Archaeology of Ancient Greece

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This course is under review for 2021. Course registration will open to accepted students once courses are confirmed.

Course Description

Ancient Greece is a founding culture for western art and architecture. This course will cover Greek material culture from the Minoan period until the end of the Hellenistic age. The architecture, sculpture, and pottery of each era illuminates and poses questions, both about the Greeks of that era and about our understanding of them. The transition from Bronze Age through Classical to Hellenistic Greece is a transition in space as well as time; students will learn about the eastern Mediterranean and the expansion of Greek culture and language from the Aegean to Asia Minor and Egypt.

The main text will be Biers's Archaeology of Ancient Greece. The students will study Greek archaeology with an intensive focus on architecture, sculpture, and vase painting, the three most important surviving material artistic disciplines. The course will have a chronological orientation, beginning in the Minoan and Mycenaean cultures of the ancient Bronze Age, continuing through the Dark Age, Orientalizing, Archaic, Classical, Fourth century, and Hellenistic periods. For each period the students will study architectural plans, development, and techniques; they will also learn about painting and sculpture. To understand the culture of ancient Greece, one must also have an acquaintance with the other cultures of the eastern Mediterranean, so these will be addressed briefly as well. With each period they will learn the major historical events and social currents that produced the works of art.

The students will be expected to read the assignments for each class and to recognize depictions of buildings, plans, and other representations of artwork. They will learn about ancient building techniques and the evolution of style in the depiction of the human body, in both two dimensions (vase and wall painting) and three dimensions (sculpture).

The successful student will have, after completing this course, a good knowledge of the archaeology of Greece.

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites beyond a willingness to read and study and a wish to learn about ancient Greece.

Course Information

  • Course Code: CECL0920
  • Length: 2 weeks

Program Information

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Brown’s Pre-College Program in the liberal arts and sciences, offering over 200 non-credit courses, one- to four-weeks long, taught on Brown’s campus. For students completing grades 9-12 by June 2021.

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