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AAH4740 - Reading the Ancient Past

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Colin Hope and Gillian Bowen


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


Technicalities involved in the interpretation and assessment of archaeological data. The types of material which are available for use, their relative reliability in respect of the question posed and the use of archaeological reports will be studied through a detailed examination of specific problems relating to Egypt. The unit will also consider changing theories relating to the interpretation of cultural data.


Upon successful completion of this unit students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. An ability to use various types of data, such as textual, archaeological and pictorial, in relation to specific problems.
  2. An ability to appraise critically the reliability of the source material.
  3. The ability to identify and appraise the various interpretations which have been placed upon data by scholars at different times.
  4. An awareness of the impact of contemporary ideology and religious beliefs upon the interpretation of the ancient past from the nineteenth century to the present day.
  5. A breadth of understanding of how aspects of the ancient past may be studied and the limitations of the available data.
  6. The ability to present a detailed analytical discussion which draws upon a wide variety of source material.


Two written assignments (4500 words each): 100%

Contact hours

3 hours (1 x 3 hour seminar) per week