Institute of Archaeology

The Prehistoric Mediterranean

The Mediterranean basin is a crucible of interaction between the societies and cultures of southwest Asia, Europe and north Africa. This course provides an interpretative long-term overview of Mediterranean prehistory from the last Ice Age to the formation of the Classical world.

Key themes include the role of a distinctive environment and central sea in shaping people’s lives, the spread of the earliest hunter-gatherer inhabitants and the origins of maritime activity, the expansion of farming and pastoralism, the emergence of Bronze Age metal-rich societies (complex states in the east, but initially smaller-scale elsewhere), the growth of inter-regional trade, and the transition to Iron Age city-states and empires, the direct precursors of Roman rule.

This course can serve as a foundation for specialized regional courses in the archaeology of the Aegean, Anatolia, the Levant, Egypt and southern Europe, or as a prologue to courses in later Classical archaeology and ancient history.

Course information

For registered students

  • Moodle page: open»
  • Reading list:


  • Running in 2017-18

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