MIDEAST 341 - Science and Technology in the Ancient Middle East
Winter 2023, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Middle East Studies (MIDEAST)
Department: LSA Middle East Studies
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
MIDEAST 200: Introduction to the Middle East.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 1/4/23 - 4/18/23 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


Pyramids and ploughs. Planetary motion and Pythagorean concepts. Thousands of years before the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment, the Arabic mathematicians and Hindi scholars, and the earliest records of Chinese astronomy or Greek philosophy, the people of the ancient Middle East and Egypt developed robust methodologies and tools for dealing with both cosmic curiosities and pragmatic need. Archaeological remains attest to the implementation of important agricultural and military advancements, such as aqueducts, the wheel, or siege machines. Ancient texts discuss creating glass, making beer (without hops), prescribing medicine, and predicting the movements of Jupiter using geometric algorithms.

Students will directly engage with ancient evidence and techniques. They will experiment with ancient recipes and procedures. They will observe the night sky and trace the movements of celestial bodies. They will solve ancient math problems and practice writing techniques.

By engaging ancient writings, handling and discussing ancient objects, experimenting with ancient mathematical problems or techniques, and qualitatively considering the role of technology in life, students will question the notions of modern and Western (or alien) supremacy or the definitions of science, consider how they would solve ancient problems, and experience the importance of scientific developments and technological advancements in both ancient and modern life.

Course Requirements:

Attendance and Participation, Short Essays, Experiments/Problem Sets/Hands-on assignments, Final Project or Paper

Intended Audience:

Students who are interested in the history of science, technology and math, as well as the history of the Middle East. Suitable for those with some familiarity with ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, or the ancient Middle East more broadly, but there are no prerequisites and no expectation of background in these cultures.

Class Format:

Two 90-minute meetings weekly


MIDEAST 341 - Science and Technology in the Ancient Middle East
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
1/4/23 - 4/18/23

Textbooks/Other Materials

The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for MIDEAST 341.001

View/Buy Textbooks


Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for MIDEAST 341 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi

CourseProfile (Atlas)

The Atlas system, developed by the Center for Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (Atlas)