In the modern world, more than half the earth's population lives in cities. Urbanisation has progressed remarkably fast since the first true metropolis, imperial Rome; but Rome was unparalleled in the ancient world. Most cities had far fewer inhabitants, controlled less land, and were ruled by less powerful authorities. Despite the differences, the factors of power, territory, and population, as well as the connected aspects of production and consumption, are common elements in all settlements of more than average size.
This course is an archaeological approach to the phenomenon of cities from their earliest emergence in ancient Anatolia. It will look at how cities came to be the centres of power and dominated trade; how they used religion to create a common identity, and how they were used to consolidate conquest.
While the focus is on Greek and Roman culture, we will study the archaeological material of each settlement and put it in the context of the main questions of this course: in the early life of cities, what explains their success? How are the characteristics of urban societies reflected in the material remains? And what can modern cities learn from city life in the ancient world? Excursions in time and place - to late antiquity, post-ancient Africa and Asia - will offer a wider perspective.
ANTQ103 2021.pdfANTQ103 2021.pdf