The Archaeology Of Warfare In The Ancient World

Conflict great and small was endemic in the ancient world, across a very broad chronology and geography. In this course archaeologist and historian Simon Elliott, an expert on ancient warfare and author of award winning books on the subject, will take the student on a tour de force of ancient conflict, beginning with the origins of warfare and then focusing on warfare in the Biblical world. The classical world will be the next port of call, looking at warfare in the Greek and Romans worlds, before moving onto Dark Ages conflict where the course chronology ends. Special sessions will also cover other regions of the world, for example Asia, Africa and the Americas. The whole course will be underpinned by a focus on the archaeological data which provides much of our insight into ancient warfare.

Who is this course for

Anyone with an interest in history and archaeology. No previous knowledge of the subject is required or assumed. If you do have some previous experience of studying in this area the course will still be suitable for you.

What does this course cover

We will cover a range of conflicts throughout the Ancient world, from Europe to Asia, Africa and the Americas. As well as the chronology of these events, we will be highlighting what the study of forms of conflict can teach us about wider social life in these periods and we will also examine and assess the archaeological evidence that has been uncovered, along with the techniques used in their discovery. Examples of the topics to be covered include:

The origins of warfare

Early Biblical warfare

Egyptians, Hittites and Assyrians

Mycenaeans and Minoans

The Greek and Persian Wars

Alexander the Great and after

Rome at war - Republic and Principate

Rome at war - Dominate

Dark Age conflict

Ancient conflict in Asia

Ancient conflict in the Americas and Africa

As a group we will also agree a session towards the end of the course to take a tour of the Saxon Shore Forts of Kent.

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

- Identify the chronology of warfare in the ancient world
- Describe and explain key features of the principle conflicts of the ancient world
- Identify and assess archaeological evidence from a range of sources
- Explain the key strategies and tactics of ancient warfare

What will it be like

Though there will be some tutor exposition, class sessions will be as interactive as possible with small group tasks and problem solving exerices, informal quizzes, map making and lots of group disucssion

What else do you need to buy or do

There is no set text required for the course and weekly reading will be distributed as handouts in each session. Further resources will be made available via the Moodle page for the course.
One of the sessions of the course will take place as a tour of the Saxon Shore Forts of Kent and there will be some additional costs involved in transport to these locations.

What this course could lead to

Further courses in the rolling series of Archaeology courses at the Mary Ward Centre, with a new set of courses for the 2019-20 academic year. The Centre also offers a range of further courses in Hisotry and Art History across a range of historical periods.

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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 choose Mary Ward?

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 and weekends to suit your timetable. You can learn face to face at one of our centres (Bloomsbury or Waterloo) or take an online course

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.’