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Environmental history of the Near East

Vak 2010-2011

Compulsory attendance

-

Prerequisites and restrictions

Some basic knowledge of the geography and general archaeology of the Near East.

Description

This course will focus on the environmental history of the Near East based on palynology and the study of plant macro remains. The following topics will be dealt with:

  • the climatic change in the early Holocene and its impact on the vegetation;
  • the reconstruction of past vegetations with special emphasis on grazing pressure;
  • the transition to agriculture with special emphasis on the process of plant domestication.

Learning outcomes

  • Understanding of the following topics:
    (1) the climatic change in the early Holocene and its impact on the vegetation;
    (2) the reconstruction of past vegetations with special emphasis on grazing pressure;
    (3) the transition to agriculture with special emphasis on the process of plant domestication;
  • Ability to critically assess current research and literature on this subject and voice one’s properly argumented opinion;
  • Ability to critically analyse the theories and methods used to come to views on these processes;
  • Ability to critically apply the theories and methods on a casy study, find relevant literature and present this via a PowerPoint presentation and being able to handle a stimulating discussion afterwards;
  • Ability to write a paper on one’s research topic, with expression of a critically assessment of the literature and one’s own properly argumented opinion, making use of the feedback received with the presentation.

Mode of delivery

Seminar.

Assessment

  • Active participation in class discussions;
  • Student class presentation;
  • Essay.

Reading list

To be announced.

Time schedule

Course schedule details can be found in the MA time schedule.