University of Gothenburg

Classical Archaeology and Ancient History

The discipline of Classical Archaeology and Ancient History deals with the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world and beyond, from prehistory to Late Antiquity, with a particular focus on Classical Greece and Rome.

The source material consists of texts as well as of material and visual culture. The archaeological evidence from the ancient world is very rich and spans from the remains of temple complexes and palaces to simple clay lamps or stone tools. Texts can be literary works that have survived through the Middle Ages up to the early modern period by being copied time after time by monks and scholars in Byzantium and Western Europe. Some types of texts, inscribed on clay tablets or on various types of stone artefacts or written on papyrus, have been preserved in their original form and bridge the divide between textual and archaeological evidence.

The study of Classical Archaeology and Ancient History will introduce you to the art and monumental architecture of the ancient eastern Mediterranean world, but also to the pottery and other household artefacts used by ordinary people. You will become acquainted with grave types and burial rites and with sanctuaries and religious rituals and how they changed through time and you will study the works of ancient historians who wrote about the wars and politics of their day. You will also become familiar with the methods and theories that we use to understand our material and recreate the lives of people in the ancient world.

Influences from the ancient world have informed European culture in various ways and continue to do so. You will therefore also be introduced to the afterlife of Antiquity and the ways in which artists, writers, and rulers in later periods have sought inspiration in the achievements of the Greeks and Romans in order to express the values and ideals of their own time.

The research interests of the Faculty members of the Department of Historical Studies are wide and varied and include the Aegean Bronze Age, prehistoric religion, art in Archaic and Classical Greece, the Etruscans, Roman burial customs, Roman political culture, Roman art, ancient textiles and clothes, the archaeology of Cyprus, the eastern Black Sea Region, landscape archaeology, women in Antiquity, the reception of Antiquity in later periods.