Scholars rethink the beginnings of civilizations following discoveries in Burnt City of Iran

Scholars rethink the beginnings of civilizations following discoveries in Burnt City of Iran

Archaeologists digging in the Burnt City of southeastern Iran have excavated a piece of leather adorned with drawings from the Bronze Age. The Burnt City, known as Shahr-e Sukhteh in Persian, is a 5,200-year-old UNESCO World Heritage site in Sistan-Baluchestan Province.

“Due to extensive corrosion, some experts and the archaeologists are trying to save the leather,” the lead archaeologist, Professor Seyyed Mansur Sajjadi, told the Research Centre for Cultural Heritage.

It is extremely rare to find organic material from more than 5,000 years ago. Environmental and chemical factors make delicate items decay and deteriorate rapidly. The leather unearthed is very rare and contains drawings on it.

Shahr-e Sukhteh after excavations ( Wikimedia Commons photo by Rasool abbasi17 )

“The newly found decorated leather is just one of the remarkable discoveries that have been made at the site,” a NewHistorian article says . “Artifacts recovered during excavations have displayed peculiar incongruities with nearby contemporary civilizations. In December, a beautiful marble cup was discovered with completely unique decorations. Other notable discoveries have included: a 10-centimeter (3.937-inch) ruler, accurate to half a millimeter; the earliest example of an artificial eyeball; and an earthenware bowl bearing the world’s oldest known example of animation.”

Animation pottery vessel found in Shahr-i Sokhta, Iran. A goat eats from a tree in the images. Late half of 3rd millennium B.C. ( Wikimedia Commons photo by Emesik )

Scholars have speculated that the distinctive artifacts may indicate that there was a civilization east of Persia in prehistory that was independent of the first city states of Mesopotamia, which arose about 6,500 years ago.

“Ancient Mesopotamia, corresponding to modern-day Iraq, Kuwait and north eastern Iran, is widely considered to be the cradle of western civilization,” NewHistorian’s Adam Steedman Thake writes. “If it is the case that the Burnt City had developed free from Mesopotamian influence, it could mean that the early urban era was a lot more metropolitan than previously thought. If Mesopotamia was simply one of many city-based civilizations from 5,000 years ago, we will need to rethink the origins of our urban living.”

Recent excavations also uncovered ruins of a structure in an urban part of the Burnt City. The structure has two walls, each about a yard (1 meter) thick and is supported by nine buttresses.

“The signs of fire are clearly seen in some rooms of the building,” Sajjadi said. The team had found a small adjoining room in the building. The room had pieces of colored and plain textiles. The smaller chamber may have been used as a place for conducting sacrifices, scholars speculate, and the textiles may have contained offerings.

The Burnt City became registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2014. It is 35.4 miles (57 km) from the village of Zabol.

Archaeological work began at the Burnt City in 1967. Scientists have deduced some amazing conclusions about the earliest urban settlements. At 373 acres (151 hectares), the site was one of the world’s largest cities in the era when people were just settling in urban areas. West of the city proper is a large cemetery of 61 acres (25 hectares). It contains more than 25,000 graves, giving a clue as to how populous the Burnt City was.

The city was founded around 3,200 B.C., and burned down three times before it was abandoned in 1800 B.C. Why it was abandoned is not known.

Featured image: An archaeologist works in the Bronze Age Burnt City of southeastern Iran ( Wikimedia Commons photo by Damavand333 )

By Mark Miller


Introduction

This chapter outlines the contextual research for the project discussed in this paper. The final output that was required for the project was video. Due to the content that is being presented, it was decided to make the project an animation.

Animation and Motion Graphics

Animation is essentially the “the act of creating the illusion of movement through still images” (Zeke, 2015). In a way then, animation can be traced back to cave paintings and various ancient art works, for example, pottery from Shahr-e Sukhteh, Iran, around 3000 B.C., which depict a goat leaping (Miller, 2015). More recently, tools such as the Magic Lantern (an image projector which used sheets of glass), the Phenakitoscope (a spinning disk with images on it), and the Kineograph (more commonly known as a flip-book) are also considered as part of animation history (“History of animation,” 2015). Eventually in the 1900s animation evolved into the cartoons that people today are familiar with. However the project isn’t a traditional animation, rather it is classified as motion graphics. Motion graphics can be defined as the “art of creatively moving graphic elements or texts, usually for commercial or promotional purposes” (𔄝 types of animation – a beginner’s guide,” n.d.). They are usually flat images or 3D objects that have the effect of motion. Primarily they are used for title scenes, animated logos, promotional videos, and etc.

Motion graphics has an advantage over still images, such as posters. One of the advantages, being the ability to have more content. Where a poster would be one frame, a video has multiple. The conversation stack, discussed earlier in the report, is linear, there is a certain order to it – it has a specific starting point and ending point. This translates well into a video, which is able to show the step by step process better.

Design Style

Design-wise, the project went with a simple, minimal look and feel. This was chosen after various experiments because it was kept the video simple, moving focus to the content instead. Minimalism started in the 20th century, and continues to be a popular trend today (Mokhov, 2011). It has influenced almost all arts and technologies from the late 20th century (Ivanoff, 2014). Everything from artworks to architecture to automobiles to UI/UX design, games, products, films, and more. Notable uses of the design can be found everywhere. For example, in products such as the iPhone and MacBook, operating systems such as Android and iOS, as well as most modern apps and websites. According to Mokhov (2011), minimalistic design was influenced by the De Stijl art movement, architects like Van Der Rohe, and traditional Japanese design. All of these styles focused on fewer elements with simple lines and form. As Van Der Rohe famously said, “Less is more.”


Design and Development

Introduction

This chapter details the development process of the project. The task was simply to create a short video, using Adobe After Effects. The first task was to do some research and come up with an idea or topic for the video. This was followed by trying out various designs to figure out the best way to actually animate the chosen idea. The last step was to finally create the video itself.

Subject

To start with the project, a topic was needed. It was decided to pick out a topic that could help a person accomplish something. To further narrow the list, it was decided to choose a topic that could help me or has already helped me personally. After brainstorming, the topic that was decided was communication. In particular, starting conversations. This is one area where a lot of people have difficulties, and while there are many ways to help in this area, the tool that has been used for this project is called the conversation stack. This memory tool was invented by Dave Wright (Dale Carnegie Oregon, 2015) to help one start a conversation with a total stranger. In his book How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie mentions, “Talk to someone about themselves and they’ll listen for hours.” (Carnegie & MacMillan, 1998) The conversation stack serves as a starting point for one to do just that. It uses visualization to help one ask questions about the other person, which in turn translates into conversations. For example, the first image is a name plate. This represents the first question – what is your name? The next one is a house – where do you live? After that there is an image of a family and so forth. The conversation stack was chosen for this project because it is a visual tool, and as such, could possibly work well as a short video. One of the requirements of the project was the use of Adobe After Effects, and due to that it was decided to make the video an animation.

