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Courses / Modules / ARCH1062 Wonderful things: World history in 40 objects

Wonderful things: World history in 40 objects

When you'll study it
Semester 1
CATS points
ECTS points
Level 4
Module lead
Christopher Elmer
Academic year

Module overview

As he broke the seal and opened the door to Tutankamun’s tomb, archaeologist Howard Carter declared, breathlessly, that he could see ‘Wonderful things’. Ancient things have this special appeal. They enchant and captivate. They excite curiosity and unleash enthusiasm. But above all they are the way to tell big histories through small objects. In this module we set out to tell the seamless history of deep-time, from 2 Million years ago to the maritime foundations of the modern world. Through our deep-history we will examine the motives behind making, acquiring, preserving and keeping things; the pride and passion of people in the past, the constantly changing desire of humanity for the sumptuous, the aesthetically pleasing and the exotic. To do this our archaeological experts have chosen a variety of objects from deep-history; starting with early hominins in Africa and ending with the fatal voyage of the Mary Rose. During your historical journey you will learn about changing technologies and food-ways, the things that glued Empires together, concepts of citizenship, icons of faith and the variety of objects used in social networking and games of power. By the end you will have a different understanding both of history and wonderful, handmade, things.

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