Comparative Civilizations

Subject ANCW30004 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

On campus

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture per week and a 1-hour tutorial for 11 weeks.
Total Time Commitment:

8.5 hours per week: Total time commitment 102 hours





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:

Students who have passed Before Babylon:Ascent to Civilisation with subject codes 107-005 or 670-343 are not permitted to enrol in this subject.

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:


Prof Antonio Sagona


Tony Sagona

Subject Overview:

This subject is designed to give students an understanding and knowledge of the variability of past civilisations by comparing their accomplishments and inner structures. Using a combination of texts and archaeology, it will compare the life cycle (rise and fall) of Egyptian, Near Eastern and Persian civilisations. Students will examine cultural elements such as belief systems, daily routines, gender roles, power and authority, which will provide an insight into the distinctive worldviews that shaped each civilization. Material culture, historical documents, language and literature, will be combined to address major issues such as the social evolution of complex societies and their eventual collapse, themes which resonate in the contemporary world


Students who successfully complete this subject should:

  • possess a knowledge of the social, political and cultural development of the ancient civilizations of Egypt and the Near East.
  • have developed a knowledge of textual and archaeological methods to study processes of cultural change and interaction.

A class paper and follow up essay of 2500 words 60% (10% presentation, 50% essay) due during the semester, and a take-home exam of 1500 words (40%), due in the examination period.

This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 75% tutorial attendance. Regular participation in tutorials is required. 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. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject

Prescribed Texts:

A.Sagona and P. Zimansky, Ancient Turkey (Routledge 2009)

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.

Links to further information:
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Ancient World Studies
Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Studies Major
Classical Studies and Archaeology
Classical Studies and Archaeology
Classical Studies and Archaeology Major
Related Breadth Track(s): Ancient Egypt and the Near East

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