Design

Once the main subject of the video was decided upon, it was time to try out some design experiments. The first design idea was to make the project realistic, using actual photos of objects. However after a few attempts, this design turned out to be overly complicated. The various objects didn’t quite gel together as a single image, as they might do in one’s imagination. Another problem was animating them. At the time, Google’s Material Design was the big design revolution, at least in the mobile space. One of the requirements of Material Design is the way animations worked (Google, n.d.). The transitions were smooth and fluid. While not copying the exact style, the animations that were chosen, are inspired by Material Design. However, because the objects themselves are actual photos, the flowing animations didn’t turn out very well. These animations were more suited to a “flat” design language. This led the next design to shift from realistic objects to simple, basic shapes. The idea was to adopt a minimalist look and feel to the final project. The shapes were easy to create in Adobe Photoshop with minimal effort, and they worked well with the intended animations. After the shapes were created, a color scheme had to be picked out. After several trials, the pallet that was eventually chosen compromised mostly of darker muted colors. The background was kept a subtle, dark blue, while the shapes kept to the opposite end of the color wheel with mostly pink and orange shades. They needed to be vivd enough to stand out, while at the same time keep with the subdued tones of the overall design.

Summary

In summary, the conversation stack was chosen as the main subject of the project, to help people to start talking, primarily to strangers. Design-wise, while the video started out very realistic, it eventually took on a flat design, in keeping with current trends in the industry. The overall look and feel was kept minimalistic, with darker, more muted colors.

References

Carnegie, D., & MacMillan, A. (1998). How to win friends & influence people. New York, NY: Pocket Books.


5000 yr old Findings in the Burnt City Challenge Mesopotamian Origins Theory

Shahr-e Sukhteh in South Eastern Iran is known as the Burnt City. It was founded around 3200 BC and burned down three times before being abandoned in 1800BC.

A recent discovery of a piece of leather covered in drawings add to the mystery of this special place. Archaeologists are trying to save this rare find before it deteriorates.
Excavations have revealed some other amazing discoveries including an artificial eyeball, a 10cm ruler allegedly accurate to 1mm and a marble cup with completely unknown decorations.

(The eyeball) . has a hemispherical form and a diameter of just over 2.5 cm (1 inch). It consists of very light material, probably bitumen paste. The surface of the artificial eye is covered with a thin layer of gold, engraved with a central circle (representing the iris) and gold lines patterned like sun rays. The female remains found with the artificial eye was 1.82 m tall (6 feet), much taller than ordinary women of her time. On both sides of the eye are drilled tiny holes, through which a golden thread could hold the eyeball in place. Since microscopic research has shown that the eye socket showed clear imprints of the golden thread, the eyeball must have been worn during her lifetime. The woman's skeleton has been dated to between 2900 and 2800 BCE.[13]


Below is shown an example of pottery featuring the world’s oldest known example of animation, also excavated from the site.


The findings have led some to conclude that a unique culture arose independently from their Mesopotamian neighbours:

“Ancient Mesopotamia, corresponding to modern-day Iraq, Kuwait and north eastern Iran, is widely considered to be the cradle of western civilization,” New Historian’s Adam Steedman Thake writes.
“If it is the case that the Burnt City had developed free from Mesopotamian influence, it could mean that the early urban era was a lot more metropolitan than previously thought. If Mesopotamia was simply one of many city-based civilizations from 5,000 years ago, we will need to rethink the origins of our urban living.”
(Bolding mine)


Recent excavations also uncovered ruins of a structure in an urban part of the Burnt City. The structure has two walls, each about a yard (1 meter) thick and is supported by nine buttresses.
“The signs of fire are clearly seen in some rooms of the building,” Sajjadi said. The team had found a small adjoining room in the building. The room had pieces of colored (sic) and plain textiles. The smaller chamber may have been used as a place for conducting sacrifices, scholars speculate, and the textiles may have contained offerings.

The Burnt City covers 373 acres, and is one of the largest sites from a time when people were beginning to settle in urban landscapes. Containing over 25,000 graves, it gives a glimpse into how populated this ancient city really was and how our perception of this era is very, very wrong.

Really interesting thanks for sharing


It doesn't really challenge anything it's already well known that Mesopotamian culture by 5,200 years ago was in trade contact with other cultures at similar levels of advancement in Iran and the Indus Valley, even through colonies they had established in Dilmun and Magan

The founding of Uruk still pre-dates this by some 800 years.

Thanks for reading, J1, I'm glad you enjoyed it. There are others on ATS who know loads more than I do about this, but I found it interesting too.

When I say 'challenges our perception' read layman, like myself! What interested me asides from the brain surgery, prosthetic eyeball, backgammon boards etc was the scale of this place. When we (ok, I) read about Mesopotamian trade, I don't think of them trading with sprawling urban cities. It offers a view of a very urban landscape, something that is often missing from my understanding of that era. If Steedman Thake is correct, should we expect more mega-cities further east, and how far will they stretch? From where do they originate?

All fascinating questions, good to see you by the way.

This just proves that the 'primative people' were a lot smarter that we think they were.

It is one of many, many proofs, Indy!

The initial direction seems to be from further North West, there are cities being discovered, or at least they were, in Northern Syria also having been established around 6,000 years ago such as Hamoukar, not so surprising as Northern Syria and Anatolia were the epi-centre of the Neolithic period which had begun there thousands of years previously, no subsequent advancement was ever truly independent.

I really, really want to see a picture of the marble cup with its 'unknown decoration' but as it was only discovered in December there, there's nothing on the internet yet.

If that claim is true, that it doesn't seem to have come from Mesopotamian culture, then should we look to Anatolia (Gobekli Tepe) for it's origins or somewhere else? I can't wait to see it!

Also, if this city is as old as they say, wonder how far down the stratigraphy goes, most of these supposed super old cities were generally built out of surrounding, or pre existing settlements.

That's a really good point, strongfp, thanks for dropping by.
It is known to have been razed and rebuilt 3 times, in part or in entirety I don't know, which might suggest that the geography was important for food, farming, trade etc. It could have been built upon something even older, which is a really exciting thought.
I would make a crap archaeologist, I'm far too impatient. Found a couple of jars? Great, lets get a JCB in and go deeper!

I love that you love it too!

Hello! Great post! I'm interested in finding out why that city was repeatedly burned down, which led to its name. Those items are fascinating, especially at a time when everything was supposed to be so barbaric in nature.

Hi there!
Backgammon and prosthetic eyes, painted leather - it feels modern and urban. well, to an extent! Finds like these help me to feel more connected to the past, as if a bit of dirt on a grimy window is being wiped away, piece by tiny piece.

