The course is giving undergraduates general acquaintance of Mediterranean prehistory, focusing on the cultures dating from the earliest appearance of Homo in the basin and the adjacent mainlands, down to the end of the Neolithic.
The course first introduces students to general theoretical issues relating to the interpretation of prehistoric societies; it particularly discusses the anthropological, social and cultural parameters incorporated within the geographical term ‘Mediterranean’, as one of those issues.
Subsequently, the course examines specific type-cultures and type-sites of the Mediterranean and discusses convergences or divergences between certain sub-regions through time, with focus on the Aegean, Asia Minor, Near East and Cyprus.
In particular, the course discusses the following issues:
- The of ‘Archaeology’ and ‘Prehistory’, with emphasis on the eventfulness of the past and its dynamics of being contemporary.
- The general axes directing focus of prehistoric research, such as subsistence strategies with emphasis on food-gathering and production, technology, society, and symbolisms.
- The cultural implications of the geographical term ‘Mediterranean’ with emphasis on the differing and often contradicting cultures and the co-existing othernesses.
- The general chronological horizons of Mediterranean prehistory.
- Paleolithic period: earliest humans on the coasts of northern Africa, Erectus colonizations of SW Asia and Europe, evolution of the human species (Erectus, archaic Sapiens, Neanderthal, Sapiens Sapiens), Lower Paleolithic cultures of south France (Atapuerca), Neanderthal culture and caves, early appearance of Sapiens in the Near East, cave art in the Upper Paleolithic of SW Europe.
- Transition to the production stage: role of Natufians to at the end of Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithization in the Aegean, Preceramic Neolithic culture (domestication, ritual and burial custom complexity in Upper Euphrates, Jordan), earliest colonization of Cyprus.
- Neolithic Greece and Asia Minor (Çatal Höyük).
- Cyprus (continued): Aceramic cultures (Choirokitia), Late Neolithic, Chalcolithic.
- SPECIAL THEME: Megalithic monuments in western Mediterranean.