The art of the ancient Near East ADED2043E

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: Short Courses
  • Credits: 40
  • Level: Level 2 (SCQF level 8)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

From the greatest royal palaces and temples to the smallest artefacts, we will explore the idiosyncrasies and commonalities of the art that expressed cultural identity across the ancient Near East. Our emphasis will be on understanding the development of Egyptian art (from the Predynastic to Greco-Roman times, with a particular emphasis on the late Bronze Age); but we will also study the external influences that acted upon Egyptian art as well as the influence it exerted on its Near Eastern neighbours. There will be two study sessions focusing on ancient Near Eastern art in Scottish collections.


Blocks 1 and 2

Tuesday, 19.00-21.00 

Requirements of Entry

Recommended: Ancient Egyptian Art, and Introduction to the Ancient Near East.

Excluded Courses





The course assessment will consist of:

Two essays (c.2000 words), each worth 30% of the final grade;

Portfolio comprised of 3 case studies (c. 1000 words each) chosen from a total of 4, and an overarching short introduction of c.500 words weighted at 40%.

Course Aims

This course aims to

■ develop students' knowledge of the art of ancient Egypt in order to use it as a means to understanding broader patterns within the art of the ancient Near East.

■ compare and contrast similarities and differences between the artistic programmes of the great nation-states of the ancient Near East.

■ use the art of the ancient Near East as a means of exploring different cultural priorities and belief systems, particularly when they came into contact with one another.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ critically analyse the major factors that influenced and shaped ancient Egyptian art, particularly traits that travelled abroad to influence the arts of other nation-states and traits from neighbouring states that entered Egyptian art.

■ compare and contrast characteristic large and small scale artistic programmes associated with the major nation-states of the ancient Near East, tying these to concrete examples in Scottish collections.  

■ identify and problematise the cultural priorities and belief systems as shaping forces that underpinned ancient Near Eastern artistic programmes.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.