Classical archaeology is the study of the material culture — the artifacts, sites, monuments, and landscapes — of the ancient Mediterranean world. While we focus principally on the civilizations of Greece and Rome, other areas, notably Egypt and the Near East, can also form an important part of the concentration. The study of classical archaeology extends broadly through time as well as space, ranging from the Minoan and Mycenaean cultures of the second millennium BC to the collapse of the Roman empire — which occurred in AD 476 or in AD 1453, depending on who you ask.

At Michigan, you can study everything from the Parthenon in Athens to the Colosseum in Rome, from the forts of Roman Britain to the art of Egypt of the pharaohs, from the palaces of prehistoric Crete to the Ice Man, from cities in Afghanistan to red-figure pottery — as well as things between and beyond.

These diverse course offerings encourage the interdisciplinary study of art, history, languages and archaeology. Many classes are held in the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, and objects from its collections are widely used in teaching. Student opportunities exist for volunteering in the museum, and undergraduates are also encouraged to think about gaining fieldwork experience in the summer months. Finally, many archaeologists visit and lecture on the Michigan campus each year and undergraduates are always welcome (and encouraged) to attend.

Major

Requires a minimum of 9-10 courses (at least 3 credits each) including:

    1. At least two of the following introductory courses:

    • Classical Archaeology 220: Great Buildings of Ancient Rome/Greece
    • Classical Archaeology 221: Introduction to Greek Archaeology
    • Classical Archaeology 222: Introduction to Roman Archaeology
    • Classical Archaeology 323: Introduction to Field Archaeology

    2. Three upper level courses in the field of Classical Archaeology.

    3. One course in either Greek or Roman history or civilization.

    4. One upper level course in a cognate field (e.g., Anthropology, History, History of Art, Near Eastern Studies, Religion, Women's Studies).  This course cannot be used to meet LSA distribution requirements.

    5. Third term proficiency in Greek or Latin (Language courses that are a prerequisite of third term proficiency DO NOT count among the number of credits required for the major).

    6.  At least one additional course.

Minor

This minor is intended to provide students with the opportunity to explore the archaeology and art of the ancient Mediterranean world. Students will acquire a broad archaeological, historical and cultural overview, before turning to more specific courses dealing with the artistic production and material conditions of Greek and Roman society.

Prerequisites to the Archaeology minor

One of the following introductory course in classical archaeology:

  • Classical Archaeology 220: Great Buildings of Ancient Rome/Greece
  • Classical Archaeology 221: Introduction to Greek Archaeology
  • Classical Archaeology 222: Introduction to Roman Archaeology
  • Classical Archaeology 323: Introduction to Field Archaeology

Requirements for the Archaeology minor

At least 16 credits of courses chosen from the following three groups:

  1. At least one broad introductory course in classical archaeology, other than the course chosen to meet the prerequisite (Classical Archaeology 220: Great Buildings of Ancient Rome/Greece; Classical Archaeology 221: Introduction to Greek Archaeology; Classical Archaeology 222: Introduction to Roman Archaeology; Classical Archaeology 323: Introduction to Field Archaeology)
  2. At least one broad introductory course in Greek or Roman civilization or Greek and Roman history (History 200; History 201; Classical Civilization 101; Classical Civilization 102)
  3. At least three upper level (upper 300 or 400 level) courses in classical archaeology.

Honors Concentration in Classical Archaeology

In addition to the concentration requirements stated above, Honors candidates are required to take a minimum of eight credits in the second classical language (Ancient Greek if the major language is Latin; Latin if the major language is Ancient Greek). Honors students receive six credits during their senior year for researching and writing an Honors thesis (CA 495); they must offer an oral defense of this work, in a form to be agreed upon with their thesis advisor. The thesis should be a minimum of 40 pages in length. Interested students who have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 should contact their concentration advisor no later than the winter term of their junior year at the latest.

Download the Checklist for your concentration or minor!

Classical Archaeology Concentration checklist

Classical Archaeology Minor checklist