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Art, Archaeology and Culture in Ancient Greece

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This course covers Greek art and archaeology from the Bronze Age to the end of the Classical period.

It deals with sculpture, architecture, painted pottery and wall painting and places these artistic developments in their social, political and historical contexts. In so doing it highlights the powerful connections between artistic endeavor and wider culture in the period. Sites covered include Knossos, Mycenae, Athens, Vergina, Olympia and Delphi.

The course will focus on art and archaeology but it will also discuss topics such as gender and the household, burial and society, sanctuaries, landscape and the countryside.

This course is for anyone with an interest in archaeology or the classical world and the enthusiasm to take that interest further. It operates as part of the Exploring the Past pathway, and will equip you with the knowledge, understanding and skills that will help you to study other courses in the pathway.

Learning and teaching

The course is delivered over nine evening classes through a mixture of lectures, class discussions, group-work and workshop-style activities. Each two-hour session will include elements of direct student participation to hone your skills in interpreting artistic and archaeological evidence, and in pursuing academic study more generally. These evening sessions are supplemented by support and activities delivered online via Learning Central, the university’s Virtual Learning Environment.

Coursework and assessment

Students will be expected to complete two pieces of assessed work:

  • a 500 word review of an academic article
  • a 1000 word essay.

Advice and support will be provided for both assignments and you will receive detailed feedback relating to strengths and areas for improvement on both pieces of work.

Reading suggestions

  • J. Boardman, Greek Art (London, 1973)
  • L. C. Nevett, House and Society in the Ancient Greek World (Cambridge, 1999)
  • R. Osborne, Archaic and Classical Greek Art (Oxford, 1998)
  • J. G. Pedley, Greek Art and Archaeology (London, 1993)
  • D. Prezios and L. Hitchcock, Aegean Art and Architecture (Oxford, 1999)
  • J. Whitley, The Archaeology of Ancient Greece (Cambridge 2001)

Library and computing facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University’s library and computing facilities. Find out more about using these facilities.


Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and dyslexia screening.


John Percival Building
Colum Drive
CF10 3EU