An Introduction to World Archaeology AD

Module code: AR1005

  • What is the legacy of the Roman Empire?
  • What can archaeology tell us of Viking raids and Viking settlement?
  • What does architecture reveal about religion in the medieval to modern world?
  • When did the Muslims arrive in India and China?
  • What is the archaeology of colonialism?
  • Who were the Ottomans?
  • What does the study of factories reveal about the contemporary world? 

These are some of the key questions posed by this module. Building on the Introduction to World Archaeology BC module, we will explore two millennia of human history – from the rise of the Roman Empire through the Age of Migrations and up to Norman conquests and the Black Death. We will learn how the history of Africa and Asia shaped the Old World and made possible the colonisation of the New World and the birth of the Modern World. Central to this module is the impact of value of archaeology as a resource and discipline to expand knowledge of this historic timespan.

Our coverage will include examining the rise of towns – with Roman bathing, entertainment complexes, temples – and the redefining of these across the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages, the Modern World and the Industrial Revolution; the evolving religions of the world – from Roman paganism, to the expansion of Islam, to the Dissolution of monasteries; economics and trade; death and burial; and warfare. We will examine regions such as Roman Britain, Medieval Africa and Europe, the Middle East and South Asia and Colonial America; and we will debate the significance of key sites including Rome, Sutton Hoo, Viking York, Jerusalem, Jamestown and, of course, Leicester!

The module includes a field trip to the castle and abbey of Kenilworth in Warwickshire. Perhaps one of the finest medieval castles in the country, the castle dates from the early 12th century with a fascinating sequence of rebuilding and extensions into the Elizabethan era. It was the venue for a number of costly visits by Elizabeth I.

Topics covered

  • The Roman Empire
  • The Roman Army
  • Barbarian Invasions
  • Viking Expansion
  • Norman Conquests
  • Monasticism
  • Rise of Islam
  • Indian Ocean and South Asia
  • Ottoman Empire
  • Reformation
  • The Industrial World
  • Colonialism
  • Slavery