Topics in the Prehistoric Archaeology of the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean

The course examines and discusses the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean regions, during the prehistoric period, starting from the Neolithic all through the Iron Age; It draws from all the major regions of the Black Sea and the Mediterranean’s coast and islands. The main goal of this course is the examination of archaeological data at the 3rd and 2nd millennium BC at the Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean regions (NE Aegean, Cyclades, Crete and mainland Greece) along with the interactions of cultures in the wider East Mediterranean basin. The course is particularly concerned with issues relating to the habitation and the environment, land use and survival strategies, data settlements and material culture, the economy and trade, ideology and burial practices, management and social organization. These issues are approached mainly through archaeological data and recent archaeological finds in relation to the historical and social background of the Neolithic period, Bronze Age and Iron Age in each geographical unit presenting the central debates in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean prehistory research. In addition, the ancient civilizations of the Near East–Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, the Hittites, and Canaanites will be examined. The course shall also treat topics as diverse as Hittite contacts with the Mycenaean Greeks, the topography of the Hittite capital, and various aspects of Hittite grammar and etymology.

Learning outcomes

Upon completing the course, the students will have:

  • gained a general coverage of Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean prehistory, which spans from the Neolithic through the Iron Age, and draws from all the major regions of the Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean’s coast and islands
  • comprehended the central debates in Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean prehistory, such as trade and interactions, rural economies, ritual, social structures, gender identities, monumentality, insularity, archaeometallurgy and the metals trade, stone technologies, settlement, and maritime traffic, as well as contemporary legacies of these region’s prehistoric past
  • been presented with diverse theoretical approaches so that they can identify, analyse and discuss multifaceted subjects based on an interdisciplinary approach.