The Ancient Aegean

For thousands of years (BC) sophisticated cultures came and went throughout Greece and the Aegean. Voyage around the mysteries and marvels of Neolithic, Bronze Age, Geometric and Archaic Greece. Explore the austere beauty of Cycladic art, the fabulous palaces and sanctuaries of the Minoans, the citadels and tombs of the Mycenaean war-lords. Illuminate the “Dark Age” and emerge into the astounding revival of art, poetry, colonisation, and trade that marked the Geometric and Archaic eras.


  • Online



  • Boardman, J., 1999, 4th ed., The Greeks Overseas, London WEA Library 938.02 BOA

  • Coldstream, J.N., 2003, Geometric Greece, London WEA Library 938.01 COL

  • Dickinson, O.T.P.K., 2006, The Aegean from Bronze Age to Iron Age: continuity and change between the 12th and the centuries BC, London

  • Osborne, R., 1996, Greece in the Making: 1200-479BC, London

  • Shapiro, H. A., 2007, The Cambridge Companion to Archaic Greece, Cambridge



  • Greek geography

  • Neolithic Greece

  • Cycladic Greece

  • The Minoan Aegean

  • The volcanic eruption of Thera (Santorini)

  • The wider effects of the eruption of Thera

  • The Mycenaeans and their contemporaries.

  • The advent of writing in the Greek world – Michael Ventris and Linear B.

  • Was the Trojan War real?

  • The “Dark Age” – not so dark these days?

  • The Geometric Era

  • The “Age of Homer” and the dawn of Greek literature.

  • The “Orientalizing” period – the Greeks overseas

  • Archaic Greece - the dramatic development of Greek art



By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Know the location of key Greek sites, trade routes and colonies
  2. Understand the natural environment which formed the civilisations that developed in the Aegean
  3. Have a sound working knowledge of Aegean chronology and some of the controversies surrounding it.
  4. Enjoy a good overview of early Greek civilisation - its key developments, arts and institutions – and be able to recognise different artistic periods and styles
  5. Have a useful guide to key archaeological sites, museums and collections

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