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Underworld and Afterlife (ANCW30011)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codeANCW30011
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

The journey to the underworld, the existence of an afterlife, the survival of the bereaved, the mummification of the dead, the sacrifice of virgins, 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, 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 have an understanding of ancient myths and death-rituals, have assessed critically the relevant literary and material sources, and have learned the major scholarly approaches to death, bereavement and the afterlife in the ancient world.

Intended learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this subject should:

  • have acquired an understanding of the myths and rituals dealt with in the subject, have assessed critically the relevant literary and material evidence discussed;
  • have shown an understanding of the major and scholarly approaches to the subject matter treated in the subject.

Generic skills

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.

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects


Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home



Hiurdle Requirement

Hurdle requirement: Students must attend a minimum of 75% of classes in order to pass this subject. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject. Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day; after five working days, late assessment will not be marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.
From Week 1 to Week 12N/A

A document analysis

  • 500 words
Week 515%

A research essay

  • 2000 words
Week 845%

A take home examination

  • 1500 words
During the examination period40%

Dates & times

  • Semester 1
    Principal coordinatorParshia Lee-Stecum
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours24 hours on campus: A 2-hour seminar per week for 12 weeks. Seminars in weeks 5-7 will be held in the Object Based Learning Labs. Note that students are also expected to complete approximately one hour of online coursework material each week before that week's seminar.
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period 4 March 2019 to 2 June 2019
    Last self-enrol date15 March 2019
    Census date31 March 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail10 May 2019
    Assessment period ends28 June 2019

    Semester 1 contact information

Time commitment details

170 hours

Further information

Last updated: 10 August 2019