Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Being Human in the Ancient Near East PGT ARCH5112

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2 (Alternate Years)
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course explores a series of key dimensions related to the identity and experience of social organisation in the Ancient Near East between ca. 10,000 and 330 BC. The course draws primarily on archaeological, as well as historical and iconographic sources to examine the construction of social communities through the critical lens of cohesion, inequality, and identity.


10 * 1 hour lectures and 10 * 1 hour seminars as scheduled in MyCampus. This is one of the PGT options in Archaeology and may not run every year. The options that are running this year are available on MyCampus. The course is delivered through a blended learning approach

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level

Excluded Courses

Being Human in the Ancient Near East (Hons) ARCH4074




Book review (1500 words) 30%

Interpretive video podcast (8 minutes) of a particular artefact placed within its context 20%

Essay (3000 words) on an approved topic 50%

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. Where, exceptionally, reassessment on Honours courses is required to satisfy professional/accreditation requirements, only the overall course grade achieved at the first attempt will contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Provide a detailed examination of the construction and articulation of social life in the Ancient Near East between ca. 10,000 - 330 BC.

■ Investigate key issues in the study of identity and experience with regard to social organisation.

■ Critically explore different theoretical and methodological frameworks for the analysis of social experience through specific case studies.

■ Investigate and evaluate a range of different sources - archaeological, textual and iconographic - with a special emphasis on interdisciplinary integration.

■ Provide opportunities for students to develop interdisciplinary research skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Identify and evaluate important aspects of social experience in the Ancient Near East between ca. 10,000 - 330 BC, drawing competently on a variety of sources of evidence including archaeological, textual and iconographic.

■ Critically analyse the roles of cohesion, inequality and identity in the formation of past communities.

■ Critically assess the sources, methods, and theories associated with the study of human social experience in the past through group discussion in seminars.

■ Apply an interdisciplinary framework of analysis to a chosen topic within the remit of the course.

■ Develop competence in the formulation and presentation of arguments on topics of their choice through interactive and written coursework.

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.