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TITLE War, Trade and Exploration: An Archaeology of the Sea

LEVEL I - Introductory Level


DEPARTMENT Centre for the Liberal Arts and Sciences

DESCRIPTION There can be little doubt that the sea has a certain allure. It has, over time, inspired numerous written epics and oral accounts of heroes and adventurers. Through its natural resources and as a highway for the movement of ships the sea has provided a source of income for people across the globe. On the other hand, the sea has also been a source of hardship and suffering.

This Unit will explore various aspects of the sea including seafaring, seaborne trade, naval warfare and shipbuilding in both the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. It covers a chronological span of over two millennia – from the ancient to early modern periods. Studies of material remains and a variety of written sources will help shed light on shipwrecks, specialized equipment, cargoes, commercial routes and naval strategies. By studying such sources students will be able to detect changes in maritime/nautical technologies and traditions that occurred over the long term. Case studies utilized for this Unit will consist of well-known and recent archaeological discoveries as well as on literary debates – together these will contribute to a more holistic approach for and by the students.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the Unit the student will be able to:
- Grasp the essential principles of historical and source criticism;
- Understand some basic methods used in underwater archaeological research, including excavation and survey;
- Use evidence from a variety of sources including, but not limited to, archaeology, history and iconography thus garnering an integrated approach to the maritime past;
- Acknowledge the challenges concerned with the reconstruction of the maritime past.

2. Skills:

By the end of the Unit the student will be able to:
- Embark on the exploration and understanding of written and material sources;
- Hone his/her comprehension of fluid academic situations;
- Be more receptive to ideas that may differ to his/hers;
- Nurture a critical appreciation of the politics, culture and economics of past societies in the context of maritime history.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Abulafia, D. (ed.) (2003) The Mediterranean in History (London: Thames and Hudson).
- Delgado, J.P., (ed.) (1997) Encyclopaedia of Underwater and Maritime Archaeology (London: British Museum Press).
- Hourani, G.F. (1995) Arab Seafaring Expanded edition, (Princeton University Press).
- Scammell, G.V. (1981) The World Encompassed: The first European maritime powers c. 800-1650 (London: Methuen).

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Fieldwork

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 50%
Presentation (20 Minutes) Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Timothy Gambin

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
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