Ancient Materials and Technologies in the Greek World
The course will investigate a range of processes through which raw materials – e.g., clay, wood and marble -- were shaped into objects such as the Dipylon Vases, Kouroi sculptures, temple friezes and jewellery. Students will examine a range of objects of Greek origin, from Neolithic to Hellenistic and Roman times and beyond, focusing on techniques and materials that were employed to produce both objects that featured in people’s daily life and luxury commodities. Much of the course will be taught outside the classroom, taking advantage of the museums and archaeological sites available in Athens and its vicinity. Students will be able to discover how skilled Greek societies were in transforming raw materials into functioning objects, and gain an understanding of the value of the material remains within their original Greek context. Although this is not a scientific, laboratory-based course, it will touch upon analytical techniques that are employed to investigate some of the most commonly used materials.