MA in Mediterranean Archaeology
Co-ordinator: Corinna Riva
Major Contributor: Borja Legarra Herrero
The Mediterranean, the world’s largest inland sea and a junction point of Europe, Africa and western Asia, is one of the major crucibles of cultural, economic and political change in world history, a focus of scholarship for all periods between the Palaeolithic and the present, and a place where the past plays a critical role in the present, as well as in the creation of a viable future. This new degree aims to be the leading programme of its kind in the UK and more widely. It draws on the UCL Institute of Archaeology’s unique breadth and depth of research and teaching expertise in this field, as well as the library- and museum-based resources of UCL and London in general. Its investigative framework takes the Mediterranean as a whole, from earliest times until Rome (with selective extension into later periods), with a focus from the spread of farming until the formation of the Classical world. Its framework is explicitly holistic and interpretative, offering an advanced understanding of Mediterranean archaeology in the broadest of senses, and investigating how the Mediterranean’s traditionally-defined sub-regions fitted into and in turn shaped this wider picture. It systematically compares and contrasts places and periods in order to generate fresh perspectives on critical issues of social, economic and cultural change.
The core course ‘Mediterranean Dynamics’ is strongly thematic, diachronic, comparative and inter-disciplinary; it encourages students to investigate common denominators in Mediterranean life, and to engage with the region’s rich (pre-)historiography and diversity of archaeological exploration. The choice of one out of two other dedicated core courses (Mediterranean Prehistory or The Mediterranean in the Iron Age) allows greater chronological focus on issues specific to these periods, still within a pan-Mediterranean perspective. Optional modules enable students to apply broader ideas to a given sub-region, and to feed lessons from these back into the broader analysis, the choice of options being tailored to the student’s specific requirements. This degree sets out to attract and challenge first-rate students seeking new intellectually and materially-driven approaches to the Mediterranean’s past, whether as a foundation for doctoral research or for intrinsic interest.