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CLASSICS 1A03 Intro: Classical Archaeology (C01)

Academic Year: Fall 2018

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Michele George


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 708

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23452

Office Hours: Tuesday 2:30-3:20

Course Objectives:

This course is an introduction to the material culture of the Greek and Roman worlds: we shall 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. We shall trace the development of Classical archaeology as a discipline and examine recent scholarly and technological developments in the field. Finally, we shall explore ethical issues, such as the exportation of antiquities and the rights to cultural patrimony.


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;

3) provide a foundation for understanding greater traditions in Western Art.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Required Texts:

  • 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 (A2L). The images are intended to be a study aid and are not a substitution for class attendance; recognition of images will be part of both tests and the final exam, so regular, weekly review is strongly advised.

Method of Assessment:


Test #1 20% 1 October

Test #2 20%   29 October

Writing Assignment 30% 19 November

Final Exam 30% as scheduled by the university

Classroom etiquette:

Students are advised that attendance at all lectures is mandatory, and that they will be solely responsible acquiring lectures notes for all classes that they miss; lecture notes will not be posted on the course website. Weekly reviews will be posted on A2L, but in order to succeed on the tests and final exam students must combine their own notes with the reviews. The reviews are not a substitute for class attendance and thorough class notes. Students are also advised to keep all term work and all research notes taken in the preparation of their term papers.


Cell phones and other similar communication devices should be turned off at the beginning of lectures. Students are expected to remain for the duration of the class meeting time. Please notify the instructor in advance for any excused absences. The instructor and university reserve the right to modify elements of the course during the term. The university may change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances. If either type of modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. It is the responsibility of the student to check their McMaster email and course websites weekly during the term and to note any changes.


Grading System

Exams and assignments will receive a letter grade based on the grading system outlined in the 2015-16 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).



Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Penalties for Late Assignments

Late assignments will be penalized ? 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.

Please note:

  • This late policy will be strictly enforced, with no exceptions.
  • No make-up exams will be given, and emergencies or 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:

Reading Schedule:

Nota bene (N.B.): reading assignments should be completed before the scheduled class meeting, e.g., the reading listed for 10 September should be completed before 3:30 on 10 September)


Week 1: The Discipline of Archaeology; the Bronze Age in The Mediterranean

4 September: Introduction to course & Tips for academic success

6 September: What is archaeology? Introduction to Classical Archaeology


Week 2: Bronze Age cont’d.

10 September: The Mediterranean in the Bronze Age

11 September: Minoan Palace Culture I

13 September: Minoan Palace Culture II

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

“Minoan and Mycenaean Spheres of Influence,” excerpt from Preziosi and Hitchcock, Aegean Art and Architecture I. (Courseware)


Week 3: Bronze Age Minoan Culture; Mycenaean Culture

17 September: Thera

18 September: Mycenaeans

20 September: Mycenaean Architecture

Reading: Mee and Spawforth “Mycenae” in Greece. (Courseware); J. Crowley,Mycenaean Art and Architecture.” (Courseware)


Week 4: The Bronze Age: Mycenaean Culture and underwater archaeology

24 September: Mycenaean culture and funerary rites

25 September: Underwater archaeology

27 September: the Catastrophe and the collapse of Mycenaean civilizatio

Reading: “Burial Practices,” excerpt from Preziosi and Hitchcock, Aegean Art and Architecture II. (Courseware); R. Drews, The End of the Bronze Age; “Uluburun.” (A2L Course website)


Week 5: The end of the Bronze Age


2 October: Troy & Greek Mythology

4 October: Geometric Period




Week 7: The Greek World: Pan-Hellenic Greek Sanctuaries

15 October: The Archaic Age & Greek Athletics

16 October: The Sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia

18 October: The Sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi

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


Week 8: The City of Athens

22 October: The Athenian Acropolis

23 October: Philip II & the Rise of Macedon

25 October: Alexander the Great

Reading: J. Camp, “Perikles,” in The Archaeology of Athens. (Courseware); Sansome, “Philip II and Alexander the Great,” Ancient Greek Civilization. (Courseware); Prag, A., “Reconstructing the Skull of Philip of Macedon” in Danien, The World of Philip and Alexander. (Courseware)


Week 9: The Hellenistic World

29 October: TEST #2

30 October: Important Instructions regarding the Writing Assignment; The Origins of Rome

1 November: Rome’s early history and mythology;


Week 10: The Roman Era; Pompeii

5 November: The Cities of Vesuvius: Pompeii & Herculaneum

6 November: The Roman Villa

8 November: Roman Houses

Reading: A. Wallace-Hadrill, “The Articulation of the House,” in House and Society in Pompeii and Herculaneum. (Courseware); P. Zanker, “The City’s Final Years,” in Pompeii. (Courseware) Selections from Roman Authors on Otium. (A2L Course website)


Week11: Roman Architecture

12 November: Roman Architecture: the basics

13 November: Colosseum and spectacle in the Roman world

15 November: Roman Baths

Reading: Excerpts from Dodge, “Amusing the Masses: Buildings for Entertainment and Leisure in the Roman World, in Life, Death, and Entertainment in the Roman Empire. (Courseware); Excerpt from Kleiner, A History of Roman Art. (Courseware); Toner, “The Baths” from: Leisure and Ancient Rome. (Courseware);


Week 12: Roman Empire

19 NOVEMBER: Writing Assignment Due! Please hand in your printed hard copy at the beginning of class, & please note above re: Late Policy.

19 November: Roman Sculpture

20 November: Roman funerary traditions

22 November: Roman Provincial Archaeology

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

Week 13: Roman into Christian;

26 November: Rome: the Tetrarchy and Constantine

27 November: Early Christian Art & Archaeology

29 November: Forgeries and the Art Market

Week 14: Cultural Patrimony & Ethics

3 December: Cultural Patrimony; illegal excavation and exportation

4 December: Structure of final exam & tips for success

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

Available at this url:


Other Course Information:


There is one written, research-based assignment required for the class; specific directions will be posted on the A2L course website. 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, a bibliography, and a title page; essays without proper references (footnotes) and bibliography will automatically receive a failing grade. Use Chicago style for referencing; please consult the GUIDELINES TO CITATIONS found on ‘Avenue to Learn’ (A2L) for examples of proper formatting for citations (to be posted).

The writing assignment is 7 pages long in total, including title page, bibliography, and illustration (text must be double-spaced and in 12 point font) and is due on Monday, November 19. The assignment will be submitted in hard copy at the beginning of class; assignments submitted electronically do not count and will not be accepted. Any paper submitted past 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 19, in either hard copy or electronically, will be considered one day late and will be penalized following the late policy described above (see above, ‘Penalties for Late Assignments’).


In this course we will be using a web-based service ( to reveal plagiarism. Students will be expected to submit their work electronically to and in hard copy so that it can be checked for academic dishonesty. Students who do not wish to submit their work to must still submit a copy to the instructor. No penalty will be assigned to a student who does not submit work to All submitted work is subject to normal verification that standards of academic integrity have been upheld (e.g., on-line search, etc.). To see the Policy, please go to

To access Turnitin, please go to this website for instructions and a link:

You will need the Class ID and enrollment password in order to submit your work. This will be included on the Writing Assignment Information sheet.