This course combines study of the history, archaeology and art of the classical world. It looks at the societies and cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world through their written texts, visual art and material remains; and at its centre are the two classical cultures of Greece and Rome. It is aimed at anyone interested in investigating ancient civilisations and their remains, from Greek temples and Roman amphitheatres to wall-paintings and the poignant residues of everyday life. Whilst it is primarily a historical and non-linguistic degree, ancient languages can be read and learned as part of the course.
The CAAH degree is taught through a mixture of tutorials, lectures and classes. Some cover specifically archaeological or historical approaches to ancient Mediterranean cultures, but the degree is unique in also offering courses that combine both approaches. There are two practical elements - two weeks at the end of the first year spent either on a University-sponsored excavation or on another archaeological field project, and the preparation of a report in the second and third years focussing either on a particular ancient site or on an artefact or set of artefacts in a museum, from the Ashmolean to the Metropolitan Museum in New York.