|Look up fees
The journey to the underworld, the existence of an afterlife, the survival of the bereaved, the mummification of the dead, human sacrifice, communicating with ghosts - the ancient world blossomed with myths and rituals associated with all these things. This subject focuses on these topics in the literature and material culture of antiquity including the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, the myths of Homer, Greek tragedy, Roman epic, epitaphs commemorating the deceased, and archaeological evidence from funerary and other ritual contexts.
On completion of this subject students should not only have an understanding of ancient myths and death-rituals. They should have assessed critically the relevant literary and material sources through multidisciplinary practice; have learned the major scholarly approaches to death, bereavement and the afterlife in the ancient world; and have discussed the ethical and cultural implications of these practices today.
This subject requires students to access reading and lecture materials online in preparation for multidisciplinary and interactive seminars.
Intended learning outcomes
Students who successfully complete this subject should be able to:
- Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of ancient myths and rituals discussed in the subject and the primary sources available for their study
- Identify and articulate the relationships between funerary rituals and objects and the social, religious, and political contexts of their production
- Identify and critically engage with scholarship
- Demonstrate in their own academic practice an understanding of the expectations of scholarship in the discipline of Ancient World Studies
- Communicate interpretations of ancient funerary ritual, objects, and theories effectively, both orally and in writing
- Approach all evidence about Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Greek, and Roman culture and society with intellectual honesty and a respect for ethical values
- Work effectively, in groups and independently, to identify, discuss and critically analyse key issues in the interpretation of ancient funerary culture and society.
Students who successfully complete this subject should:
- Be skilled in critical thinking and analysis
- Possess effective written communication skills
- Have an understanding of social, ethical and cultural context.
Last updated: 1 March 2024