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The Archaeology of a Greek Sanctuary (Level 5)


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 5
  • Convenor: to be confirmed
  • Assessment: a portfolio including a 500-word critical analysis, 1500-word essay and 1500-word report (100%)

Module description

In this module you will take part in the excavation of an archaic/classical sanctuary on the island of Despotiko, in the Cyclades, Greece, and gain first-hand experience of the practicalities and methodology of digging up an important regional sanctuary. Over five days you will be exposed to materials and concepts, and work hands-on with artefacts and their identification.

The sanctuary at Despotiko is one of the largest sanctuaries in the Aegean for the archaic period. Excavating on Despotiko will allow you to understand better the role that sanctuaries played for the development of ancient Greek culture and to contextualise material culture within a religious framework.

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will have:

  • an understanding of the role that sanctuaries played in the religious life of archaic and classical Greece
  • an understanding of excavation practice within an archaic and classical Greek context
  • an understanding of excavation methodology and practice
  • an understanding of debates and issues in classical Greek archaeology
  • gained archaeological recording skills in relation to artefacts
  • discovered and recognised the archaeological significance of material remains.