Civilisations Of The Ancient World

Discover the archaeology of the ancient world, from Shang Dynasty China in the East, to the South American Inca in the West. This course introduces the worlds great civilizations, investigating the emergence of city living, the invention and evolution of writing, the conquest and administration of vast empires, the growth of trading networks and how ancient mythologies, histories and religious beliefs continue to shape contemporary life. Using examples from Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China, Greece, Rome and the New World we will ask, what might the concept of civilization mean for us today? The course would be suitable for people who are new to studying and archaeology and to people who have some experience and are keen to take this further.

Who is this course for

No previous knowledge or experience required

What does this course cover

The course aims to provide an introduction and overview to both Archaeolgical methods and what the discovery of Archaeological evidence can tell us about the great Civilisations of the Ancient World. Amongts the topics to be considered are:

Introduction to Ancient Civilizations and World Archaeology
First Cities, First Writing: Discovering Mesopotamia
The Magnificence of Ancient Egypt
Civilizations of the Indus
Civilizations of China: From the Shang to the Han Dynasty
The Ancient Aegean: Minoans and Myceneans
Archaic Greece, the Etruscans and the rise of Rome
Mesoamerica: The Maya to the Aztecs
The Andes: The Moche to the Inca
Beyond Egypt: African Civilizations
Comparing Ancient Civilizations

In the first session of the course we will look for input from participants in the course and it is possible that we may make some changes to the above suggested schedule based on the interests of members of the course.

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

Describe the characteristics of some of the principal civilizations of the ancient world
List some attributes that have been used to define 'civilization' and critically assess these
Explain how changes and developments in archaeological methods have contributed to our knowledge of Ancient Civilisiations

What will it be like

Class sessions will be as interactive as possible and as well as some tutor exposition, you can expect to find small group tasks, Informal quizzes, map making activities, reviews of evidenceand lots of group discussion. During the course we will also make at least one visit to the British Museum.

What else do you need to buy or do

Nothing additional is required, although pens, pencils and notepaper may be useful for class activities and if you need to make notes. Core texts, additional reading materials and websites are identified in a handout each week. Additional resources will also be available from the Moodle page for the course

What this course could lead to

Students may be interested in other courses in Archaeology, Anthropology or History.

mwc logo

I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

MWC student

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

Why come to Mary Ward Centre?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference.   We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening or weekend to suit your timetable.

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’