Bowdoin College Catalogue and Academic Handbook

Archaeology (ARCH)

ARCH 1012  (c, FYS)   The Archaeology of Ritual and Myth in the Ancient Mediterranean  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Examines ancient religious traditions and practice through the study of artifacts from the ancient Mediterranean housed in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Students actively engage in the analysis of artifacts from Egypt, Assyria, Etruria, Greece, and Italy that represent aspects of ancient religious practice. Student writing assignments draw inspiration from select objects from the collection that include many examples of sculpture, pottery, and coins. Illustrated presentations and assigned reading provide the archaeological contexts for the artifacts under study, as well as explore the cultural narratives recounted in history and myth. Sites such as Giza, Kalhu, Delphi, Olympia, Athens, Pompeii, and Rome are explored as the settings for the rituals and myths that helped define the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world. Class meetings take place in the Museum of Art.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2018.

ARCH 1014  (c, FYS)   Living and Dying in Ancient Rome  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

The Roman house and tomb were a constant focus of public life. Consequently, what the Romans considered private appears to be public from our modern perspectives. Explores the construction of social identity in the Roman world by examining ancient concepts of both private and public by analyzing houses and tombs as evidence for personal and familial tastes, social practices, and social expectations. This course studies both literary and archaeological evidence in order to consider how Roman domestic and funerary art was meant to create an appropriate setting for the construction of social identity, as well as for the performance of religious rituals. Explores the material context of the Roman house by examining its layout, architectural features, and decoration, and also explores funerary monuments and the public display of works of art in private contexts. Material focuses on the ancient and well-preserved cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2019.

ARCH 1101  (c, VPA)   Greek Archaeology  

Every Other Fall. Enrollment limit: 50.  

Introduces the techniques and methods of classical archaeology as revealed through an examination of Greek material culture. Emphasis upon the major monuments and artifacts of the Greek world from prehistory to the Hellenistic age. Architecture, sculpture, fresco painting, and other “minor arts” are examined at such sites as Knossos, Mycenae, Athens, Delphi, and Olympia. Considers the nature of this archaeological evidence and the relationship of classical archaeology to other disciplines such as art history, history, and classics. Assigned reading supplements illustrated presentations of the major archaeological finds of the Greek world. (Same as: ARTH 2090)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2019, Fall 2017.

ARCH 1102  (c, VPA)   Roman Archaeology  

Every Other Fall. Enrollment limit: 50.  

Surveys the material culture of Roman society, from Italy’s prehistory and the origins of the Roman state through its development into a cosmopolitan empire, and concludes with the fundamental reorganization during the late third and early fourth centuries. Lectures explore ancient sites such as Rome, Pompeii, Athens, Ephesus, and others around the Mediterranean. Emphasis upon the major monuments and artifacts of the Roman era: architecture, sculpture, fresco painting, and other minor arts. Considers the nature of this archaeological evidence and the relationship of classical archaeology to other disciplines such as art history, history, and classics. Assigned reading supplements illustrated presentations of the major archaeological finds of the Roman world. (Same as: ARTH 2100)

Previous terms offered: Fall 2018, Fall 2016.

ARCH 1103  (c)   Egyptian Archaeology  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 50.  

Introduces the techniques and methods of archaeology through an examination of Egyptian material culture. Emphasis is placed upon understanding the major monuments and artifacts of ancient Egypt from the prehistoric cultures of the Nile Valley through the period of Roman control. Architecture, sculpture, fresco painting, and other “minor arts” are examined at sites such as Saqqara, Giza, Thebes, Dendera, Tanis, and Alexandria. Considers the nature of this archaeological evidence, its context, and the relationship of archaeology to other disciplines such as africana studies, art history, anthropology, history, and classics. Course themes include the origins and development of complex state systems, funerary symbolism, contacts between Africa and the Mediterranean, and the expression of social, political and religious ideologies in art and architecture. Selected readings supplement illustrated presentations of the major archaeological finds of Egypt. Class meetings include artifact sessions in Bowdoin College Museum of Art. (Same as: AFRS 1105)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2017.

ARCH 2202  (c, ESD, IP)   Augustan Rome  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Upon his ascent to power after a century of war, Rome’s first princeps, Augustus, launched a program of cultural reformation and restoration that was to have a profound and enduring effect upon every aspect of life in the empire, from fashions in entertainment, decoration, and art, to religious and political habits and customs. Using the city of Rome as its primary text, this course investigates how the Augustan “renovation” of Rome is manifested first and foremost in the monuments associated with the ruler: the Mausoleum of Augustus, theater of Marcellus, temple of Apollo on the Palatine, Altar of Augustan Peace, and Forum of Augustus as well as many others. Understanding of the material remains themselves is supplemented by historical and literary texts dating to Augustus’s reign, as well as by a consideration of contemporary research and controversies in the field. (Same as: CLAS 2202)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2020, Spring 2018.

