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CL 104 Ancient Cities and Urban Culture

Covers the development of city planning and urban life in the ancient world by surveying the origins and changes over time of cities within the ancient civilizations of the Near East, Egypt, Greece, Etruria, and Rome.

Course Overview

This class covers city planning and urban life in the ancient world by surveying the origins and changes over time of cities within the ancient civilizations of the Near East, Egypt, Greece, Etruria, and Rome. The focus is not only on the cities, but also the people, objects, and animals that inhabited them covering topics such as: locations/layouts of cities; patterns of development; and especially the material culture small and large found in cities (human remains; jewelry; weapons; 'housewares,' temples, palaces, citadels, government structures, entertainment complexes, and houses).

  • archaeology--old and new technologies for discovering the ancient world.
  • development of urban infrastructure--fortifications, roads, sewers, building codes, water supplies (springs, fountains, and aqueducts).
  • theoretical concerns--why do cities develop and change over time; social structure and the division(s) of cities; the use of material culture to create national and/or personal identity and history; (re)structuring of urban environments for socio-political reasons; effects of ancient urban structures and infrastructures on modern cities.