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ARCH 0678: Underwater in the Mediterranean: An Introduction to Maritime Archaeology

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Professor Christoph Bachhuber / tel. 401-863-7533
Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World
Course meetings: M/W/F10:00-10:50am  Rhode Island Hall 108, 60 George Street 
Office hours: M/W, 12.00-13.00 Rhode Island Hall, Room 207

Teaching Assistant: Bryan Brinkman
Office Hours: T 11.30-13.30
Rhode Island Hall 016 (basement), 60 George Street 

Shipwrecks, harbors, literary traditions and art all contribute to our understanding of the maritime world of the ancient Mediterranean. This course provides an introduction to the extraordinary field of maritime (and underwater) archaeology, while using the material culture and literary traditions of the ancient Mediterranean to explore the maritime heritage of this region. The course places exceptional emphasis on studying ancient ships and seafaring as remarkable examples of social and technological innovation and enterprise.

The course at a glance (for full syllabus click on ‘syllabus’ below)

The course provides an introduction to maritime archaeology through a focus primarily on seafaring in the ancient Mediterranean from prehistory to Late Antiquity. The course is divided in three sections:

1) (Weeks 1-5) An introduction to the discipline: The first five weeks of the course explores the origins and development of maritime and underwater archaeology as a discipline, provides an introduction to methodology and practice, and considers a range of topics including but not confined to heritage and ethical issues related to work in maritime and underwater archaeology.

2) (Weeks 6-9) Prehistoric and early historic seafaring and riverine navigation in the Mediterranean region: This section of the courseexplores the dawn of boat navigation and seafaring in the Mediterranean region, through to the end of the Bronze Age (ca. 1200 BCE).  We examine the major shipwrecks and ship burials from this period, and the viability of using art (ship iconography), ethnographic analogy and experimental archaeology to study the earliest boat navigation and seafaring in the Mediterranean region. We address the ultimate significance of seafaring for Mediterranean societies of these early periods.

3) (Weeks 10-14) Greek, Phoenician and Roman-Late Antique seafaring: In this section we examine more diverse and accessible evidence, including shipwrecks, historical accounts, literary traditions, harbors, and art, to reconstruct a range of seafaring activity. Commerce, piracy and warfare at sea are all readily accessible to the archaeologist and historian. With this range of evidence we consider more carefully shipboard life in the ancient Mediterranean, whether in contexts of commerce, piracy or war. 

**The weekly schedule will normally include three 50-minute (lecture) classes (click on 'syllabus' below, beginning pg. 2), though several of the classes will be devoted to workshops related to the course project (for course project click on ‘syllabus' below, pgs. 7-8).  

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powerpoints from lectures

Document Iconillustrated glossary.pdf

Document Iconsyllabus.pdf

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