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CLASSICS 1A03 Intro: Classical Archaeology

Academic Year: Fall 2017

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Spencer Pope


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 704

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23378

Office Hours: Wednesday, Thursday 13:30-14:20

Course Objectives:

This course is an introduction to the material culture of the Greek and Roman worlds: we will investigate the principal civilizations, sites, and scholarly issues that comprise the discipline of Classical Archaeology. The class offers a chronological discussion of the prominent sites and peoples of the Mediterranean region, from the Bronze Age with the Minoan and Mycenaean cultures, through the development of the Greek city-states and the rise of Rome into an expansive empire. An introduction to the methods and techniques employed to locate, excavate, and analyze archaeological finds will provide students with an understanding of the benefits and limitations of archaeological work in the Classical world. Additionally, we will trace the development of Classical archaeology as a discipline and examine recent scholarly and technological developments in the field. Finally, issues surrounding the exportation of antiquities and questions regarding the rights to cultural patrimony will be considered. The goals of the course are 1) to introduce students to the major monuments of Classical antiquity and consider the context in which they were created, 2) to introduce scholarly issues and current methodology in Classical art and archaeology, and 3) provide a foundation for understanding greater traditions in Western Art.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Custom Courseware (CCW), available at the university bookstore

Course readings, images and other important information will be place on the course website on Avenue to Learn (AVE). The images are intended to be a study aid and are not a substitution for class attendance.

Method of Assessment:

Evaluation is based on a final exam, a writing assignment, and midterm exams. There are three midterm exams; the highest two of the three marks will be calculated for your final grade (the lowest will be dropped). Each of the two exams is worth 20%, the paper and final exam are each worth 30%.

Exam 1 20% 29 September 2017 (week 4)

Exam 2 20% 27 October 2017 (week 7)

Exam 3 20% 17 November 2017 (week 10)

(Lowest of the three marks will be dropped, so total percentage of mark from in-class exams is 40.)

Writing Assignment 30% 28 November (week 11)

Final Exam 30% as scheduled by the university

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Exams and assignments will receive a letter grade based on the grading system outlined in the Undergraduate Calendar. Grading criteria for the assignments will include factual accuracy, clarity of organization, logic of arguments, appropriate use of examples, extent of research (when applicable), and style of presentation (including grammar, punctuation and spelling). Late papers will be penalized â…“ of the letter grade per calendar day late (e.g. a B+ paper, one day late becomes a B). Late penalties will not be waived unless your Faculty/Program Office advises the instructor that you have submitted to that office the appropriate documentation to support your inability to submit the work by the due date. No make-up exams will be given unless the absence was necessitated by a documented emergency; emergencies/absences must be processed through the student’s faculty office.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

Week 1: Introduction: The Discipline of Archaeology, The Mediterranean in the third Millennium BC

5 September: What is archaeology? The Discipline of Classical Archaeology

6 September: The Methodology of Classical Archaeology

8 September: The Mediterranean in the Early Bronze Age

Reading: “M. Lindgren, “The Function of the Minoan Palaces – Myth and Reality,” in Hagg and Marinatos, eds., Function of Minoan Palaces. (CCW)

Week 2: Bronze Age Minoan Culture

12 September: First Palace Period of Minoan Culture

14 September: Second Palace Period of Minoan Culture

15 September: Thera and the Twilight of the Minoans

Reading: “Minoan and Mycenaean Spheres of Influence,” excerpt from Preziosi and Hitchcock, Aegean Art and Architecture I. CCW.

Week 3: The Bronze Age: Mycenaean Culture and Underwater Archaeology

19 September: Mycenaean Culture and Funerary Rites

21 September: Mycenaean Architecture

22 September: Underwater Archaeology

Reading: Mee and Spawforth “Mycenae” in Greece. CCW; “Burial Practices,” excerpt from Preziosi and Hitchcock, Aegean Art and Architecture II. CCW; “Uluburun.” AVE.

Week 4: The end of the Bronze Age

26 September: Mycenaean Pottery and Minor Arts

28 September: Catastrophe and the Collapse of Mycenaean Civilization, Troy and Greek Mythology

29 September: EXAM 1

Reading: R. Drews, The End of the Bronze Age. CCW; J. Crowley,Mycenaean Art and Architecture.” CCW.

