Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


CODE HBW2009

 
TITLE History and Archaeology of the Holy Land

 
LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course

 
ECTS CREDITS 4

 
DEPARTMENT Oriental Studies

 
DESCRIPTION The Holy Land, as Christians would later refer to ancient Palestine, has always been one of the most contested places on the planet. This study-unit explores close to two thousand years of the region's complex history and rich cultural tapestry, focusing on the period ranging from the 12th century BCE to the 7th century CE.

Different lectures will provide general overviews of the history and archaeology of the Iron Age, the Persian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and early Islamic periods, focusing on the most salient features. Furthermore, lectures will examine some of the major cultural and historical processes to have shaped the region and the eastern Mediterranean world of antiquity, such as the emergence of ancient Israel; the expansion of the Neo-Assyrian, Neo-Babylonian, and Persian empires; the beginnings and later history of Judaism; the expansion of the Hellenistic and Roman empires; the spread of Christianity; the rise of Islam; and Jewish-Christian-Muslim interactions. This study-unit is ideal for students of history, archaeology, and theology.

Study-unit Aims:

- To trace the history of ancient Palestine, starting from the 12th century BCE till the 7th century CE;
- To describe, discuss, and explain salient features of the archaeology of ancient Palestine, with a focus on the Iron Age, the Persian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and early Islamic periods;
- To examine and analyze some of the major cultural and historical processes to have shaped ancient Palestine and the eastern Mediterranean world of antiquity;
- To train students to analyze archaeological and textual evidence.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Relate and cite the major historical events to have occurred in ancient Palestine between the 12th century BCE and the 7th century CE;
- Name and describe the salient features of the archaeology of ancient Palestine with regard to the Iron Age, the Persian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and early Islamic periods;
- Nompare and contrast the material culture and thought characteristic of these respective periods, and formulate a synthesis which traces developments in culture, practices, and beliefs;
- Appraise and debate some of the major cultural and historical processes to have shaped ancient Palestine and the eastern Mediterranean world of antiquity;
- Analyze and interpret pertinent textual and archaeological evidence, and evaluate competing interpretations of the data.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Examine and interpret ancient texts and archaeology;
- Synthesize complex sets of data;
- Criticize and evaluate competing interpretations of textual and archaeological data, and determine which readings are more or less probable;
- Reflect on the interconnectedness of seemingly disparate cultural and historical processes, and appraise complex situations involving different forms of cultural interaction.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Text:

Magness, Jodi. 2012 The Archaeology of the Holy Land: From the Destruction of Solomon's Temple to the Muslim Conquest. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Supplementary Readings:

Mazar, Amihai. 2007 Archaeology of the Land of the Bible: Volume 1: 10,000-586 B.C.E. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Meyer, Eric M. and Mark A. Chancey. 2012 Archaeology of the Land of the Bible: Volume 3: Alexander to Constantine. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Stern, Ephraim. 2007 Archaeology of the Land of the Bible: Volume 2: The Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian Periods (732-332 B.C.E.). New Haven: Yale University Press.

A detailed bibliography will be given in class.

 
STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture

 
METHOD OF ASSESSMENT
Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 50%
Assignment SEM2 Yes 50%

 
LECTURER/S Dennis Mizzi
Abigail Zammit

 
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 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.

https://www.um.edu.mt/course/studyunit