AR3R9-Archaeology of the City of Rome

Module Provider: Archaeology
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Andrew Souter


Summary module description:
This module will provide detailed study of the archaeology of ancient Rome. It examines the topography, development and function of the ancient city and analyses selected monuments in terms of their structural history, their architectural characteristics, their place in the development of the urban plan, their social, economic and religious function, and their subsequent use and influence.

To provide a comprehensive overview of the history, topography and archaeology of ancient Rome, and of the infrastructure, building techniques and visual culture of the ancient metropolis. By the end of this module students will have a clear grasp of the topography of ancient Rome, of the development of Roman architecture, of construction methods and of the decoration of buildings, including sculpture, wall painting, and mosaic and marble pavements.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module students will be able to:
1.Critically evaluate and understand in detail the complexities of urban development in Rome.
2.Be familiar with the topography of the ancient metropolis and its immediate surroundings.
3.Be able to identify the principal monuments, building types, architectural elements and materials used in the ancient city, and the main historical developments of these features.
4.Understand the social, economic and religious functions of these urban features, as well as their subsequent uses and influences.
5.Show a comprehensive ability in the integration of diverse forms of evidence in the analysis of archaeological and architectural sources relating to Rome
6.Be familiar with recent discoveries, debates and controversies in Roman archaeology.

Additional outcomes:
Collation and synthesis of diverse sources of information through advanced development of library skills and interrogation of reliable web sites.
Development of verbal presentation and argument skills in classes.
Promotion of independent study skills, focussed on specific themes, and presentation of in-depth, critical and cogent written argument through coursework.

Outline content:
Forming the political, cultural and religious heart of the Roman world, Rome has provided an incredible wealth of iconic monuments and buildings whose legacy is still felt today. Through a combination of weekly lectures and seminars, we will follow the chronological development of this fascinating city and her immediate surroundings from the 8th century BC down to and including the 5th century AD, thereby covering the Archaic, Republic and Imperial period and the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Detailed discussion and analysis of key monuments and buildings will provide students with an informed understanding of the main periods of development within the urban landscape and the levels of architectural sophistication and innovation that were achieved: discussions will also be encouraged to investigate the social and political purpose of these buildings in addition to understanding the variety of cultural influences that contributed to their development. Complementing the series of lectures, student-led group seminars and short presentations will focus on particular themes including tombs and burials, housing, entertainment and public spectacle, water supply and baths, trade and commerce, thereby providing unique insights into daily life in the Eternal City.

Introductory Reading

Adam, J.-P., 1994. Roman Building: Materials and Techniques. London: Batsford.

Claridge, A. 2010. Rome: an Archaeological Guide. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Coarelli, F. 2007. Rome and environs : an archaeological guide. California: University of California Press.

Coulston, J. and Dodge, H. (eds) 2000. Ancient Rome. The Archaeology of the Eternal City Oxford: Oxbow Books.

Sear, F. 2008. Roman Architecture. Oxon: Routledge.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Themes will be developed through a combination of illustrated lectures and seminars requiring preparatory reading and short student presentations.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 10
Guided independent study 170
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 60
Portfolio 30
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Other information on summative assessment:
One 3,000 word essay (60%)
One 2,000 word site portfolio (30%)
Seminar presentation and participation (10%)

Relative percentage of coursework: 100%

Formative assessment methods:
Seminar presentations and participation in seminar discussions will provide opportunity for immediate feedback.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Resubmission of coursework over the summer, on dates set by the Department.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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