methodologies appropriate for a high-level understanding of different aspects of the history of urbanism, landscape archaeology and architecture.
  • Capacity to look at towns, rural settlements and buildings in different parts of the world, to explore their meaning and to critically evaluate these interpretations.
  • An ability to outline ideas in written form according to academic conventions and to engage in discussion and debate on individual examples.
  • The skills needed to analyse, evaluate, and synthesise a wide range of evidence and the capability to select specific methods of research to apply to diverse aspects of the discipline.
  • An awareness of the ethical issues arising from the study of those aspects of archaeology relevant to the module.
Key Skills:
  • Accessing library and internet resources.
  • The skill to uphold and discuss critically an argument in written form.
  • The ability to work in group and to engage in teamwork.
  • The ability to develop a research project identifying themes of research and to engage in a bibliographical research at an academic level.
  • The ability to develop self-discipline and to organize work in order to meet deadlines.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module will be taught through a combination of lectures and seminars. The latter will include student group presentations and discussions on topics selected by the lecturers.
  • Lectures will ensure the effective communication of key information and theories.
  • Seminar presentations will help students to study in more detail some specific aspect of the topic and to work in a team.
  • Writing essays (one formative and one summative) enables students to demonstrate the ability to elaborate on concepts, ideas and arguments developed during the module.
  • The short answer question section of the exam will test students’ breath of knowledge of the material, whilst the unseen essay will test their ability to evaluate current ideas and debates.
  • Research is embedded into the teaching of this module through the expertise of the lecturers and tutors. The examples and topics chosen within the curriculum will derive from the specialist research interests of the staff teaching the module. The module also enables students to explore how archaeologists produce evidence about the past, develop theories to explain it, and how archaeological evidence may subsequently be reinterpreted.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 1 per week 1 hour 20
Seminars with Presentations 8 4 per term 1 hour 8
Preparation for Formative Tasks 20
General Preparation and Background Reading 152
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
examination 2 hours 100% Yes
Component: Summative Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
summative essay 3,000 words 100% No

Formative Assessment:

Single or Group seminar presentations. Preparation of an essay summarizing the evidence for a particular topic and the main interpretative/theoretical issues (approx. 1500 words) submitted in the Michaelmas term.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University