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Neolithisation in the Near East

Vak 2017-2018

Admission requirements

  • BA-degree in Archaeology (or a relevant discipline);
  • Admission to the MA specialisation Archaeology of the Near East and/or Classical and Mediterranean Archaeology.

Description

The Neolithic (ca. 10,000-5,300 BC) is one of the most crucial periods in the history of the Near East, associated with major social, economic and material innovations and important changes in the archaeological record. It is also a period that has emerged as a major research topic over the past two decades.

In this course we will study the current archaeological views on this period of early village formation. Attention will be given to:

  • Epipalaeolithic forager communities;
  • Neolithic origins;
  • Neolithic expansion and food production;
  • Transitions and transformations;
  • Pots-and-people associations in the late Neolithic;
  • Regional mega-centres;
  • Pastoralism and mobility;
  • Neolithic monuments and ritual;
  • Neolithic administration and (in)equality;
  • Burial practices in the Neolithic.

Course objectives

  • Detailed knowledge of cultural developments in the Neolithic Near East, on the basis of the assigned literature, lectures, assignments and discussions;
  • Detailed knowledge of the current literature, current debates and the archaeological approaches in it;
  • Ability to critically assess current research and assigned literature, and voice one’s well-argued opinion;
  • Ability to choose a research topic, find relevant literature, apply current views on one’s own research topic and present this via a PowerPoint presentation, and the ability to handle a stimulating discussion afterwards;
  • Ability to critically assess the various presentations;
  • Ability to write a balanced and critical essay on one’s research topic, with expression of a critical assessment of the literature and one’s own well-argued opinion, making use of the feedback received with the presentation.

Timetable

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

Mode of instruction

Following the introductory lecture there will be individual assignments dealing with specific research questions and research items concerning the Neolithic Near East. The topics of research will be dealt with in the form of student class presentations, reading of books/articles, and a subsequent essay (1,800 words).

Course load

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 7×2 hours of lectures (1 ec);
  • 280 pages of literature (2 ec);
  • Small assignments and 1 presentation (1 ec);
  • Essay of 1,800 words (1 ec).

Assessment method

  • Quality of the student class presentation (20%);
  • Quality of the weekly assignments (20%);
  • Quality of the final essay (60%).

Prior to each class students read literature and provide a summary with discussion points. These must be submitted the day before class. All essays, including the final essay, must be submitted through Turnitin. The final essay also has to be submitted in print.

The deadlines for the weekly assignments will be announced on BlackBoard.

A retake is only possible for the final essay, and only when all requirements, including attendance, have been met.

All assessment deadlines (exams, retakes, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in the MA and MSc examination schedule.

Reading list

The reading list will be given to participating students prior to the beginning of the course.

Registration

Registration for the course or the exam is not required.

Contact

For more information about this course, please contact prof. dr. P.M.M.G. Akkermans.

Remarks

Compulsory attendance.