Institute of Archaeology

Ancient Italy in the Mediterranean

The course offers a detailed knowledge of the archaeology of the Italic peninsula from the early Iron Age (c. 1000 BC) to the Roman period (c. 2 nd century BC), and of the different approaches to the subject area from funerary archaeology, to settlement and landscape archaeology, art history and cultural history. The lectures are organized thematically (death, social and economic landscapes, trade, urbanism and political change, religion and ritual), but are also chronologically progressive: this design is to allow students to examine themes diachronically and have, at the same time, a sense of the sequence of chronological phases. Last but not least, the course strongly encourages students to examine Italy within its own Mediterranean context.

The course will begin with an introduction to the study region and the history of scholarship. Other key topics will be:

  • Archaic trade and mobility;
  • the archaeology of death;
  • the archaeology of urbanisation from the Iron Age to the Hellenistic period;
  • landscape and settlement organization;
  • cultural relations with the Greek world through visual culture and myth;
  • religion and the archaeology of cult; the 5th century in Italy;
  • the Hellenistic age and relations with Rome.

Aims amd Objectives of the course

  • to provide an advanced knowledge in the art and archaeology of Italy from the early Iron Age to the Roman period
  • to instruct students in critical analysis of current research on the study region (problems, method and theory, quality of data)
  • to engage students with the material and resources related to the study region that are housed in the British Museum
  • to stimulate original research on related topics

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course the student should be able to demonstrate:

  • a detailed knowledge of the material and visual culture of Italy and of the major trends of research in the study region
  • an ability to evaluate critically research problems, analytical methods and theories in current research of the study region.

Teaching Methods

The course will consist of ten by 2-hour sessions, each session consisting of 1-hour lecture and 1-hour seminar. Lectures will consist of a power point presentation. Seminars will be discussion-based although it will be expected that students will make a short presentation from the required seminar reading in order to stimulate discussion (presentations will not be assessed). Some seminars will take place in the British Museum where students will make presentation of the material in the museum.

Course information

  • Code: ARCLG203
  • Credits: 15
  • Coordinator: Corinna Riva
  • Prerequisite: This course does not have a prerequisite.
  • Handbook: open»

For registered students


  • Running in 2017-18

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