I can't find anything which explains why it was burnt, but maybe another of the members knows. I could guess at raiders or war, or maybe a new reign who demanded everything to be clean and new but other than that, I'm at a loss.
Glad you enjoyed it too

You are so welcome, NWFgHr, I'm just glad to have found a home where I can share this kind of stuff with like-minded souls!

Great post Beansidhe. It's long been known the Sumerians arrived at the flood plains of the Euphrates and Tigris from a region to their north east, closer to Iran than modern Iraq. The ancient peoples of Uruk and Eridu only [i[just eked out a claim as the 'first' civilization, as there were a lot of other contenders that were poised to do the same soon after. Although, most of those were seen as advancing with trade contact with Mesopotamia - I suppose that is the point of this article, that this city in Iran shows a great degree of independent advancement from their western neighbors.

As to why the 'Burnt City' was burned down so many times before abandonment, it appears to have had little in the way of defensive walls. No doubt it was continually overrun and sacked. When Sumerians began settling in Mesopotamia they faced the same conditions, constant threats from the 'wild people,' and built cities with defensive walls - Kramer notes having the ability to defend their land was a contributing factor in the rise of the first city-states in the Ubaid and Uruk periods - Uruk alone had a wall as high as 50 feet (15M). Uruk survived, the 'Burnt City' did not.

i am interested in the ruler.

So they found a 5000 year old ruler that had a nearly perfect representation of the metric system?

Great interesting thread. Think you hit it on the head when you made the point about being connected to the past - or indeed our past.

Everything 'official' seems to have been focused back to around 2000 years ago and things going back before that time was for many, odd lessons most of us yawned through at school when we were probably too young to understand the implications of older civilisations, or is in the realms of an arbitrary scholastic reticence to correct our current views of history and rewrite it based on today's knowledge.

The fact part of that city had been burned could be due to a number of things - accidental fires in a dangerous part of the city, civil war, invasions etc etc but the one that gets me is the eyeball for the female with the gold threads and her actual height. I seem to remember there was the remains of a race of people found in China who were tall and blond. I do hope we can get some dna evidence from the bones at the city to learn more about their origins.

You are right about how the painted leather and things that make us realise how like them we are. I suspect there are a lot of remains that are simply far deeper under ground that we haven't a clue about because its such a tantalising gap between when we first started on this planet up to the Egyptians, Indians and mesopotaneans etc etc


PERSIAN WONDERS


Shahr-i Sokhta or Shahr-e Sukhteh/شهر سوخته (literally Burnt City) is a Bronze Age urban settlement in the southeast of Iran, in Sistan. Shar-e Sukhteh is located on the bank of the Helmand River and beside the Zahedan-Zabol road.
The oldest known backgammon ,oldest known caraway seed and the oldest known animation together with numerous metallurgical finds (e.g. slag and crucible pieces) are among the finds which have been unearthed by archaeological excavations from this site. The site has been excavated by Italian and Iranian archaeological teams in 70's and 80's.



Oldest Animation

First Animation of the World Found In Burnt City, Iran
An animated piece on an earthen goblet that belongs to 5000 years ago was found in Burnt City in Sistan-Baluchistan province, southeastern Iran. On this ancient piece that can be called the first animation of the world, the artist has portrayed a goat that jumps toward a tree and eats its leaves. The earthenware found in Burnt City, one of the most developed civilizations dating back to 5000 years ago, show the images of goat and fish more than any other subject. It seems these animals were used more than any other by the people of this city.On this goblet, with a diameter of 8 cm and height of 10 cm, the images show movement in an intricate way that is an unprecedented discovery. Some earthenware found in Burnt City show repetitive images, but none of them implicate any movements.
"While excavating the grave in which the cream-colored goblet has been found, we came across a skeleton that probably belongs to the creator of this piece", Mansour Sajjadi, the Iranian archeologist responsible for excavations in Burnt City told CHN.
The archeologists have managed to make an animated piece on the basis of these images in the form of a 20-second film.
After 8 seasons of research in Burnt City, this 5000-year-old site dating back to 2nd or 3rd century BC still holds many secrets within. Burnt City was civilized and developed, and cherished very important ancient crafts including jewelry making and pottery.

Oldest Backgammon

The oldest backgammon in the world along with 60 pieces has been unearthed beneath the rubbles of the legendary Burnt City (Shahr-i Sokhta) in Sistan-Baluchistan province, southeastern Iran.
Iranian archeologists working on the relics of the 5,000-year-old civilization argue this backgammon is much older than the one already discovered in Mesopotamia and their evidence is strong enough to claim the board game was first played in the Burnt City and then transferred to other civilizations.
"The board is rectangular and made of ebony, which did not grow in Sistan and merchants used to import it from India." the board features an engraved serpent coiling around itself for 20 times, thus producing 20 slots for the game, more affectionately known in Persian as Takhte Nard. The engraving, artistically done, indicates artisans in the Burnt City were masters of the craft. "The 60 pieces were also unearthed inside a terracotta vessel beside the board. They were made of common stones quarried in the city, including agate and turquoise.
Experts still wonder why they played the game with 60 pieces and are trying to discern its rules, but it at least shows it is 100-200 years older than the one discovered in Mesopotamia.
They are also intrigued that inhabitants of ancient civilizations, widely believed to be concerned with their daily survival, could afford to indulge in such luxuries as playing board games.

LONDON, (CAIS) -- With discovering and documenting some 130 historical sites including satellite villages in the archeological site of Burnt City within only 6 months, archeologists of the Cultural Heritage Center of Burnt City have surpassed all the previous records in identifying and registering archeological sites in Iran.

“Discovery and registration of 130 historical sites within 6 months of archeological excavations in Burnt City indicates that almost every day one discovery has been made and announced to be registered in the list of Iran’s National Heritage, something which is absolutely unprecedented in the history of archeological excavations in Iran and should be registered as a successful record for Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO),” said Alireza Khosravi, head of Cultural Heritage Center of Burnt City.

Khosravi also announced that experts are currently working on preparing a map on which distribution of archeological sites in Sistan Plain is pinned down as well as a digital map from the area.

According to Khosravi, this project aims to highlight the tourism potentials of the region through identifying and documenting the historical sites that exist in the area. It also intends to introduce the unique archeological features of the Sistan Plain and the rich civilization and cultural values of Burnt City, southeast Iran, and to reveal some unknown aspects of this historical site.

Prior to this, some 137 historical hills had been identified by this Center in the vicinity of Burnt City historical site. Archeologists believed that most probably these hills were settled by the Burnt City inhabitants during the ancient times. The discovered historical sites are located 6-8 kilometers from the Burnt City and some cultural evidence such as broken clays similar to those discovered in Burnt City have been unearthed in these hills.

