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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies (CAMS)

CAMS 140 (GH;IL) Classical Archaeology--Ancient Greece (3) Literary sources and material evidence for society; culture of the inhabitants of Greece in ancient times.

CAMS 140 Classical Archaeology-Ancient Greece (3)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

Greek Archaeology (CAMS 140 GH;Gl) presents the literary and physical evidence for ancient Greek culture, especially in the Late Bronze Age from about 1550-1100 B.C. and in the Classical Period of the fifth and fourth centuries B.C., when the city of Athens was at its height of political and cultural influence. The course emphasizes the archaeological sites that illustrate these stages, on the island of Crete, at Troy, and on the Greek mainland at places such as Delphi, Olympia, and Athens. The connections among political and economic changes and the artifacts, both impressive buildings and humble fragments of broken pottery, are emphasized. The course begins with some fundamental principles of archaeology, with particular emphasis on survey methodologies; the various scientific and comparative methods used to establish dating; problems with existing ethical guidelines concerning the destructive marketing of antiquities; and the connections among geography, environment, and human settlement patterns. The great sites of the Bronze Age Aegean, including Knossos, Troy, Mycenae, and Pylos are described with discussion of the connections to Egypt and the Ancient Near East. The use of pottery and other artifacts to trace political structure on Crete is demonstrated. The decipherment of the Early Greek Linear B language provides evidence for relating economic and political organization to the results of surveys and excavation at various sites. The course briefly touches on the ceramic evidence for the collapse of this Bronze Age society and the Iron Age transition to Classical culture, including the reintroduction of writing, cultural interchange through Mediterranean trade, and colonization. The course culminates with a detailed consideration of the city of Athens, with emphasis on the economic and political center in the Agora; housing, coinage, funerary practices and monuments. Lectures illustrate some ways that archaeologists have used information provided by ancient authors such as Herodotus, Pausanias, and Thucydides to understand the excavated areas of the Athenian Agora and nearby sites. This course has two in-class essay examinations and a comprehensive final examination. Collectively these count for 75 percent of the course grade. In addition, students are graded on five assignments, each of which comprises 5 percent of the course grade. Four are essays based on textbook assignments. The fifth consists of a team-led classroom review of the previous six to eight classes. Assignments require use of Perseus II, a major and reliable Web resource for the study of ancient Greek civilization.

CAMS 140 is a counterpart to CAMS 133 and 150, an appropriate prerequisite for CAMS 440W, and an appropriate parallel to CAMS/HIST 100 or a successor to CAMS 025. CAMS 140 is one of three courses accepted as a prerequisite for students enrolling in the Penn State Education Abroad Program in Athens.

CAMS 140 fulfills common requirements in the major under two categories: (1) for a 3 credit course concerned with Greek or Roman language, literature, civilization, or archaeology, and (2) 6 credits of study in the general field of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies at any level. CAMS 140 may be used to fulfill the requirements for 12 credits of course work at any level toward a CAMS Minor. CAMS 140 is an approved General Education Humanities course that may fulfill three credits of the six-credit requirement. It may also be used to fulfill the three credit B.A. humanities requirement.

General Education: GH
Diversity: IL
Bachelor of Arts: Humanities
Effective: Summer 2005

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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