Cities and Towns of the Ancient World


This course is an introduction to ancient urbanism in the Mediterranean region, the Near East, and the Indus Valley. The chronological span is wide, ranging from the Neolithic era to the Late Roman/Early Byzantine period. The archaeological evidence of some of the earliest known cities will be presented and discussed, with the aim of understanding the formation process of urban centers and how these shaped and influenced their sociopolitical, economic, and cultural life. Broad issues that will be considered in class concern the origin of urban life and its different manifestations; the relationship between the natural landscape and the built environment and how the former affected the development of the latter; and the ways in which ancient civilizations constructed and used space in order to shape social relations. The course will also highlight the available evidence of monuments and artworks in context as integral parts of the urban landscape of ancient cities and towns. When available, ancient documentary sources will be introduced in order to present a more comprehensive picture of those urban centers and of the communities that created and inhabited them. The readings assigned for each session (and discussed in class) will also provide a broad sample of primary and secondary sources, the latter consisting of relevant scholarship on the topic of ancient urbanism.
Course Attributes: FA AH; EN H; BU Hum; BU IS; AS HUM; AS LCD; FA HUM; AR HUM

Section 01

Cities and Towns of the Ancient World
INSTRUCTOR: Aravecchia
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