Ancient history and archaeology provide differing narratives and perspectives for our understanding of the ancient Mediterranean world, a world which can be understood to extend in its broadest sense from northern coasts of Britain to the boundaries of Iran, and to last from the emergence of farming and growth of complex societies in Western Asia to the rise of Islam and the emergence of the Celtic church. The rich literary and historical tradition which survives from antiquity presents a complex but often fragmentary narrative of human endeavour, sometimes biased towards major events and great men. By contrast archaeology studies the human past through an understanding of material culture and physical remains, by default the discipline needs to be multi – or interdisciplinary, utilising a wide range of methodologies. The programme expects students to negotiate within these differing strands of evidence, both textual and material, and offers them the opportunity to become familiar with these diverse sources and to recognize how they may contribute to a fuller understanding of ancient societies and cultures.
Students will be expected to:
- work independently, to organise and synthesise data derived from a range of sources, to critically assess evidence and evaluate a variety of competing or conflicting factors, to review differing theoretical perspectives, to develop and organise their arguments, and to present a coherent, reasoned and well supported set of conclusions.
- make effective use of a wide range information sources and data.
- present arguments and results in written form, in clear and correct English.
- present information and arguments orally with clarity and confidence.
- manage their time effectively.
- show their ability to use information technology.
- demonstrate an ability to use, evaluate and criticise literary and documentary source materials, and recognise the importance of quantitative, spatial and visual evidence where relevant to their work.
- appreciate the material basis of archaeology, the contested nature of objects, the social relationships that are spun around them and the people who use and interpret them
- employ appropriate participative team skills and team leadership skills.