AH-ANTQ103 Introduction to Archaeology: Urban Heritage from Ancient Cities to Modern Museums
Around 12.000 years ago, humans decided to settle down in the first villages and towns in the South-East of modern-day Turkey. Their decision had far-reaching consequences, leading eventually to a world where more than half the population lives in urban areas - a situation that brings many problems to communities as well as the environment. At the same time, migration continued to occur both as a style of living and in response to disaster.
This course explores the physical remains of early cities to see why and how people lived in these settlements. We will investigate the Ancient Mediterranean, but also the African kingdom of Kush contemporary to the Roman Empire, or the ancient Chinese capital of Sian, home to the terracotta army. By investigating the archaeological materials of how people lived in ancient towns and cities, and how they reacted to their environment, we will examine questions like: What is a city? When does city growth make life in them impossible? How did the peoples of antiquity manage to solve problems of expansion as well as other events they were confronted with? Are there any lessons to be learned from their ways of living?
In the second part of the course, we will discuss on the ways in which urban heritage is used in the present day, in museum exhibitions, historic city centers, upcycled industrial heritage, and especially, in presenting images of the past that suit some narratives and clash with others. It raises the question of the uses of urban heritage: for education, tourism, or for claiming history?
The course has several practical assignments directly engaging with archaeological material: in class and in the field, we will learn the processes of archaeological analysis as well as reproduce ancient objects.
Extra costs: the course includes a field trip to an excavation or museum (depending on availability); travel expenses.
This course is a prerequisite for:
· AH-ANTQ302: The
Global Artefact: Museums, Heritage and the International Trade in Antiquities
(Fall 2021: no further prerequisites required)
· AH-ANTQ202: Classical Literature: Power and Gender in the Ancient World (Spring 2021)
· AH-ANTQ301: Greek Art & Archaeology, theme to be decided (August 2022 - January 2023)
· AH-ANTQ203: Ancient History: Self and Other in the Ancient World (Spring 2022)
· Having completed this course is a plus when
applying for the Waterloo Uncovered excavation (Utrecht Summer School, paired
with Battlefields Uncovered summer course, Summer 2021)
- Instructor: Helle Hochscheid