Institute of Archaeology


The Mediterranean World in the Iron Age

The module is intended to offer students a detailed knowledge of the prehistory and Iron Age (c. 6000-450 BC) in the Mediterranean region.

The module is meant to complement other modules in the archaeology of the Mediterranean, but it can also stand on its own to provide advanced training on the archaeology of Mediterranean prehistory and Iron Age. The study region encompasses all areas facing the Mediterranean basin although particular attention will be devoted to those areas that are closest to the teachers’ research. The structure of the module will revolve around key topics for the study region as well as themes that have recently come onto the research agenda of Mediterranean archaeology. Students will be able to explore these themes through a range of different forms of material culture, so this module should be of interest to students in the MA Archaeology and MA in the Archaeology and Heritage of Egypt and the Middle East.

Aims of the module

The module is intended to offer students an advanced knowledge of the Mediterranean region from circa 6000 BC to circa 5th century BC. The study region encompasses all areas facing the Mediterranean basin, but the module will focus on selected Mediterranean regions.

The aims of the module are:

  • To provide an advanced knowledge in the archaeology of the Mediterranean region in prehistory and the Iron Age, broadly conceived
  • 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
  • To stimulate students to work across regional boundaries and formulate sophisticated approaches to culture contact


On successful completion of this module a student should:

  • Have an overview of the archaeology of the study region
  • Be familiar with the key interpretative frameworks for the study of the prehistoric and Iron Age Mediterranean
  • Understand the patterns and processes of change in ancient economies, the construction of social and cultural identities, social structure, political complexity and settlement development
  • Have a sense of the changing patterns of cultural interaction and the significance of connectivity across the Mediterranean basin

It is not expected that students will acquire a detailed knowledge of the archaeology of the entire region. This is not the aim of the module and is impossible in 20 hours; the aim is instead to tease out and elaborate on issues that can be employed comparatively to understand specific regions and the study region as a whole.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module students should be able to demonstrate/have developed:

  • Analysis and presentation of complex arguments and theories about aspects of the subject
  • Ability to compare and analyse data and material across regional and subject-specific boundaries
  • Application of acquired knowledge to individual sites and bodies of material
  • Written and oral presentation skills

Teaching Methods

The module is taught through seminars with occasional presentations or lectures from the teaching staff. Seminars have weekly recommended readings, which students will be expected to have done in order to be able fully to follow and to contribute actively to discussions. In addition, apart from the first seminar, in some cases, students will be expected to make a short presentation from the reading, to stimulate discussion: all students should have made one presentation by the end of the module.

Module information

  • Code: ARCL0138 
  • Credits: 15
  • Coordinator: Corinna Riva
  • Prerequisite: This course does not have a prerequisite.
  • Handbook: open»

For registered students


  • Running in 2021-22