CLARCH 815 - Hellenistic Cities of the Near East
Fall 2021, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Classical Archaeology (CLARCH)
Department: LSA Classical Studies
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Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Graduate standing.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


The Hellenistic period was a dynamic era in the history of the Greek polis, as kings and local communities throughout the central and eastern Mediterranean world engaged in complicated and shifting maneuvers in pursuit of their sometimes conflicting, sometimes mutual interests. This seminar will examine archaeological evidence for the development of the Hellenistic city with a special focus on western Anatolia, which includes our best-preserved Hellenistic royal capital, Pergamon, a number of centuries-old Greek communities on the western coast, such as Miletus and Ephesus, and one of the most dynamic regions of new city-founding in the Hellenistic period, in the Maeander River basin. The seminar develops out of the UM-sponsored archaeological project at Notion, and it will be structured in the same way as the in-progress publication of the results of the Notion Archaeological Survey; after a few introductory sessions, each meeting will begin with a brief look at a specific subject or category of evidence at Notion, and then proceed to a broader comparative examination of that subject or category of evidence.

The tentative schedule of meetings is as follows:

Week 1: Introductory session; the historical geography of western Anatolia before the conquests of Alexander

Week 2: The history of archaeological research in western Anatolia; urban survey and excavation strategies

Week 3: Historical considerations: urban renewal, synoikism, city-founding

Week 4: Town planning

Week 5: Fortifications

Week 6: Houses and household archaeology

Week 7: Religious architecture

Week 8: Civic architecture and public space

Week 9: The statue landscapes of Hellenistic cities and necropoleis

Week 10: Economic questions: natural resources

Week 11: Economic questions: patterns of production, consumption, and trade

Weeks: 12-14: Final reports; concluding discussion

Students will be expected to give one short (15-minute) presentation, lead a discussion of one reading or selection of readings, give one long (30-minute) presentation, and submit a term paper. For a sense of current research on the subject of this seminar, interested students are encouraged to look at the recent volume edited by an archaeologist (and UM graduate) Andrea Berlin and historian Paul Kosmin: Spear-Won Land. Sardis from the King’s Peace to the Peace of Apamea (Madison 2019, available online through the UM library at:

Intended Audience:

Graduate Students

Class Format:

One three hour meeting per week


CLARCH 815 - Hellenistic Cities of the Near East
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
Tu 3:00PM - 6:00PM

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