Archaeology of Ancient Greece

Course Description

Ancient Greece is a founding culture for western art and architecture. This course will cover Greek material culture from the Minoan period until the end of the Hellenistic age. The architecture, sculpture, and pottery of each era illuminates and poses questions, both about the Greeks of that era and about our understanding of them. The transition from Bronze Age through Classical to Hellenistic Greece is a transition in space as well as time; students will learn about the eastern Mediterranean and the expansion of Greek culture and language from the Aegean to Asia Minor and Egypt.

The main texts will be Biers's Archaeology of Ancient Greece and Renault's The King Must Die. You will study Greek archaeology with an intensive focus on architecture, sculpture, and vase painting, the three most important surviving material artistic disciplines. The course will have a chronological orientation, beginning in the Minoan and Mycenaean cultures of the ancient Bronze Age, continuing through the Dark Age, Orientalizing, Archaic, Classical, Fourth century, and Hellenistic periods. For each period the students will study architectural plans, development, and techniques; they will also learn about painting and sculpture. To understand the culture of ancient Greece, one must also have an acquaintance with the other cultures of the eastern Mediterranean, so these will be addressed briefly as well. With each period they will learn the major historical events and social currents that produced the works of art. We will also read a novel that uses these archaeological discoveries for world-building and cultural commentary

During this course you will:

• Acquire knowledge of the material culture of ancient Greece, with particular emphasis on architecture and sculpture.
• Gain an understanding of the processes by which hypotheses of competitive probability are analyzed and evidence is weighed.
• Learn how ancient Greece and interpretations of ancient Greece in modern culture have shaped modern western political and cultural institutions (democracy, architecture, etc.)

You will have, after completing this course, a good knowledge of the archaeology of Greece. It will provide a basis for the study of the ancient world, including art, language, and history, and an interpretive frame for modern political, cultural, and artistic institutions.


There are no prerequisites beyond a willingness to read and study and a wish to learn about ancient Greece.


One Section Available to Choose From:

Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.

Dates: July 25, 2022 - August 05, 2022
Duration: 2 Weeks
Meeting Times: M-F 8:30A-11:20A
Status: Closed
Format: On-Campus
Instructor(s): Molly Ierulli
Course Number: 10370