Located 57 kilometers from the city of Zabol in Sistan va Baluchestan province, southeast Iran, the Burnt City covers an area of 150 hectares and was one of the world’s largest cities at the dawn of the urban era. It was built around 3200 BCE and was destroyed some time around 2100 BCE. The city had four stages of civilization and was burnt down three times, which is why it is called Burnt City (Shahr-e Sukhteh in Persian).

Toward the end of the second millennium BCE, Burnt City came to a cultural standstill and archeological evidence shows that this ancient civilization of the eastern plateau of Iran somehow vanished from the face of the earth at the beginning of the first millennium BCE.

According to Khosravi, archeologists are determined to trace the settlement area of human beings during the latest periods of settlement in Burnt City which coincided with the dawn of civilization in eastern half of the Iranian Plateau. Comparing and studying the discovered cultural evidence such as earthenware remains scattered in the region in different areas from the basin of Hirmand River to the satellite villages as well as identifying the location of the settlement areas in other parts of Sistan Plain where life existed at a time Burnt City was still alive and discovering the process of development of the art of pottery-making in Sistan Plain and finding the trend of civilization in the region are the other objectives behind this year’s archeological excavations in the vicinity of Burnt City.

Although 9 seasons of archeological excavations have been carried out on the Burnt City so far, there are still many questions remained unanswered about the ethnicity and language of its inhabitants. Moreover, archeologists have not yet figured out what happened to the people of the region and where they migrated to after they abandoned their city.

Excavation on the Burnt City was initiated in 1967 when Professor Maurizzio Tosi, Italian archeologists and his colleagues joined Iranian archeologists. Later, in 1988-89, excavations were resumed by Dr. Sajjadi under the auspices of Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization. The outcome of the research has been published in 170 books and papers so far in Persian, English, Italian, Japanese, German, and Spanish languages.

According to excavations and researches, the Burnt City has come to be known as one of the most important proofs for the independence of the eastern part of Iran from Mesopotamia. Based on the discovered historical relics such as rope, basket, cloth, wooden objects, fingernail and hair, weaving equipment such as hooks, shoe lace, human and animal statuettes seldom unearthed in other archeological sites so far, archeologists have concluded that Burnt City was the most significant center of settlement and in fact the whole region’s social, economic, political and cultural center during the 3rd and 2nd millennia BCE.

One of the prominent ancient relics found in the Burnt City is a skull that anthropologists believe might have been the first evidence of brain surgeries in prehistoric Iran. The skull was found in a mass grave in 1978 during excavations by the Italian team, lead by Maurizzio Tosi.

Results of 10 years of excavations in the historical site of Burnt City are to be published in a book in which major archeological findings in this historical site will be documented.

Abstract: The Burnt City in eastern Iran dates back to 5,000 years ago and is spread in an area of 150 hectares. In its life span of 1100 years, the Burnt City has been witness to four civilization eras. It was unearthed in the year 1915.


The area, 56 km from the city of Zabol in Sistan-Baluchestan Province, is the place that is known by some local people as the "region of bandits" but in fact far from any wickedness, it is the place where our past history has taken shape. The place is the "Burnt City", a land that has come from 5000-years ago, and has opened up its secrets to archaeologists to enable them to reveal its magnificence to the contemporary generation.

Thousands of years ago some people used to live on this desert land and its hot soil that is hard to bear today, who had thei r own civilization and architectural style, the remains of which that had once been buried under the layers of soil have now been pulled out of the ancient hills of the region.

The entire vast desert is filled with fragments of clay works spread all over the area. However, we were not able to inspect the entire region due to the hot weather and wind.

"With every step that we took the soil under our feet moved aside, revealing more fragments of clay works. We were told that after each rain the earth will be washed away and fragments will come out to the surface and that the more fragments they collect the generous land will give them more pieces of the precious gifts. The moment we touched the clay fragments that were buried under the soil we sensed a strange feeling that reminded us of our Oriental background and this feeling made us to search for our lost identity within the Burnt City" (Dr. Mansour Seyed Sajjadi, an archaeologist who has for years made research works in the Burnt City).

"The Burnt City with a span of 150 hectares of land is the largest areas in the Middle East dating back to the Brass Age. It was founded in 3200 BCE and was ruined in 2100 BCE and in the course of its 1100-year life was witness to four civilization eras. It was burnt for three times and completely ruined in the third fire. That is the reason as to why the city is called the "Burnt City".

So far, no one has found out the real name of the city and only in the case that archaeologists gain access to the historical record of the ancient city, it would be possible to find out the real name of the city by reading the unearthed manuscripts.

The available evidences indicate that the Burnt City was first discovered by British scholar Orwell Stein in the year 1915 and later in the 1960s, a team from the Italian institute for the Middle East and Oriental studies launched archeological excavations with the cooperation of the Archeology General Department in a period between 1967 to 1978.

With the discovery of 250 graves, the team collected interesting valuable information. However, excavations were halted in the ancient area from 1978 for a period of 18 years but archeological activities once again resumed in the area in 1997.

Dr. Sajjadi, whose abundant love for the ancient region is hard to be estimated, was greatly cautious lest anybody might damage the newly repaired walls of the invaluable historical heritage by walking on it.




The world's oldest and the first animation picture found in Burnt city

He believed that the Burnt City is a big laboratory in the heart of the desert that has housed various sectors such as residential quarters, historical monuments, graveyards and industrial units. Given that so far no defensive fortress or walls have been discovered in the Burnt City, archaeologists believe that the inhabitants of the city were all peace-loving and calm people who lived a peaceful life in the absence of any boundaries and without getting involved in any war or confrontation.

Studies show that in the early stage of their settlement in the region (3200 to 2800 BCE) the people of the Burnt City had established contacts and entered into transactions with the people in the Eastern and North-Eastern parts of the Greater Iran, the Central Asia and Quetta (in what is today known as Pakistan's Baluchistan).

Dr. Sajjadi, the expert archaeologist of the Burnt City, says that in the second phase of their settlement (2800 to 2500 BCE) the people halted their contacts with Khuzestan but preserved their ties with Central Asia. Seals that have been discovered in the Burnt City, Mishmahig (Bahrain), Kuwait and southern Khvarvaran (Iraq) lend further proof to such a theory.

The world's first mesurment found in Burnt city ( Ruller )



In the third phase (2500 to 2300 BCE) and even in the fourth phase (2300 to 2100 BCE) the inhabitants of the Burnt City had contacts with northern and eastern areas but gradually lowered the level of their relationship.

The archaeologist further opines that the Burnt City was the center of a civilization known as "Civilization of the Hirmand River Zone" that served as the capital of the civilizations that existed 5000 years ago.

However, due to the displacement and drying up of the Hirmand River's delta, living in the region lost its charm. It is said that the Burnt City had about 70 villages that were highly active in agriculture and production of clay works.

