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Archaeology of empires



This course will focus on the phenomenon of empires in the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age Near East. The aim is to address the way we can study empires through archaeological data and what these data can tell us about the nature of these empires.
During the course several theories of empires will be discussed and juxtaposed with specific archaeological and historic case studies.
Imperial case studies which will be discussed in the course include: Assyria, Egypt, Hittites, Babylon and the phenomenon of imperial capital creation.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge of the main theories of imperialism;

  • Understanding how early empires functioned;

  • Understanding how archaeology can contribute to the study of empires.


Course schedule details can be found in the bachelor 3 time schedule.

Mode of instruction


Course load

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 14 hours of lectures;

  • 280 pages of literature;

  • Final essay of 3,000 words.

Assessment method

  • Presentation during class (20%);

  • Final paper (80%).

Reading list

The reading list will be distributed via BlackBoard 2 weeks prior to the first meeting.


Registration for the course is not necessary, registration for the exam is mandatory. For instructions, see the Registration in uSis page.


For more information about this course, please contact A. Politopoulos.