Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Phoenician and Punic Archaeology

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Classics and Archaeology

DESCRIPTION The Phoenicians have long been the subject of intense interest and debate. They appear on the scene of history when writing was available, but despite inventing the alphabet, virtually no histories or literature of the Phoenicians and Carthaginians survive in their original form. What is known about them in written sources comes from others, chiefly their enemies. This series of lectures is intended to provide knowledge of Phoenician and Punic history from material remains, including inscriptions. The lectures are progressive and sequential and are built around themes examined diachronically in order to bring out the unique flavour of each Phoenician region outside the homeland over the course of the first millennium BC. The social settings of pots and sites are examined; the ideological significance of monuments explored, and processes of cultural change charted. A comparative methodology will be adopted in order to understand the larger cultural regularities and to bring to the fore the amorphous nature of Phoenician identity.

Study-unit Aims:

The study-unit is intended to:
1. Introduce the archaeology of the post-prehistoric Mediterranean by focusing in detail on a series of themes;
2. Encourage a strong comparative approach to the study of a large region by drawing in knowledge of different areas where the Phoenicians are known to have settled;
3. Inform the material culture under study with interpretative approaches that the student will develop in further depth from other study-units in years 2 and 3.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. Gain knowledge of the archaeological literature relating to Phoenician and Punic culture, including select site reports and material analyses as well as synthetic interpretations;
2. Gain knowledge of the epigraphic sources dealing with Phoenician and Punic culture;
3. Recognise the main classes of material, imagery, and monuments associated with Phoenician and Punic culture in the Mediterranean;
4. Relate the archaeological record of different areas of the Phoenician and Punic world to wider issues such as maritime connectivity, the nature of contact situations, ancient ritual and religion, the interpretation of art.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. Value that regional and specific historical processes are often induced and related to issues which are wider in both geographic and temporal scope;
2. Combine a close reading of archaeological reports and epigraphic sources in order to reconstruct a complete picture of the past.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Aubet, M. E. 2001. The Phoenicians and the West: Politics, Colonies and Trade. 2nd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [UOM DS81.A92]
Gibson, J. C. L. 1982. Textbook of Syrian Semitic Inscriptions, vol. 3. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [UOM Faculty of Arts Library PJ5615.G5]
Markoe, G. E. 2002. Phoenicians. London: British Museum Press. [UOM SLC/Faculty of Arts Library DS81.M3]

Specific reading material will be given in class.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 40%
Examination (1 Hour) SEM2 Yes 60%

LECTURER/S Maxine Anastasi
Nicholas Vella
Abigail Zammit

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.