Archaeology of Islamic Societies

Module code: AR7388

Islam originated in the Arabian Peninsula in the seventh century CE, but it spread very quickly around the world and today it is one of the most important religions all over the world and forms part of the moral and cultural upbringing of millions of people. How did a religious movement born in a peripheral area of the Ancient world become so widespread and influential in our days?

In this module we will examine with the eyes of an archaeologist the birth and first steps of the Islam, and its main historical phases to become a world religion shared across many communities in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. You will show your familiarity with the main social and cultural issues that shaped Islamic societies in history and how they influenced their material culture with an essay. In a project assignment, you will show that you have learnt how to formulate research questions to understand Islamic societies while appreciating and respecting their variety and richness.


  • 11 hours of lectures
  • 23 hours of seminars
  • 1 hour of external visits
  • 265 hours of guided independent study


  • Essay (40%)
  • Project (60%)