In this course we aim to develop the student's interest in and knowledge and understanding of ancient Mesopotamia, the area covered today principally by the state of Iraq and, to a lesser extent, of ancient Syria, Turkey, Iran and the Gulf, in the period from 500,000 to 300 BC.
Major elements of study will be the Palaeolithic presence in Mesopotamia, Neolithic transformations to sedentism and farming, the development of urban, literate societies and empires, as well as thematic approaches to households, settlement patterns, and methods of archaeological investigation in the Mesopotamian context. Students will gain an intellectual appreciation of important past peoples and cultures, and the archaeological sources through which we approach them, as well as an understanding of how contemporary archaeology in Mesopotamia is situated within a changing social and political setting. Teaching will be through lectures / seminars, two visits to the British Museum and handling of artefacts. A broad spread of assessment methods will be used.