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Psychology, Philosophy, Culture, History and Law

A Tour of Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations: Not Just a load of Old Stones

MEDITERRANEAN HOVELL 530 520 BC Vase two hoplite warriors between two women MetMus OA cr

Start date: 1st Jun 2020

Time: 10:00 - 12:15

Cost: £45

Day: Monday

Duration: 5 weeks

Tutor: Gillian Hovell

Course code: 20SU185

Please contact us for availability

Discover the big picture around those archaeology TV documentaries.  This is ancient history brought to life, from the first farmers in the Mediterranean through the Egyptians and on into the Minoans, Mycenaeans, Phoenicians, Etruscans, Archaic Greeks, Classical Greeks and the all-conquering Romans.

A vibrant mix of history from an archaeologist’s viewpoint, blended with the distinctive art, cultures, stories & myths.  An ancient site will never look the same again: it will be filled with tell-tale images, stories, personalities, real lives and people, art and architecture, all of which still influence us today.


This course is for  beginners to advanced learners


For the first session students will need; Nothing, unless you wish to make notes


The course aims to explore the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean, from its earliest cultures through to imperial Rome.  We consider the archaeology, sites and artefacts of the great civilizations; their history, how to identify and understand the remains of each, and what was so astonishingly distinctive about each culture.

The course will be richly illustrated.


This course is suitable for anyone, beginner, general reader or more advanced student.


The course will cover the history, archaeology, artefacts and sites that belong to each ancient civilization of the Ancient Mediterranean: what happened when, what life was like, where to go and what to look for.

The course will cover all the major civilizations from the Neolithic to Imperial Rome.


Session 1:   Introducing the Ancient Mediterranean; The Neolithic, Babylonians and Egypt

Session 2 :  Bronze Age Minoans and Mycenaeans; The Phoenicians; Archaic Greece

Session 3 :  Classical Greece;  Alexander the Great & Hellenistic era

Session 4 :  Etruscans, Early Rome & Roman Republic; The Augustan Age

Session 5 :  Imperial Ancient Rome


By the end of the course students should be able to recognize the distinctive remains and finds from each civilization of the Ancient Mediterranean.  They should be able to appreciate the context of archaeological sites and finds and identify the particular art, architecture and self-expression of each culture.  You will have a sense of the ‘big picture’ of the ebb and flow of the story and history of the Ancient Mediterranean, and you will understand how the cultures influenced each other.

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Hovell, Gillian, Head 3 Muddy Archaeologist (2)

Gillian Hovell

Gillian Hovell BA(Hons), professionally known as ‘The Muddy Archaeologist’, is an ancient historian and archaeologist who lectures for York University and for the British Museum and throughout Britain as well as internationally.
She has spent years lecturing on tours and cruises throughout the Ancient Mediterranean, inspiring guests to really enjoy their explorations into the ancient world, and she has excavated at sites including Roman Pompeian Oplontis.
Gillian shares her expertise and passion for ancient history by engaging with audiences in books, in person, in the field, in the media and on line.
Her speciality is in digging deeper into our ancient past to add depth, colour and meaning to our modern lives today; the ancient cultures have much to tell us about our common humanity, and they influenced our own heritage and still speak to us today.
Prepare to visit the past and to discover about ourselves as well as those who lived, loved and died millennia ago.

See Gillian Hovell's other courses >