In the course of the 2001 archeological excavations in the area, over one ton of clay objects were collected from inside the graves and in architectural environments. The number of objects discovered from the historical site is out of estimation. It was very hard to make further comments on the people who lived in the Burnt City when we heard that objects, including 12 patterns of fabrics in different colors have been discovered in the area as well as inlaid works dating back to 5000 years ago.

The efficiency, knowledge and state-of-the-art deployed by those people leaves no room for any judgment. We were told there that the oldest sample of surgery on human's skull was carried out on a 13-year-old girl suffering from hydrocephalic. The skull is due to be displayed at the first medical history museum of Iran.

Apparently, the major part of the information has been obtained from graves that have been unearthed in the course of excavation operations.

"We then slowly proceeded towards the graveyard section as if our steps would disturb the sleeping ancestors. The graveyard sector was expanded in an area of 20 hectares of the dead land", according to Dr. Sajjadi.

The graveyard embraces about 40,000 graves of which only 134 graves have been excavated in the course of four operational seasons and 158 skeletons have been discovered out of them of which about 120 samples have undergone anthropological studies.

Research studies show that due to the hard labor, men and women who lived in the Burnt City had short span of life to the extent that men died at the age of 26 to 53 and women at 26 to 46. On the other hand, archaeologists evaluate these graves as data banks through which they can find out the style of living, beliefs and professionals of their ancestors.

Findings obtained in the course of four archeological seasons in the Burnt City indicate that the people of the Burnt City had veteran jeweler, painters, shepherds, farmers, weavers and craftsmen among them.

Samples of the precious stones cut in that period, some with less than a millimeter thickness further reveals the delicacy of the art of jewelry at that time.

Archaeologists have also found remains of paints in a number of pots indicating that artists of that time used to paint clay pots. Elaborating on the people's belief in that era for putting pots inside the grave and beside the buried body, the archaeologist said the inhabitants of the Burnt City believed in the postmortem life and thus viewed death as a temporary sleep that would come to end one day. Therefore, they used to place dishes, water and all the basic requirements in the graves so that on the resurrection day they would be used when the dead body will be awakened again.

Dr. Sajjadi also points out that some cloves of garlic have been found in a number of graves, adding that in some countries in southern Europe and certain Indo-European tribes it is believed that garlic will expel the wicked spirits out of their homes. Therefore, it is also believed that people who lived in the Burnt City put cloves of garlic inside the graves for the same reason and in order to keep evil away from the dead body. He said that the evidence found in one of the graves attested to the commitment of a murder as the head of the dead body together with the deadly weapon had been placed underneath his feet.

Despite the invaluable information that archaeologists have obtained out of the graves in the Burnt City, however, Dr. Sajjadi believes that until the time that 1,000 graves have not been examined no one can express his idea definitely and all comments are based on assumptions. According to him, by the deployment of the present technology it takes 150 years to scientifically to excavate the area. In fact, no end could be speculated to that ancient realm as it was spread in a span of 150 hectares.

"We were curious to find out what happened to the people in the last fire of the city and in the aftermath of the drying of the Hirmand River's Delta and that where we could find their traces following their migration from the Burnt City". According to Dr. Sajjadi, after migrating from the Burnt City, the people had apparently settled in regions on the other side of the borders.

He says that there is no trace of them after 2100 to 2000 BCE because no scientific research work has been conducted in this regard. The more we gathered information about the Burnt City and its people the heavier became our grief.


5000 yr old Findings in the Burnt City Challenge Mesopotamian Origins Theory

Shahr-e Sukhteh in South Eastern Iran is known as the Burnt City. It was founded around 3200 BC and burned down three times before being abandoned in 1800BC.

A recent discovery of a piece of leather covered in drawings add to the mystery of this special place. Archaeologists are trying to save this rare find before it deteriorates.
Excavations have revealed some other amazing discoveries including an artificial eyeball, a 10cm ruler allegedly accurate to 1mm and a marble cup with completely unknown decorations.

(The eyeball) . has a hemispherical form and a diameter of just over 2.5 cm (1 inch). It consists of very light material, probably bitumen paste. The surface of the artificial eye is covered with a thin layer of gold, engraved with a central circle (representing the iris) and gold lines patterned like sun rays. The female remains found with the artificial eye was 1.82 m tall (6 feet), much taller than ordinary women of her time. On both sides of the eye are drilled tiny holes, through which a golden thread could hold the eyeball in place. Since microscopic research has shown that the eye socket showed clear imprints of the golden thread, the eyeball must have been worn during her lifetime. The woman's skeleton has been dated to between 2900 and 2800 BCE.[13]


Below is shown an example of pottery featuring the world’s oldest known example of animation, also excavated from the site.


The findings have led some to conclude that a unique culture arose independently from their Mesopotamian neighbours:

“Ancient Mesopotamia, corresponding to modern-day Iraq, Kuwait and north eastern Iran, is widely considered to be the cradle of western civilization,” New Historian’s Adam Steedman Thake writes.
“If it is the case that the Burnt City had developed free from Mesopotamian influence, it could mean that the early urban era was a lot more metropolitan than previously thought. If Mesopotamia was simply one of many city-based civilizations from 5,000 years ago, we will need to rethink the origins of our urban living.”
(Bolding mine)


Recent excavations also uncovered ruins of a structure in an urban part of the Burnt City. The structure has two walls, each about a yard (1 meter) thick and is supported by nine buttresses.
“The signs of fire are clearly seen in some rooms of the building,” Sajjadi said. The team had found a small adjoining room in the building. The room had pieces of colored (sic) and plain textiles. The smaller chamber may have been used as a place for conducting sacrifices, scholars speculate, and the textiles may have contained offerings.

The Burnt City covers 373 acres, and is one of the largest sites from a time when people were beginning to settle in urban landscapes. Containing over 25,000 graves, it gives a glimpse into how populated this ancient city really was and how our perception of this era is very, very wrong.

Really interesting thanks for sharing


It doesn't really challenge anything it's already well known that Mesopotamian culture by 5,200 years ago was in trade contact with other cultures at similar levels of advancement in Iran and the Indus Valley, even through colonies they had established in Dilmun and Magan

The founding of Uruk still pre-dates this by some 800 years.

Thanks for reading, J1, I'm glad you enjoyed it. There are others on ATS who know loads more than I do about this, but I found it interesting too.

When I say 'challenges our perception' read layman, like myself! What interested me asides from the brain surgery, prosthetic eyeball, backgammon boards etc was the scale of this place. When we (ok, I) read about Mesopotamian trade, I don't think of them trading with sprawling urban cities. It offers a view of a very urban landscape, something that is often missing from my understanding of that era. If Steedman Thake is correct, should we expect more mega-cities further east, and how far will they stretch? From where do they originate?

