CLAS 3028 - Cities Silk & Spice Routes in Roman Archaeology

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2016

The world of the Roman Empire was culturally and geographically diverse with a 'globalised' economy. This course explores this internationalised world, and the effects of cultural interactions between Rome and her neighbours and subjects by focussing on the archaeological evidence from a selection of cities along the famous silk and spice route(s) that led eastwards, beyond the borders of the Empire. What does the rich cultural diversity of cities such as Dura-Europus in Syria or Alexandria in Egypt tell us about Roman provincial life, about the processes by which cultures evolve? The first part of the course will provide background to two themes: 1) the Hellenistic origins of these cities, and 2) 'mainstream' trends in Roman material culture of the 1st-3rd centuries AD. We will then explore in detail the architecture, sculpture, pottery and other forms of material culture from cities made famous by the spice and silk routes. These include Palmyra, Dura-Europus, Petra and of course Alexandria. Sites beyond Rome's borders may also be included (such as Hatra). Some classes will be held in the Museum of Classical Archaeology. Students will benefit from having completed The Art and Archaeology of Rome, and a certain basic knowledge of the earlier period will be assumed. Note that regular attendance at lectures and tutorials is compulsory, since all contain images which may be included in exams.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code CLAS 3028
    Course Cities Silk & Spice Routes in Roman Archaeology
    Coordinating Unit Classics
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 6 units of level 2 undergraduate study including at least 3 units of level 2 Classics courses
    Incompatible CLAS 2028
    Course Description The world of the Roman Empire was culturally and geographically diverse with a 'globalised' economy. This course explores this internationalised world, and the effects of cultural interactions between Rome and her neighbours and subjects by focussing on the archaeological evidence from a selection of cities along the famous silk and spice route(s) that led eastwards, beyond the borders of the Empire. What does the rich cultural diversity of cities such as Dura-Europus in Syria or Alexandria in Egypt tell us about Roman provincial life, about the processes by which cultures evolve?
    The first part of the course will provide background to two themes: 1) the Hellenistic origins of these cities, and 2) 'mainstream' trends in Roman material culture of the 1st-3rd centuries AD. We will then explore in detail the architecture, sculpture, pottery and other forms of material culture from cities made famous by the spice and silk routes. These include Palmyra, Dura-Europus, Petra and of course Alexandria. Sites beyond Rome's borders may also be included (such as Hatra). Some classes will be held in the Museum of Classical Archaeology. Students will benefit from having completed The Art and Archaeology of Rome, and a certain basic knowledge of the earlier period will be assumed. Note that regular attendance at lectures and tutorials is compulsory, since all contain images which may be included in exams.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Margaret O'Hea

    Contact details and weekly consultation hours will be posted up on MyUni for this course.
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    There are weekly prerecorded lectures on Echo360, plus one Flipped classroom and one tutorial per week (maximum 10 tutorials over the semester). For full details, see MyUni.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:
    1 identify the key elements of material culture - art, architecture and artefacts - which are typical of the cultures of cities in the eastern Roman empire along the silk and spice routes, from the 1st c BC to (approximately) the 3rd century AD
    2 demonstrate a scholarly approach to and apply appropriate  methodology for the archaeological interpretation of  material evidence
    3 understand the key problems and issues in identifying the nature and role of the so-called “silk route” and “spice route” out of the Roman empire
    4 address wider questions of the ancient Roman economy, cultural interactions and the processes of cultural change using archaeological evidence
    5 engage productively and respectfully with their peers via problem solving and the sharing of information
    6 use learning technologies relevant to the University’s learning environment
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1-4, 6
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2-4
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    5
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    4
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Textbook:
    Butcher, K. (2004 or later edn) Roman Syria and the Near East

    Students are also expected to use as their background reading throughout the course the following book which is available to download as an e-book via the library:

    Ball, W. (2002) Rome in the East. The transformation of an empire.
    Recommended Resources
    Other online material will be made available in MyUni at the start of semester.
    Online Learning
    Reading material, web-based data and other material will be made available online in MyUni for this course.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Two lectures per week, with weekly tutorials. Most tutorials will deepen and extend students' understanding of topics from the lectures and textbooks; some tutorials will  broaden students' perspectives, dealing with areas which lectures cannot cover.
    Some tutorials will be held in the Classics Departmental Museum.



