MA in Mediterranean Archaeology
Co-ordinator: Corinna Riva
The Mediterranean, the world’s largest inland sea and the interface 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 degree is 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 encompasses the Mediterranean as a whole, from prehistory (with selective examples from deep prehistory) through classical antiquity until the early Medieval period. Its framework is explicitly holistic and interpretative, offering an understanding of Mediterranean archaeology in the broadest of senses, and investigating how the Mediterranean’s traditionally-defined sub-regions fit 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 historiography and diversity of archaeological exploration. The choice of one out of three dedicated required options (Mediterranean Prehistory or The Mediterranean in the Iron Age or The Transformation of the Roman Mediterranean) 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 interests. This degree sets out to attract and challenge students seeking new intellectually and materially-driven approaches to the Mediterranean’s past, whether as a foundation for doctoral research or for intrinsic interest. It is suitable for students interested in the prehistoric, Iron Age, classical or medieval Mediterranean and its heritage.