Photo overlooking the totem pole in the Pitt Rivers Museum


During the Final Honour School, students delve more deeply into the subject areas which have been introduced to them in the first year. They will also decide on which three options they would like to take from the following list of 30 subjects. One option is studied in the second year, two are studied in the third year.

Mediterranean Maritime Archaeology

The lectures for the paper on Mediterranean Maritime Archaeology are designed to demonstrate the latest theoretical, methodological and technical developments in the field and also to provide and overview of the rich maritime heritage of the Mediterranean basin up to Late Antiquity.

The purpose of the first set of lectures is to examine the historical development of seafaring within the communities of the Mediterranean basin and their near neighbours. The lectures will identify the main trends in the technological development of both military and merchant naval architecture both at sea and on land. They will also examine the changing attitudes of Mediterranean communities through the development of larger political units and increasing international trade and exchange. The nature of the archaeological, textual and iconographic evidence will be discussed in order to understand issues such as the lack of warships in the archaeological record and the apparent collapse of trade after the 2nd century AD as seen by the evidence of wrecked merchant ships.

The second part of the course provides an up-to-date overview of the current methods and theory in maritime archaeology and its allied sub-disciplines of maritime history and anthropology. It will also highlight the importance of contemporary issues in maritime archaeology such as the requirement for a robust legislative framework for the management and protection of submerged sites, the problems with treasure hunting and the necessity to document the fast disappearing traditional lifeways of maritime communities. During the first term the course will draw widely for its examples of best practise and consequently includes case studies of work from the ancient world of the Mediterranean as well as the medieval and modern periods where appropriate

Last update on 09/12/16 by Robyn Mason.

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