Art and Archaeology of Archaic Greece - 20 credits (HS2386)
This module is concerned with the art and archaeology of Greece from the Early Iron Age to the end of the Archaic period (c. 1150–480 BC). This was the formative period in the development of Greek society, which saw the emergence of the characteristic polis or city-state, the reappearance of writing, and far-reaching innovations in artistic representation. The module focuses on the methodological issues involved in exploring the nature of Early Iron Age societies; the development of urbanisation and the formation of the state; and the origins of naturalistic representation in art.
Optional for: all Archaeology and Ancient History degrees
Availability: autumn and spring semesters in alternate years
Teaching: 20 lectures, 3 seminars and a museum trip
Assessment: one essay (50%) and one 2-hour examination (50%)
This is a protohistoric period, where there is some literary and epigraphic evidence, and an abundance of material remains. The module therefore introduces students to the difficulties encountered in making historical sense of both kinds of evidence, and so covers a range of historical, archaeological and art-historical topics, such as:
- the archaeological evidence for Greek society at the end of the Bronze Age and in the Early Iron Age
- changes in agricultural practice, settlement patterns, and the development of towns
- the emergence of sanctuaries
- the development of monumental architecture, sculpture and vase-painting
- the relationship between art and the social and political circumstances that led to its creation
- To acquire an appreciation of the art of Archaic Greece and of the historical circumstances that made such art possible
- To acquire a knowledge of the archaeology of the period and the uses to which this evidence can be put in order to understand the nature of Archaic Greek society.
On successful completion of the module, the student will demonstrate:
- a knowledge of the archaeological evidence of Iron Age and Archaic date from excavations and surveys.
- an understanding and appreciation of the art of the period.
- a knowledge of the relevant terms and concepts used in the study of the period.
- an understanding of the historical, archaeological and art-historical issues and questions that have directed research into the period (e.g. state formation; naturalism in art).
- an ability to evaluate critically the relevance of archaeological and artistic evidence with reference to these debates.
- an ability to discuss these issues in written work with coherent and logical arguments, clearly and correctly expressed.
J. N. Coldstream, Geometric Greece (1977; second edition 2003)
O. T. P. K. Dickinson, The Aegean from Bronze Age to Iron Age: Continuity and Change between the Twelfth and Eighth Centuries BC (2006)
O. Murray, Early Greece (second edition, 1990)
R. Osborne, Greece in the Making 1200–479 BC (1996; second edition, 2009)
R. Osborne, Archaic and Classical Greek Art (1998)
A. M. Snodgrass, The Dark Age of Greece (1971; reprinted 2000)
A. M. Snodgrass, Archaic Greece: The Age of Experiment (1980)
J. Whitley, The Archaeology of Ancient Greece (2001)
Other modules to consider taking in conjunction with this one: