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Students who commenced study in 2016 should refer to this area of study entry for direction on the requirments; to check which units are currently available for enrolment, refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your area of study.

Monash University


Commencement year

This area of study entry applies to students commencing this course in 2016 and should be read in conjunction with the relevant course entry in the Handbook.

Any units listed for this area of study relate only to the 'Requirements' outlined in the Faculty of Arts component of any bachelors double degrees.

Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.

Managing faculty

Faculty of Arts

Offered by

School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies


Associate Professor Colin Hope


Faculty of Arts

School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies



NOTE: this area of study is now known as Archaeology.

The Ancient cultures program explores a diverse range of societies from around the world. It is multidisciplinary and incorporates approaches drawn from archaeology, ancient history and classics to show how we attempt to understand the ancient past and its relevance to the present. Core studies span 250,000 years of history and incorporate pathways that focus upon Indigenous Australia, ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome while encouraging cross-cultural study. Themes include the study of complex society in all its forms, materiality, visual and literary culture, and religious diversity; contemporary theory is used to elucidate these topics. Language study and text criticism focuses upon Latin, Greek and Egyptian.


Ancient cultures is listed in A2000 Bachelor of Arts and 0202 Bachelor of Letters at Clayton as a major or minor, and A0502 Diploma of Liberal Arts at Clayton as a major.


In addition to achieving the broad outcomes of their course students successfully completing this major will:

  • be aware of current philosophical, historical and cultural debates about the past
  • have acquired skills in combining different disciplinary methodologies in reconstructing and interpreting the ancient past
  • where appropriate, have knowledge of at least one ancient language.


Major requirements (48 points)

No more than 12 points at level 1 may be credited to the majormajor ( and at least 18 points must be at level 3.

Students complete:

(a.) Two level 1 gateway unitsgateway units ( (12 points):

(b.) One level 2 cornerstone unitcornerstone unit ( (6 points) chosen from:

  • ATS2019 Perspectives on Indigenous art: Production, meaning and symbolism
  • ATS2084 Ancient mythologies
  • ATS2349 The golden age of Athens
  • ATS2351 The archaeology of death in ancient Egypt: The early dynastic period to middle kingdom

(c.) One level 3 capstone unitcapstone unit ( (6 points) chosen from:

  • ATS3338 Understanding ancient cultures
  • ATS3350 From Alexander to Kleopatra: The Hellenistic world and the rise of Rome
  • ATS3543 Australia's ancient Indigenous past: A 50,000 year archaeological odyssey

(d.) Four units (24 points) from the remaining cornerstone and capstone units or the elective list below, with at least two units at level 3.

Minor requirements (24 points)

No more than 12 points at level 1 may be credited towards the minorminor (

Students complete:

(a.) Two level 1 gateway units (12 points):

(b.) Two level 2 or 3 units (12 points) as listed within the major. It is a highly recommended that students complete a level 2 unit before enrolling in a level unit 3.

Elective list

Units are 6 points unless otherwise stated.

  • ATS2083 Bread and circuses: Performing identity in Greco-Roman cultures
  • ATS2138 The archaeology of world rock art
  • ATS2344/ATS3344 Archaeology in Italy
  • ATS2352 Egypt's golden age
  • ATS2748 Ancient Greek A/2
  • ATS2750 Ancient Greek B/2
  • ATS2924 Ancient Egyptian language: The basics
  • ATS2925 Ancient Egyptian language: Intermediary stage
  • ATS3277 Making sense of Archaeological sites through their cultural objects
  • ATS3339 Egypt: The broken reed?
  • ATS3346 Imperial Rome: A study in power and perversion in the early empire
  • ATS3347 Minoans, Mycenaeans and Egypt
  • ATS3404 Eros and the body: Sexuality and body politics in the classical world
  • ATS3544 On a dig: Practical archaeology in the field (12 points)

Complementary units

The following complementary units cannot be completed as a part of the minor or major in ancient cultures, but can count towards the free elective component of the relevant course:

Relevant courses


  • A0502 Diploma of Liberal Arts


Single degrees

Successful completion of the minor or major can be counted towards meeting the requirements for the following single degrees:*

  • A2000 Bachelor of Arts
  • 0202 Bachelor of Letters

Students in other single bachelor's degrees may be eligible to complete the minor or major by using 24 or 48 points of their free electives.

Double degrees

Successful completion of the minor or major can be counted towards meeting the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts component in the following double degrees:*

  • A2005 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Art
  • A2004 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music
  • B2019 Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Arts
  • B2012 Bachelor of Business Specialist and Bachelor of Arts
  • B2020 Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Arts
  • B2024 Bachelor of Commerce Specialist and Bachelor of Arts
  • D3002 Bachelor of Education (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts
  • E3002 Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts
  • C2002 Bachelor of Information Technology and Bachelor of Arts
  • L3003 Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts
  • S2006 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts

* Students cannot complete both the minor and major in the same area of study.