All fascinating questions, good to see you by the way.

This just proves that the 'primative people' were a lot smarter that we think they were.

It is one of many, many proofs, Indy!

The initial direction seems to be from further North West, there are cities being discovered, or at least they were, in Northern Syria also having been established around 6,000 years ago such as Hamoukar, not so surprising as Northern Syria and Anatolia were the epi-centre of the Neolithic period which had begun there thousands of years previously, no subsequent advancement was ever truly independent.

I really, really want to see a picture of the marble cup with its 'unknown decoration' but as it was only discovered in December there, there's nothing on the internet yet.

If that claim is true, that it doesn't seem to have come from Mesopotamian culture, then should we look to Anatolia (Gobekli Tepe) for it's origins or somewhere else? I can't wait to see it!

Also, if this city is as old as they say, wonder how far down the stratigraphy goes, most of these supposed super old cities were generally built out of surrounding, or pre existing settlements.

That's a really good point, strongfp, thanks for dropping by.
It is known to have been razed and rebuilt 3 times, in part or in entirety I don't know, which might suggest that the geography was important for food, farming, trade etc. It could have been built upon something even older, which is a really exciting thought.
I would make a crap archaeologist, I'm far too impatient. Found a couple of jars? Great, lets get a JCB in and go deeper!

I love that you love it too!

Hello! Great post! I'm interested in finding out why that city was repeatedly burned down, which led to its name. Those items are fascinating, especially at a time when everything was supposed to be so barbaric in nature.

Hi there!
Backgammon and prosthetic eyes, painted leather - it feels modern and urban. well, to an extent! Finds like these help me to feel more connected to the past, as if a bit of dirt on a grimy window is being wiped away, piece by tiny piece.

I can't find anything which explains why it was burnt, but maybe another of the members knows. I could guess at raiders or war, or maybe a new reign who demanded everything to be clean and new but other than that, I'm at a loss.
Glad you enjoyed it too

You are so welcome, NWFgHr, I'm just glad to have found a home where I can share this kind of stuff with like-minded souls!

Great post Beansidhe. It's long been known the Sumerians arrived at the flood plains of the Euphrates and Tigris from a region to their north east, closer to Iran than modern Iraq. The ancient peoples of Uruk and Eridu only [i[just eked out a claim as the 'first' civilization, as there were a lot of other contenders that were poised to do the same soon after. Although, most of those were seen as advancing with trade contact with Mesopotamia - I suppose that is the point of this article, that this city in Iran shows a great degree of independent advancement from their western neighbors.

As to why the 'Burnt City' was burned down so many times before abandonment, it appears to have had little in the way of defensive walls. No doubt it was continually overrun and sacked. When Sumerians began settling in Mesopotamia they faced the same conditions, constant threats from the 'wild people,' and built cities with defensive walls - Kramer notes having the ability to defend their land was a contributing factor in the rise of the first city-states in the Ubaid and Uruk periods - Uruk alone had a wall as high as 50 feet (15M). Uruk survived, the 'Burnt City' did not.

i am interested in the ruler.

So they found a 5000 year old ruler that had a nearly perfect representation of the metric system?

Great interesting thread. Think you hit it on the head when you made the point about being connected to the past - or indeed our past.

Everything 'official' seems to have been focused back to around 2000 years ago and things going back before that time was for many, odd lessons most of us yawned through at school when we were probably too young to understand the implications of older civilisations, or is in the realms of an arbitrary scholastic reticence to correct our current views of history and rewrite it based on today's knowledge.

The fact part of that city had been burned could be due to a number of things - accidental fires in a dangerous part of the city, civil war, invasions etc etc but the one that gets me is the eyeball for the female with the gold threads and her actual height. I seem to remember there was the remains of a race of people found in China who were tall and blond. I do hope we can get some dna evidence from the bones at the city to learn more about their origins.

You are right about how the painted leather and things that make us realise how like them we are. I suspect there are a lot of remains that are simply far deeper under ground that we haven't a clue about because its such a tantalising gap between when we first started on this planet up to the Egyptians, Indians and mesopotaneans etc etc


Education in the Islamic Golden Age

W e often see references to a Golden Age of Muslim learning that flourished in the historical Khorasan region. This period was quite far spread out – starting from 750 AD with the rise of Abbasid Caliphate and continuing till the Mongols devastated the Muslim lands and peoples of Central Asia in the 13th century. Though some embers continued to sparkle for two more centuries, the destruction of great centres of scholarship like Samarkand, Balkh, Bamiyan, Herat, Rey, Nishapur and Baghdad, and wholesale slaughter of their inhabitants effectively put an end to this learned era.

There were thousands of physicians, astronomers, geographers, historians, mathematicians, philosophers, theologians and poets in this Islamic Golden Age. This kind of profuse proliferation of sciences and arts in a society is an evolutionary process that cannot occur in a cultural vacuum.

From a manuscript of the Shahnameh – the Vizier Bozorgmehr discusses a game
of chess with Khosrow I

This article will study the education system in the erstwhile Greater Khorasan region that gave rise to such abundance of scholarship. The geographical extent of this region is the area east of the Tigris including Northern Iran, Western Afghanistan and the Central Asian states. Much of the information contained herein is derived from the 4th volume of exhaustive 7-volume History of Civilization of Central Asia compiled by UNESCO, that derives information from scores of studies and written contemporary records.

Before Islam reached North Iran and Transoxania, the region was a crossroad of various religions and cultures such as Persian, Greek/Hellenic, Buddhist, Shamanist, Animist, Manichaen, Indian, Nestorian and Zoroastrian. After the Muslim conquest, Arab supremacy came to be challenged by local population allowing various Persian and Turk dynasties to become autonomous rulers. These dynasties included the Turgesh Khagnate (724 AD), Tahirids (821 AD), Saffarids (867 AD), Samanids (874 AD), Buwayhids (932 AD) and Ghaznavids, followed by the Seljuks. The interaction of these varied religions and people created a society that was conducive for the spread of liberal sciences.

The Sassanid-era student learned to compete in wrestling, backgammon and chess. He was skilled in the art of cookery and was well acquainted with the varieties of garden flowers and the means of extracting various perfumes from them

The seeds of education in the Persianate lands came from the Byzantine world and Nestorian Christians. An ancient “Persian school” of theological studies was established in the 2nd century at Nisbis in the upper Mesopotamia that moved to Edessa in the 4th century when the former fell to the Persian forces. Following the Nestorian schism, when emperor Zeno closed this school in 489 AD, the school moved back to Nisbis and its scholars settled in the Persian territories. Both these cities are situated in now Turkey, along its border with Syria.