Week 5: The Greek World: Pan-Hellenic Greek Sanctuaries

3 October: Ancient Greek Athletics

5 October: The Sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia

6 October: The Sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi

Reading: S. Miller, Ancient Greek Athletics, CCW; J. Boardman, “Olympia: Temple of Zeus,” in Greek Sculpture: The Classical Period. CCW; Mee and Spawforth “Delphi,” in Greece. CCW.

Reading Week 9-13 October: Happy Thanksgiving

Week 6: The City of Athens, The Macedonians

17 October: The Athenian Acropolis I

19 October: The Athenian Acropolis II

20 October: Philip II and Alexander the Great

Reading: J. Camp, “Perikles,” in The Archaeology of Athens. CCW.

Week 7: The Hellenistic World

24 October: Hellenistic Sculpture

26 October: Hellenistic Architecture

27 October: EXAM 2

Reading: Sansome, “Philip II and Alexander the Great,” Ancient Greek Civilization. CCW; Prag, A., “Reconstructing the Skull of Philip of Macedon” in Danien, The World of Philip and Alexander. CCW;

Week 8: The Hellenistic and Roman Worlds

31 October: Public Space, Spectacle and Performance

2 November: Funerary Traditions in the Greek and Roman Worlds

3 November: The Origins of Rome and Rome’s early history and mythology

Reading: P. Connolly, “The Theater” in The Ancient City. AVE; Excerpts from Dodge, “Amusing the Masses: Buildings for Entertainment and Leisure in the Roman World, in Life, Death, and Entertainment in the Roman Empire. CCW; P. Connolly, “A Day at the Races,” in The Ancient City. AVE.

Week 9: Public and Private Spaces in the Roman World

7 November: Roman Domestic Architecture

9 November: Public Spaces and Ancient Urbanism

10 November: The Language of Roman Monumentality

Reading: Selections from Roman Authors on Otium. AVE; A. Wallace-Hadrill, “The Articulation of the House,” in House and Society in Pompeii and Herculaneum. CCW. Excerpt from Kleiner, A History of Roman Art. CCW

Week 10: The Cities of Vesuvius

14 November: Pompeii and the Bay of Naples, AD 79

16 November: Roman Baths

17 November: EXAM 3

Reading: P. Zanker, “The City’s Final Years,” in Pompeii. CCW; Toner, “The Baths” from: Leisure and Ancient Rome. CCW.

Week 11: Roman Imperial Art

21 November: Roman Sculpture

23 November: Late Roman Monuments

24 November: The Emperors and Early Christian Rome

Reading: J. Patterson, “Living and Dying in the City of Rome: Houses and Tombs,” in Ancient Rome: The Archaeology of the Eternal City. CCW.

Week 12: The Future of the Past: Cultural Patrimony

28 November: Writing Assignment Due! Forgeries and the Art Market

29 November: Heritage Resources Management

1 December: Illegal Excavation and Exportation

Reading: M. Beard, “Lord Elgin: Saviour or Vandal?” AVE; Stille, The Future of the Past. CCW.

Week 13: The Classical Tradition

5 December: Forgeries and the Art Market; Cultural Patrimony; Illegal Excavation and Exportation.


Other Course Information:

There is one written, research-based writing assignment for the class. Specific directions will be posted on Avenue to Learn. PLEASE READ THESE DIRECTIONS VERY CAREFULLY! For this paper, you must investigate one site or monument from Classical Archaeology and present a coherent, organized, and polished academic paper that demonstrates your independent research into the subject matter. All essays must be properly referenced, with footnotes and a bibliography; essays without proper references and bibliography will receive a failing grade. Use Chicago style for referencing; please consult the GUIDELINES TO CITATIONS found on Avenue to Learn for examples of proper formatting for citations. Students are expected to use academic-quality resources and should avoid web-based summaries.

Writing assignment should be 3-4 pages plus title page, bibliography, and illustrations (text must be double-spaced and in 12 point font) and is due on Tuesday, November 28. assignment will be submitted in hard copy at the beginning of class; any paper submitted past 4:00 p.m. on Nov. 28 will be considered one day late and will be penalized following the late policy described above (see above, ‘Penalties for Late Assignments’).