The University of Southampton
Humanities

ARCH6410 Maritime Connections of the Ancient Mediterranean

Module Overview

A basic appreciation of the cultural phases and events that took place in the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean region from Prehistory to Late Antiquity will be assumed as a prerequisite of the module. With this in hand a thorough examination of the maritime aspects of a region that from earliest times depended to a greater or lesser extent, upon riverine and sea-going craft as a means of communication and exchange, will be undertaken. The module will essentially be approached chronologically from the earliest evidence for seafaring in prehistory to late antique times. Within this approach particular themes relating to seafaring, maritime trade and communication will be explored and the problems and challenges of interpreting the available evidence examined. Issues concerning patterns of geomorphological and sea-level change and maritime conditions of the region will be addressed, together with the evidence for harbours and shipwrecks, vessels and patterns of trade, navigation and maritime landscapes and how these changed over time in the Mediterranean and beyond. These themes will be examined comprehensively through case studies and examples, and maritime artefacts and images will also be considered.

Aims and Objectives

This module aims to introduce aspects of seafaring in the Ancient Mediterranean. This module is notable in offering the chance to engage in research into a specific region, during a particular period of time. It will allow you to develop an understanding of the maritime dimension of one of the key areas of archaeological study.

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding in the following areas:

• The various themes and problems involved in an evaluation of a maritime landscape of the ancient Mediterranean world.

• The different types of evidence that contribute to an interpretation of the patterns of maritime exchange, the form and development of water transport, and the capabilities of the vessels and the seafarers of the region.

• The maritime environment in which ancient seafarers operated and the many factors that determine the location and abandonment of sites located in the coastal interface.

• The pattern, influences and players involved in ancient Mediterranean and Indian Ocean seafaring.

Cognitive (thinking) skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

• Demonstrate that you have acquired a broad understanding of the archaeological context of maritime activity within the context of the ancient Mediterranean, in particular through;

• Show an appreciation of the archaeological potential of boats and ships and associated material culture.

• Show understanding of theories and models relating to patterns of trade, exchange and connectivity.

• Show appreciation of the importance of the sea and the influence it had on shaping ancient cultures.

• Demonstrate ability to identify the types of evidence that can be utilised to form an appreciation of ancient seafaring.

Practical (subject specific) skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

• Apply the analysis of various types of evidence to the interpretation of archaeological material.

• Apply theoretical models to specific aspects of maritime trade in the ancient world.

• Demonstrate an appreciation of the maritime landscape of the ancient Mediterranean.

• Demonstrate an appreciation of the watercraft that facilitated trade and exchange in the ancient Mediterranean.

Key transferable skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

• Undertake research in an independent capacity or as part of a team/group.

• Assimilate a large and interdisciplinary body of material in order to acquire an appreciation of the broader picture.

• Demonstrate oral skills in the presentation of research, either individually or as part of a group.

Syllabus

Typically, the syllabus will cover:

• Introduction: Evidence, Environment, Seafaring & Navigation

• Harbour Archaeology

• Early Prehistoric Seafaring

• Late Prehistoric Seafaring

• Bronze Age Seafaring and Trade

• Seafaring in the 1st Millennium BC

• Seafaring in the Greco-Roman world

• Indo-Roman Seafaring

• The Roman Imperial Period

• Late Antiquity Seafaring: Continuity & Change, Economics & Technology

Learning and Teaching

Study time allocation

Contact hours:60
Private study hours:240
Total study time: 300 hours

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching is carried out using a mixture of formal lectures and informal seminars. Lectures aim to synthesise key information and topics in a uniform and consistent way. Seminars offer you the opportunity to explore individual subjects and topics of study on a more personal basis and through group discussion and debate.

 

Topic
Introduction: Evidence, Environment, Seafaring & Navigation Lecture Seminar
Harbour Archaeology Lecture Seminar
Early Prehistoric Seafaring Lecture Seminar
Late Prehistoric Seafaring Lecture Seminar
Bronze Age Seafaring and Trade Lecture Student Presentations (assignment 1)
Seafaring in the 1st Millennium BC Lecture Student Presentations (assignment 1)
Seafaring in the Greco-Roman world Lecture Seminar
Indo-Roman Seafaring Lecture Student Presentations (assignment 1)
The Roman Imperial Period Lecture Seminar
Late Antiquity Seafaring: Continuity & Change, Economics & Technology Lecture Seminar

Resources and reading list

Indicative Reading List

Broodbank, C. 2013. The Making of the Middle Sea. London: Thames and Hudson.

Casson, L. 1995. Ships and Seamanship in the Ancient World. London: The Johns Hopkins University.

Horden, P. & Purcell, N. 2000. The Corrupting Sea. Oxford: Blackwell.

Rainbird, P., 2007. The Archaeology of Islands. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Sidebotham, SE, 2011, Berenike and the Ancient Maritime Spice Trade, Los Angeles

Sherratt, S. & Sherratt, A. 1993. The growth of the Mediterranean economy in the early first millennium BC. World Archaeology 24(3): 361-78.

Tomber, R. 2008. Indo-Roman Trade: From pots to pepper. London: Duckworth.

Assessment

Assessment methods

 

Assessment Method Number % contribution to final mark Final assessment (√)
Include duration of exams, whether the assessment is formative or summative and whether there are any elements that must be passed for successful completion of the module.
Individual class presentations (15 minutes) 25%
Artefact or Route analysis (1000 words) 25%
Research essay (4000 words) 50%

Feedback Method

Explain how students will receive feedback on each assessment

Informal feedback will provided throughout the module via lectures, clinics and supervisions. Detailed and constructive written feedback will be given for all assignments submitted.

Referral Method

Include duration of exams, whether the assessment is formative or summative and whether there are any elements that must be passed for successful completion of the module.

Resubmit failed assignment or equivalent piece of work as appropriate

 

100

 

Method of repeat year: indicate whether a module can be repeated externally, or if it is only possible to repeat internally by deleting those not applicable.

Repeat year externally

Repeat year internally

 


 

 

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