This course provides the student with a background knowledge of the main developments which took place in Western Asia from the Neolithic to the Achaemenid period. Major issues such as the beginning of farming, urbanism and the devlopment of Empires will be covered.
Some of the major aims of the course are:
- To provide an introduction to the archaeology and early history of Western Asia, with emphasis on the civilizations of Mesopotamia, the Levant, Anatolia, and Persia.
- To consider the nature and interpretation of archaeological and textual sources in approaching the past of Western Asia.
- To consider major issues in the development of human society in Western Asia, including the origins and evolution of sedentism, agriculture, complex societies, urbanism, literacy, and empires.
- To introduce students to a sample of exciting current field projects in the archaeology of Western Asia.
- To introduce students to the Western Asia collections of the British Museum.
Major issues including the development of interest in Western Asia and the legacy of Western Asia are also included.
The course is taught through one-hour lectures over Terms I and II. In addition, two visits to the Western Asia collections of the British Museum have been incorporated into the scheduled sessions for the course.