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Urban societies of the Bronze Age and Iron Age in the Near East


Compulsory attendance


Admission requirements

BA-degree in Archaeology (or a relevant discipline) obtained.

SAP and Exchange Students: BA degree. Admission only after formal application.


This course will focus on the phenomenon of the city in the Bronze Age and Iron Age Near East and how to best understand urban societies in this region between about 3,000 BC and 300 BC.
The concept of the ‘urban revolution’ that is still very influential has supported the false notions that: first, urbanisation was a one off event; and, second, the ‘urban’ is a coherent category.
In this course we will focus on various episodes of urbanisation and investigate the nature of very diverse urban communities in the Bronze Age and Iron Age Near East.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge of the main theories on urbanisation in the Bronze Age and Iron Age Near East;

  • Ability to critically compare weaknesses and strengths of such theories;

  • Ability to critically apply urbanisation theories to a particular case study;

  • Ability to propose possible avenues of future investigation of urbanisation in the Bronze Age and Iron Age Near East.

Ects distribution

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 7 classes (1 ects);

  • 280 pages of literature (2 ects);

  • Essay, 3,000 words (2 ects).


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

Mode of instruction

The course has a dual character. Students will be asked to read a relevant article prior to each meeting. In the first half of the meeting the lecturer will present further background to the theme of the meeting. Subsequently one (or two) student(s) will present a short discussion of the article they read for the meeting and they will embed this in the broader frame sketched by the lecturer. This is then followed by a group discussion. Finally, the students will submit an essay of 3,000 words on one of the themes addressed in the course.

Assessment method

  • Active participation in the course and discussions;

  • Quality of the discussion presented;

  • Essay.

Assessment deadline

The essay deadline is 2 January 2013.

Reading list

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


Register for this course via uSis.
Instructions for registration can be found in the uSis manual.

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to apply.

Contact information

For more information about this course, please contact dr B.S. Düring.