Archaeology and Art History (3 years) [BA]
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The course aims to:
- develop and encourage students' interest in the art and other forms of material culture in ancient cultures of Europe, the Mediterranean and the Near East;
- train students in the critical study of ancient works of art and the techniques and methods of archaeology;
- provide a broadly based and challenging curriculum including course units that are innovative and stimulating, draw upon the research expertise of the teaching staff, and are examined by a range of methods of assessment;
- introduce students, within the context of specific historical and archaeological courses, to a variety of theoretical approaches and methodologies;
- help students to work independently and to organise effectively their own schedules of personal study;
- produce graduates who are ready to embark on a range of career paths, or continue to postgraduate study or further training.
Fieldwork is a central component of the archaeology component, with opportunities in Africa, the Near East and Britain.
Students may apply to spend one semester studying abroad during the second year of their degree. Exchange partners are offered through the Erasmus Exchange scheme (in Sweden) and the Worldwide Exchange scheme (eg. USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore). For more information about the Study Abroad Programme please consult the following: http://www.manchester.ac.uk/undergraduate/courses/studyabroad/
Course content for year 1
You take 'Introduction to European Archaeology' and Archaeological Perspectives', together with 'Works in Focus I and II'. There are also four pathway choices that involve either mixtures of Archaeology and Art History courses or combinations of courses within those disciplines.
Course content for year 2
You select from a wide range of available course units. These may include, on the archaeology side, 'Introduction to African Archaeology', 'Roman Britain', 'Aspects of Neolithic and Bronze Age in Atlantic Europe' and 'Interpreting the Past: Anthropological Perspectives'. Art History course units may include courses offering anything from Greek Art to contemporary art. At level 2, also, you have the choice of taking either 'Theory and Philosophy of Archaeology', which gives training in the methods and techniques of archaeology, or 'Perspectives in Art History ', a course unit designed to add to the theoretical element in students' knowledge of the discipline of Art History and Visual Studies.
Other examples of course units:
Introduction to African Archaeology: Geographically, Africa covers a vast region, but in the West little is known of its archaeology outside a few privileged contexts such as the Egyptian Nile valley. This course unit aims to provide an introduction to the continent and its past, considering the archaeology of Africa from the Old Stone Age through to the development of complex societies in the first and second millennia AD, and the changes wrought by the arrival of Europeans from the latter part of the 15th century onwards. A broad overview of the material is provided, as well as considering the practice of archaeology in Africa in the past, and its current status and research agendas.
Course content for year 3
The course broadens out to ask more complex questions about the relationships of archaeology, art and material culture to past societies. Course units to choose from may include: 'The Archaeology of Islam', 'Nationalism, Heritage and Identity', 'Greek Theatre and its Images', 'Greek Mythology and Visual Narrative' 'Art since 1945', 'Collectors and Collecting' and 'Romano-British Art and Architecture'. Third-year students also do supervised research leading to a dissertation of up to 12,000 words.
Other examples of course units:
Greek Theatre and Its Images: The course unit begins with an examination of the cult of Dionysus, in which theatre played a prominent role with its origin in religious pageant. It focuses on stage productions in relation to the architectural developments of Greek theatre in Classical and Hellenistic times, taking into account props, dress, masks and scene painting. An important theme is how vase-painters approached the problems of depicting stage performances, and assessing the information that can be obtained from these paintings about the performances themselves. Alongside the scenes represented in art, texts will be studied in translation from the three genres of tragedy, comedy and satyr-play.
Pompeii: This course unit introduces you to what is paradoxically one of the best known and one of the least known of archaeological sites. It aims to examine the history of archaeological exploration at Pompeii and to illustrate the city's importance as a source of information about life and society in Roman Italy during the early-Imperial period. Among topics examined are the latest theories on Pompeii's beginnings, the development of the town-plan, the functioning of public life, what Pompeii tells us about Roman religion, trades, crafts and commerce, entertainments, houses and gardens, and death and burial.
Our graduates can, through the academic and practical skills imparted, pursue a career in many different areas of archaeology and cultural resource management. Virtually all graduates find successful employment if they wish to pursue archaeology as a career. Archaeology also provides a basic Humanities degree which can be employed in a wide variety of career prospects, such as writing, journalism, research and consultancy work. Alternatively, they can pursue careers relevant to the arts such as museums, galleries and auction houses.