CLSC 334

The Archaeology of Power

This course takes a large-scale approach to the archaeological remains of empires and states in the Mediterranean and Near East in the first millennium BCE. In this course, students will learn, through studying material remains of various states and empires, how to (1) outline and investigate the diverse configurations, enactments, and experiences of power in human history, and (2) situate the development of the Greek city-states and the Roman Empire within larger Mediterranean and Near Eastern imperial systems. Cultural groups to be considered include the Greeks and Romans as well as the Assyrians, Babylonians, Lydians, Phrygians, Persians, Egyptians, Israelites, Etruscans, and Phoenicians. Sources to be examined include the development and layout of cities as they relate to social stratification and power structures, funerary monuments, art and symbolism and their intersections with ideologies of power, the materiality of violence and resistance, and primary written sources in translation. As well, various theoretical approaches to imperialism, colonialism, identity, and resistance will be considered and evaluated. Overall, students will practice analyzing and evaluating both primary and secondary sources for the purposes of understanding state and empire formation in the ancient world.