ARCH 2204  (c, ESD, IP)   Buried by Vesuvius: The Archaeology of Roman Daily Life  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79, the archaeological remains of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the neighboring sites around the Bay of Naples are unparalleled in their range and completeness. The study of this material record reveals a great deal about the domestic, economic, religious, social, and political life in ancient Italy. Examines archaeological, literary, and documentary material ranging from architecture and sculpture to wall painting, graffiti, and the floral remains of ancient gardens, but focuses on interpreting the archaeological record for insight into the everyday life of the Romans. In addition, explores the methods and techniques employed by archaeologists since the sites were “rediscovered” in the sixteenth century. Archaeological materials are introduced through illustrated presentations, supplementary texts, and sessions in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2017.

ARCH 2207  (c, IP)   Who Owns the Past? Ownership, Interpretation, and Presentation of Cultural Heritage  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

Focuses on the meaning and significance of artifacts, archaeology sites, monuments, and art from a diversity of perspectives. Students learn about disagreements regarding who owns antiquities and ethnographic objects. They consider the ethical, cultural, and legal considerations of where heritage materials are housed, and whether they should be published and exhibited, and if so, by whom. They examine the impact of politics, conflicts, and war on cultural heritage sites and monuments, and learn about the illegal trafficking in antiquities and art. Students wrestle with museums’ colonial legacies and consider how decolonizing practices are transforming museums and interpretations of the past. Case studies cover a broad array of museums, cultures, and nations. Readings, class discussions, visits by guest speakers, and hands-on work with objects are augmented by visits to the college’s two museums. (Same as: ANTH 2105)

Prerequisites: ANTH 2000 - 2969 or ARCH 2000 - 2969 or ARTH 2000 - 2969 or SOC 2000 - 2969.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2017.

ARCH 2209  (c, IP)   The Limits of Empire: Archaeology of the Roman Frontier  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 35.  

The Roman frontier, or "limites" in Latin, occupied an important place in the history and imagination of the Romans. Dangerous, mysterious, but enticing, the borders of the Roman Empire were active areas of cultural and economic exchange. Examines archaeological evidence to provide a view of what was foreign to the Romans and also how Roman culture was seen by others. Traces the historical development of the Roman frontier and explores important sites from across the ancient world including Hadrian’s Wall in the United Kingdom, Palmyra and Dura Europos in Syria, Leptis Magna in Libya, Volubilis in Morocco, and Chersonesos in the Crimea. Selected readings, including ancient texts in translation, supplement illustrated presentations of the major archaeological finds. Class meetings include artifact sessions in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2019.

ARCH 3303  (c)   Greek and Roman Colonies  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Explores the process, characteristics, and impact of Greek and Roman colonization in the Mediterranean world. Study covers settlements established by the Greeks beginning in the eighth century BCE, as well as colonies founded by Rome in Italy and throughout their empire. Topics include among others the motives for colonial foundations, site selection, commercial interests and economic viability, interaction with native cultures, relationship with the “mother country,” political status of the colony and their inhabitants, the founding myths of colonies, the literary and artistic accomplishments of these colonists.

Prerequisites: ANTH 1101 - 1102 or ANTH 1150 or ARCH 1101 (same as ARTH 2090)- 1102 or ARTH 2090 or ARTH 2100 or ARTH 1100.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2018.

ARCH 3304  (c)   Pottery in Archaeology: Ceramic Arts in the Ancient Mediterranean  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 12.  

Examines the importance of pottery in the archaeology of the Ancient Mediterranean through the study of Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman ceramics in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Ranging in date from Predynastic Egypt to the waning years of the Roman Empire, the Bowdoin collection presents over 4000 years of ceramic evidence that serves as a basis for study of ancient technology and artistic design, as well as economic and social history. Through select reading and direct analysis, students examine the techniques employed by ancient potters to shape, decorate, and fire ceramics while using tools important in the study of ceramics, including methods of scientific analysis, artifact conservation, and restoration. In addition, students contribute to the online catalogue of the ancient collection while engaging in their own original research. Classes are held in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art,with course assignments and final project based on ceramics in the collection.

Prerequisites: ARCH 1100 - 1103 or ARTH 2090 or ARTH 2100.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2019.

ARCH 3320  (c)   The Culture of Spectacle in Antiquity and Beyond  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 16.  

Investigates the political, economic, cultural, and social aspects of the notion of “spectacle” in the ancient Classical world. Competition and performance in front of a public audience characterized both Greek and Roman societies. By focusing on Greek athletic games, and theatrical representations in both Greece and Rome, as well as Roman gladiatorial combats, this course explores the purpose and function of ancient mass media spectacles capable of attracting an extensive crowd, while addressing themes such as class, gender, violence, humor, and religion. We will rely on the reading of primary literary sources (such as Pindar and Martial), as well as the analysis of the full range of archaeological evidence (i.e., wall paintings, mosaics, architecture, sculptures, finds, and graffiti) to reconstruct the ideologies and historical practices involved with ancient sports and public entertainments.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2020.