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.

Mesopotamia & Egypt from the Emergence of Complex Society to c. 2000 BC

The paper will contain questions on the period in both regions from the mid-fourth millennium to the end of the third millennium, which saw the emergence of the world’s first city-state and territorial-state based civilizations, along with fundamental transformations in social organization. Characteristic manifestations of the civilizations include: development of social hierarchies; early and spectacular monumental architecture; large-scale irrigation; long-distance trade and exchange; warfare and fortification of cities; invention of writing and development of bureaucracy. Comparison and contrast of parallel phenomena in the two regions will be emphasized. The interpretation of archaeological evidence of large structures and of writing will be an object of special study, both for the phenomena in themselves and for how they may provide evidence for control of increasingly numerous and differentiated populations.

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

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