    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    WORKLOAD TOTAL HOURS
    12 weeks x 3 structured learning hours 36
    4 reading hrs pw 48
    2 research hours pw (can include reading) 24
    4 hrs assignment preparation 48
    Learning Activities Summary
    Lecture topics will vary from year to year; a precise guide will be available at the start of semester on MyUni. They will, however, broadly cover the following:

    Module 1 (Background)
    Weeks 1-2       Hellenistic origins of eastern cities
    Weeks 3-4       Trends in Roman Architecture in the 2nd c AD
                            Trends in Roman Sculpture from the Flavians to Severans
    Week 5            The Red Sea,  India and spices
    Week 6            Nabataean Petra
    Week 7            Other Nabataean towns
    Week 8            Alexandria in Egypt and globalised Roman trade
    Week 9            Was there a single “Silk route”? 
    Week 10          Beyond the borders: Begram and Hatra
    Week 11          Palmyra
    Week 12          Dura Europus



    Specific Course Requirements
    Regular attendance at lectures and tutorials is required for this course, as images which are used in both will be examined at the end of semester in the visual exam, and may also form part of the formal written examination material.
    Tutorial programme: Students should note that each must make an oral presentation of  his or her tutorial paper at the tutorial for that particular topic.  A hard copy of the written tutorial paper must be handed in, in person, during that tutorial. Exemptions to this will only be made where a student has made prior arrangements for a late submission without penalty, following the university
    rules for such an application. Details as to how that submission should be made will be available on MyUni for this course.
    At the first tutorial meeting, students will also be allocated one of a limited number of essay topics. The essay is due in all cases in Week 12. The tutorials for Weeks 7-9, however, will be devoted to material evidence and some readings related to each of those essay topics. All students must make a short oral presentation of their individual essay outline. Details on this will be provided online in MyUni for this course, and discussed in class in Week 1.
    They will then as a group discuss a specific set of material evidence and/or readings that will be provided by the tutor.
    The aim of this is to ensure that students have begun research on their essay, and are on track with their understanding of key aspects of the relevant archaeological material. The essay will be an individual research project, but a group discussion may benefit students by broadening their understanding of possible approaches to the readings and artefacts for that essay topic, or help
    to contextualise that topic within a wider set of archaeological material.
    Although the oral presentation of essay-outline will not be directly assessed, it is a mandatory prerequisite for submission of the essay online in week 12.

    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Our tutorial programme is embedded with Small Group Discovery work  throughout the semester. This includes - but is not
    restricted to - analysing, discussing and presenting primary material in small groups. At least two classes will be held in the Museum of Classical Archaeology, using artefacts from our collection for Small Group Discovery within tutorials.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Learning Outcome
    ca 500 word museum research Formative and Summative

    Weeks 10-11

    5% 1-4, 5
    ca 1000 word tutorial paper Formative and Summative In Weeks 3-6 at the tutorial for that topic 10% 1-4
    ca 2250 word research essay Formative and Summative Monday of Week 12; also preliminary presentations on topic in tutorials for wks 7-9 35% 1-4
    Visual test (one hour) Summative Last lecture in semester 10% 1-4
    2 hour written exam Summative During university exam period 40% 1-4, 6
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Regular attendance is required for both lectures and tutorials.



    Assessment Detail
    Museum artefact research (ca 500 words): students work collaboratively in class in Small Groups of 5 on identifying an artefact, then independently write up a catalogue entry that is submitted online =5% weighting

    2250 word essay: students will be required to write an essay on a topic provided at the start of semester on MyUni (reading list
    provided). The essay will be submitted at the end of semester on MyUni  = 35% weighting

    Tutorial paper:  students present and write up a tutorial paper ca 1000 words from questions provided in the tutorial programme (on MyUni with reading list provided). The paper must be handed in at that tutorial in hard copy. = 10% weighting

    Visual test: a test of 30 images taken from both the lecture and tutorial programme, to be held at the end of semester and administered by the Dept - 10% weighting

    Exam:  a  2-hour exam with essay-type answers, to be held at the end of semester - 35% weighting.

    Submission
    Museum artefact research and essay to be submitted online; details as to formatting, acceptable citation systems and submission will be provided online in Myuni for this course at the start of semester.
    The tutorial paper must be submitted by that student in hard copy, with a green Classics cover sheet, at the tutorial for that topic. Electronic submissions or paper copies submitted indirectly or to the office will not be accepted. Students must also start off the discussion on that topic at that tutorial group.
    Rules on late submissions, including the process for application to submit late without a penalty, are all available online in MyUni for this course.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

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