Archaeology BSc/MA/MA(SocSci)

Being Human in the Ancient Near East UG. ARCH4074

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2 (Alternate Years)
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

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 honours 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

Excluded Courses





Critical review (1500 words) of a key article 30%

Interpretive video podcast (5 minutes) of a particular artefact placed within its context 20%

Essay (2000 words) 50%

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

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.

■ 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 transferable skills, such as the ability to communicate ideas effectively in written and oral work.

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.

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

■ Show familiarity with a variety of sources of evidence, including archaeological, textual and iconographic, their advantages and biases as well as an understanding of how these may be combined.

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

■ Apply a range of social theories to archaeological evidence through prescribed topics.

■ Develop competence in the communication of archaeological knowledge to a non-academic audience 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.