Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts
Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies

CAMS 150: Classical Archaeology: Ancient Rome

CAMS 150: Classical Archaeology: Ancient Rome

Instructor:

Olson, Thaddeus Jason

Days:

Tues, Thurs

Time:

3:05-4:20 P.M.

Classroom:

Mateer Bldg 117

Semester:

CAMS 150 Classical Archaeology-Ancient Rome (3) (GH;IL) (BA) surveys the development of Roman civilization in relation to the relevant archaeological discoveries and meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements. CAMS 150 is an introduction to the archaeological, architectural, and artistic remains of ancient Italy, Rome, and the Roman Empire from ca. 900 BCE to 330 CE through the literary and physical evidence for ancient Roman culture. Roman material culture from its early beginnings under Etruscan influence through the eras of the Roman Republic, the Imperial Period, the rise of Christianity, and the dissolution of the empire is covered. Architecture, sculpture, mosaics, coins, and pottery are examined in their political and social contexts with the goal of understanding Roman society and those under Roman rule. The city of Rome’s monuments are a major focus, while the well-preserved Pompeii and Herculaneum covered by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD give vivid views of daily life in two thriving Roman towns. Roman archaeology in Greece, Asia Minor, North Africa, and in the West is also considered. Students have an opportunity to study the geographically dispersed areas of Roman settlement across a long period of time, from Britain to Africa and Spain to Mesopotamia. Students to learn how the Romans were influenced by the non-Roman cultures of the Mediterranean region as they gained political and economic control over them, and how these regions were Romanized.

The course considers archaeological methods and various scientific and comparative methods used to establish dating, and the connections among geography, environment, and human settlement patterns. The course briefly covers the losses caused to cultural heritage and scholarship by wars, looting, and the illegal antiquities trade. The difficulty in regulating the trade in antiquities through current ethics guidelines permits students to consider the difficult relationship between policy and enforcement, and ethical choices more generally.

CAMS 150 is an appropriate prerequisite for CAMS 440W: upper level archaeology course. It fulfills common requirements in the major: (1) for a 3 credit course concerned with Greek or Roman language, literature, civilization, or archaeology, and (2) 6 credits of study in the general field of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies at any level. CAMS 150 fulfills the requirements for 12 credits of course work toward a CAMS Minor. CAMS 150 is a General Education course that fulfills three credits of the six credit Humanities requirement. It fulfills the three credit B.A. humanities requirement.