Warqa bin Naufal, a cousin of Hazrat Khadija (RA) who was the first to testify to the Prophet’s (PBUH) revelations, too, was a Nestorian scholar. The Nisbis school played a major role in the spread of education, first in Sassanid and then in Muslim Persia. Nestorians played a major role in the translation of Greek manuscripts into Latin, which were then retranslated into Arabic during the Abbasid era, igniting the spread of scientific and philosophical thoughts in the Muslim world.

Astronomical Observatory where Nasir-al-Din Tusi studied the heavens

In the early third century, the Roman Emperor Valerian was defeated and taken prisoner by Sassanid King Shapur I. The Roman prisoners of war included men of medicine who were employed by the Persians to establish a bimaristan – medical school and hospital – at Gundeshapur in modern-day Khuzestan province. Later, when the East Roman Emperor Justinian closed the pagan schools and perhaps the ancient Academy at Athens too, their staff migrated to Gundeshapur – making it an important centre of Greek medical practices. Indian scholars, too, joined this famed school and introduced Indian methods of medicine. Subsequently, the Gundeshapur hospital served as a model for many such bimaristans across the Caliphate.

The modern hospital is a concept that grew in the Abbasid caliphate. The US National Library of Medicine website states,

The hospital was one of the great achievements of medieval Islamic society. […] The hospitals were largely secular institutions, many of them open to all, male and female, civilian and military, adult and child, rich and poor, Muslims and non-Muslims.”

This code of conduct continues to guide hospitals in the modern world.

The Courtyard of the Mustansiriya Medical College – an educational institution originally built by Abbasid calpih al-Mustansir

There are reports of large well-staffed and financed hospitals from Central Asia to Baghdad, Damascus and Andalusia. A bibliography on medicinal writings from that era exists on the above quoted website.

The Sassanid rulers of pre-Islamic Persia had established a wide network of educational institutions in their empire to train and educate the dabirs, as the government secretaries and scribes were known. These schools were called dabiristan and were places of higher secular studies. A letter dated to the reign of Khusrow I (531-579) narrates the study cycle of a young scribe. The studies began in the temporal subjects of history, literature and philosophy and subsequently went on to mastering the skills of horse riding, archery, javelin and chawgan (polo). This was followed by music, where the student learnt to play the lute, the drum and the stringed instrument. Furthermore, the student learned to compete in wrestling, backgammon and chess. He was skilled in the art of cookery and was well acquainted with the varieties of garden flowers and the means of extracting various perfumes from them.

As may be seen from this list, the range of liberal knowledge dispensed in the dabiristans was fairly wide and comprehensive. Their curriculum under Islam in the ninth and tenth centuries AD was probably no different. Ibn Sina proposed sending children to school from the age of 6. He believed that a teacher should be wise, devout, sagacious and knowledgeable about the methods of moral and intellectual schooling. He advised that teaching should be a gradual process and that boys should acquire manual skills, irrespective of their social status. Girls were excluded from formal education with the result that we do not find female scholars in this entire period.

The Seljuk-era Blue Madrassah in modern-day Sivas was opened to visitors by Turkish authorities after restoration this year

Al-Ghazali advised the secretaries to study the arts of drafting administrative documents, and to study geography, mathematics, geometry, astronomy, medicine, medicinal plants and the systems of underground irrigation. This comprehensive syllabus compares well with the Italian universities during the early Renaissance where, according to Peter Burke in his The Italian Renaissance, the studies consisted of grammar, logic, rhetoric, philosophy, arithmetic, geometry and medicine.

The Persian term Dabiristan for educational institutions was replaced with Arabic terms maktab and madrassah in 741 AD when the Ummayad caliph Hisham bin Abdul Malik mandated the use of Arabic as official language and prohibited the employment of non-Muslims in offices. In the 9th and 10th centuries, education took a firm root. For instance, one day in 997 a teacher of law in Nishapur drew a crowd of over 500 students. Another teacher attracted classes of over 300.

Islamicate eductional culture drew heavily upon the pre-Islamic Sassanid tradition

The Transoxanian model of schools provided the basis for the “Seljuk type” of madrassah. When the great Seljuk vizier Nizam al-Mulk founded the celebrated Nizamiyya madrassah in Baghdad in 1065, he simply copied the Bukharan and Khorasanian models. Some sources mention as many as 33 madrassahs in Khorasan before the appearance of the first madrassah in Baghdad. The Seljuks established further madrassahs in Khorasan and Transoxania. Nizam al-Mulk built educational institutions at Esfahan, Nishapur, Herat, Merv and other cities where higher religious and secular education was provided by the madrassahs and elementary education by the maktabs. During the Seljuk suzerainty in 1164, Benjamin of Tudela, a Jewish traveller from Spain, mentions ten rabbinical schools in the Jewish colony in Baghdad.

The career of Nizami Aruzi Samarqandi typically illustrates the educational and non-parochial culture of the region in that era. Born in Samarkand, he notes in his Chahar Maqala that he was a courtier, an astronomer and a physician to Ghaznavid sultans. He claimed to have studied astronomy under Umar Khayyam in Nishapur, where he spent five years. He also spent time in Herat, Balkh and Tus. In the last city, he visited Firdowsi’s tomb and collected material on the poet. His above mentioned book, that includes a scholarly introduction and preface, is a discourse of four professionals that Nizami thought a ruler must have around him. It has been translated into English, French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Swedish but, alas, not Urdu. We know about Nizami because one of the manuscripts of his book survived the vicissitudes of the Mongol and Timurid invasions. There were hundreds of such scholars in the rich literary environment of that time who contributed to the educational heritage of the era.

Between the tenth and twelfth centuries AD, there were numerous madrassahs containing libraries in Bukhara, Khwarazm, Merv, Nishapur, Balkh, Ghazna and Khuttalan. According to Abul-Fadl Bayhaqi, there were over 20 madrasas in the region of Khuttalan, and in large numbers in the region of Balkh and Ghazni. According to Muhammad Salih, the city had 400 madrassahs before it was captured by the Mongols in 1220. At that time there were some two dozen madrassahs in Merv. Madrassahs were especially concentrated in Nishapur, the capital of Khorasan and one of the great centres of learning in the East. Many of them held large collections of books. When the city was taken by the Oghuz Turks in 1153, most of these collections were burnt, and the remainder were sold for the price of the paper. Imam al-Haramayn Juwayni and al-Ghazali were professors at the Nizamiyya madrassah of Nishapur.

The spread of education in the region created a tolerant society. So much so that the rationalist blind Syrian scholar Abu’l Ala Al-Ma’arri of the 11th century wrote tracts openly critical of religious belief, which resonate even today with those who lean towards atheism. Yet he lived unmolested and died a natural death. A quote often associated with him is “There was nothing to be seen more marvellous than man.” It may be added, however, that the spirit of relative tolerance existed in Khorasan and Spain, whereas in Baghdad, the Hanbali faction continued to follow more hardline religious views and indulged in violence against perceived heretical ideas.

