Myth and Cult in the Ancient Near East

Subject ANCW20013 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2011.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: 8.5 hours per week: Total time commitment 102 hours
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: 673-360 Myth and Cult in the Ancient Near East
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Tony Sagona
Subject Overview:

This subject will introduce the myths and cults of Mesopotamia and neighbouring lands, including Egypt, through an examination of literature and material culture. Attention will be paid to key issues and themes, which remained current and problematic in the ancient Near Eastern mind, including the order of the universe and humanity'..s role in it, the transcendent or sacred, the creation, and death and the afterlife. The subject also focuses on how these views were expressed in formailsed symbolic behaviour. On completion of this subject students should have an understanding of the Near Eastern frame of mind through myths and rituals. have assessed critically the relevant literary and material evidence. and have shown an understanding of the major and scholarly approaches to the subject matter.


Students who successfully complete this subject should

  • possess a knowledge of the key myths of Mesopotamia and surrounding regions.
  • understand how narratives were transmitted and adapted by different cultures.
  • be able to analyse and integrate textual and archaeological evidence to understand the complexities of ancient Near Eastern culture.
Assessment: A class paper and follow up essay of 2500 words 60% (10% presentation, 50% essay, due during semester), and a take-home exam of 1500 words 40% (due in the examination period).

Hurdle requirement: students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day; after five days, no late assessment will be accepted. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be skilled in critical thinking and analysis.
  • possess effective written communication skills.
  • have an understanding of social, ethical and cultural context.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Ancient World Studies
Classical Studies and Archaeology
Classical Studies and Archaeology
Classical Studies and Archaeology Major
Related Breadth Track(s): Archaeology
Ancient Egypt and the Near East
Ancient Civilizations B

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