Skip to content | Change text size

AAH2570 - Minoans and Mycenaeans

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Gillian Bowen


Not offered in 2007


This unit entails a study of the two major cultures of the pre-classical Aegean based primarily upon the archaeological record. The major Aegean sites will be examined, and the evidence for religious beliefs, economy and society in general will be reviewed. The interaction of the two groups will be examined and their contribution to later Greek culture assessed. As no contemporary historical documents are known from either culture the accounts in later literary tradition such as Homer will be examined in an effort to determine the reliability of their portrayal of each.


Students successfully completing this unit will have:

  1. Acquired knowledge of two Bronze Age Aegean societies that had no written records other than basic inventories.
  2. Acquired an understanding of the methods of archaeological interpretation used to reconstruct the nature of these societies and the difficulties inherent in such an endeavour.
  3. Developed the ability to appraise critically archaeological reports and interpretations.
  4. Developed the ability to understand how interpretation can be affected by the conditioning of the excavator/historian.
  5. Developed an understanding of the major features of Minoan and Mycenaean societies and their interaction with each other.
  6. Appraised the validity of using myth to aid the reconstruction on Minoan and Mycenaean societies and to recognise the ways in which later literary tradition was influenced by perceptions of these cultures and the achievements attributed to them.


Slide test (500 words) : 10%
Essay (2500 words) : 50%
Examination (1 hour) : 20%
Tutorial presentation and participation: 20%

Contact hours

12 x 1.5 hr lectures for 12 weeks and 12 x 1 hr tutorials


A first year sequence in Archaeology or permission