TORS OLD, A Comparative Introduction to Ancient Civilizations

Course content

The course gives a brief introduction into the history of each of the areas and then presents multifaceted processes in a comparative way. The geographical areas involved all saw the invention of agriculture and the development of complex societies. The topics introduced will include domestication of crops and animals,urbanism with city-planning and monumental architecture, the different forms of political and social organization, trade-systems and economies, religion and worldview, writing and visual culture.

The course is connected for each topic/fag to a different course in the curriculum, and the exam form will depend on the connected course.


BA-students inscribed at Near Eastern Archaeology, Assyriology, Egyptology, American Indian Languages and Cultures.

Learning outcome

Kurset skal samlæses med:

Det vestlige Mesoamerika

Samfund A

Nærorientalsk arkæologi:
Tilgange til arkæologi

Oldægyptisk kultur A


Lectures by teacher and discussions by students

Bruce Trigger. 2003. Understanding Early Civilizations: A Comparative Study (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge); Michael E. Smith (ed.). 2011. The Comparative Archaeology of Complex Societies (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge); Norman Yoffee 2005. Myth of the Archaic State (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge); David R. Harris (ed.). 1996. The origins and spread of agriculture and pastoralism in Eurasia (UCL Press, London); Bellwood, Peter, and Colin Renfrew, eds. 2002. Examining the farming/ language dispersal hypothesis (Mc-Donald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge), more to follow on absalon.

Type of assessment

Single subject courses (day)

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