ARTH 320 – Archaeology and Art of Ancient Italy

  • Discipline(s): Archaeology, Art History, Classical Studies, History

  • Credits: 3

  • Available: fall semester 2023, spring semester 2024

  • Instructor: Carolina Megale, Ph.D., Erika Bianchi, Ph.D.

Formerly CLAS 320 – Archaeology and Art of Ancient Italy

An overview of Ancient Italy from the 8th century B.C.E. to the 5th century C.E. as interpreted through archaeology, the study of past cultures and societies through their material remains. It explores different varieties of archaeology and examines theory, methods, and techniques for investigating and reconstructing the past, covering the material evidence for key areas of ancient Italy such as Etruria and the Roman Empire. Architecture, sculpture, fresco painting, and the minor arts are examined at such sights as Fiesole, and the nature of archaeological evidence is related to other disciplines such as Art History and History.
The course is both a practicum in archaeology and a history course, team-taught by an archaeologist and a historian to allow students to learn each aspect of the course material from an expert in the field. Classes are experimental and dynamic, made of a combination of in-class lectures, field trips, site visits to museums and archaeological digs in Tuscany and elsewhere.

At the conclusion of this course, students should be able to:
– describe the basic archaeological skills: how to locate, record, investigate, analyze and interpret archaeological sites;
– discuss critically archaeology’s social relevance: connections of past human systems and adaptations with today’s world;
– analyze details of some of the main ancient Mediterranean cultures, describing major transitions in their history and how this knowledge is important for modern humans and interpreted differently by different interest groups;
– describe not only specific case studies but general archaeological and historical principles relating to real-world problem solving, in a practical application of knowledge from the human past;
– demonstrate good communication skills: written, oral, visual and interactive, to understand and tell the story of the past.

Course descriptions may be subject to occasional minor modifications at the discretion of the instructor.

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