The basic techniques of teaching and education in the maktabs are methodically described in many contemporary works. They include Ibn Sina (980–1037), in a chapter entitled “The Role of the Teacher in the Training and Upbringing of Children”, Al-Ghazali in the book titled The Alchemy of Happiness, Burhan al-Din Zarnuji (12th century) in Teaching the Student the Method of Study, Nasir-al-Din al-Tusi (13th century) in Nasirean Ethics, Jalal-al-Din Dawani (15th century), Ibn Qutayba in Training of the Secretary and in the writings of classical poets of Persian literature such as Rudaki, Firdawsi, Nasir-i Khusraw, Sacdi, Hafiz, Jami and others. This impressive list of writings on the subject of education underlines the importance that was attached to teaching during the Islamic Golden Age.

The Mongols carried forward the spirit of education. Nasir-al-din Tusi built an observatory and a madrassah on the instructions of Hulagu Khan. Masud Beg built twin madrassahs in Bukhara, in each of which, according to al-Juwayni, 1,000 students could study. However, during the civil wars of the 1270s, when the city was laid waste for seven years, the madrassahs and their libraries were burnt down. Later in the late 14th and early 15th centuries, Timur pillaged Iran, India, Turkey and Syria – even though his descendants continued to patronise arts, sciences and architecture Samarkand in 15th century.

Thereafter the springs of scholarship dried up and the region descended into relative obscurantism. Intellectually, it is a sad state of affairs from which it has not recovered fully as yet.

Parvez Mahmood retired as a Group Captain from PAF and is now a software engineer. He lives in Islamabad and writes on historical and social issues. He can be reached at [email protected]


Around 900 CE, in the regions of Tula and Hidalgo in Central Mexico, the Toltecs started to appear. They incorporated Maya and Olmec’s knowledge into their cultures, establishing their first capital in Tula de Allende where between 30,000 and 40,000 Toltecs lived. The subsequent civilization, the Aztecs, viewed the Toltecs as their cultural and intellectual forefather, describing their culture as the incarnation of their civilization. One controversy surrounding the Toltecs is the iconography and layout of the site at Tula using a grid pattern similar to the Mayan city of Chichen Itza, something today’s scholars are trying to understand.


Shahr-e Sūkhté: A birthplace of animation

The 1908 hand-drawn animation Fantasmagorie by Émile Cohl, the 17th-century magic lanterns or the 18th-century flip books are some of the first memorable outlets in the world of moving images. This, however, does not mean that the interest in animation started with them. It actually goes further back in the past than we expected at first.

Animation is generally defined as the process of making the illusion of movement by rapidly displaying a sequence of slightly differing images. This process was not always available due to technological limitations, but people found different ways and materials to help them circumvent the technical obstacles.

One of the unlikely places to find early experiments with the illusion of movement is Shahr-e Sūkhté or the Burnt City in Iran. This Bronze Age settlement is located near the south-eastern border of the country and has been put on the UNESCO&rsquos list of protected world heritage in 2014.

The artifacts discovered on the site are strangely incongruous with other civilizations found nearby, but nonetheless, show a high-level of mastery and innovation. An artificial eyeball, the oldest known backgammon game, a skull with the evidence of brain surgery practice, and a dice, are just some of the discovered artifacts that show the innovative spirit of the location&rsquos former inhabitants.


History (HISTORY)

This course offers a broad survey of American history up to 1877.


HISTORY 101 - MOTR HIST 101: American History I

HISTORY𧅦 U.S. History Since 1877 Credits: 3

This course covers American history from the end of Reconstruction to the present.


HISTORY 102 - MOTR HIST 102: American History II

HISTORY𧇉 European History to 1600 Credits: 3

This course surveys the political, social and cultural history of Europe from ancient times to 1600. Beginning with a brief description of the riverine civilizations of the ancient Near East, the course then examines the political and cultural evolution of classical Greco-Roman civilization, the medieval world, the rise of the national state, and the essential characteristics of the eras of the Renaissance and Reformation.


HISTORY 201 - MOTR WCIV 101: Western Civilization I

HISTORY𧇊 European History since 1600 Credits: 3

This course surveys the political, economic, social, intellectual, and cultural history of Europe from about 1600 to the present. Emphasis is given to themes of continuity and change in European culture through the experience of political, scientific and industrial revolutions, conservative reactions, liberal reforms, nation building, imperialism, two world wars, fascism, communism and the Cold War.


HISTORY 202 - MOTR WCIV 102: Western Civilization II

HISTORY𧇎 World History To 1450 Credits: 3

This course surveys the cultural, social, economic, and political history of the world to 1450. It studies the development of civilizations in isolation as well as the origins, nature, and consequences of global forms of interaction and exchange.


HISTORY 206 - MOTR HIST 201: World History I

HISTORY𧇐 World History since 1450 Credits: 3

This course surveys the social, economic, political history of the world from 1450 to the present. It studies the development of civilizations in isolation as well as the origins, nature, and consequences of global forms of interaction and exchange.


HISTORY 208 - MOTR HIST 202: World History II

HISTORY𧇗 Getting High: Alcohol & Drugs in American History Credits: 3

This class will investigate historical transformations in how American society has defined and responded to problematic drinking and drug use. The class will analyze what controversies surrounding various forms of intoxication indicate about the nature of American society and culture.

HISTORY𧈬AM Special Topics in Antiquity and Medieval History Credits: 3

This course addresses special topics in Antiquity and Medieval History. Topics are focused and specialized based on faculty interests and change from semester to semester. Special topics courses are repeatable for credit when the topic changes. See notes in Pathway each semester for the specific topic.

HISTORY𧈬EM Special Topics in Early and Modern European History Credits: 3

This course addresses special topics in Early and Modern European History. Topics are focused and specialized based on faculty interests and change from semester to semester. Special topics courses are repeatable for credit when the topic changes. See notes in Pathway each semester for the specific topic.

HISTORY𧈬HW Special Topics in World History Credits: 3

This course addresses special topics in World History. Topics are focused and specialized based on faculty interests and change from semester to semester. Special topics courses are repeatable for credit when the topic changes. See notes in Pathway each semester for the specific topic.

HISTORY𧈬P Special Studies Credits: 1-3

HISTORY𧈬PH Special Topics in Public History Credits: 3

This course addresses special topics in Public History. Topics are focused and specialized based on faculty interests and change from semester to semester. Special topics courses are repeatable for credit when the topic changes. See notes in Pathway each semester for the specific topic.

HISTORY𧈬US Special Topics in United States History Credits: 3

This course addresses special topics in United States History. Topics are focused and specialized based on faculty interests and change from semester to semester. Special topics courses are repeatable for credit when the topic changes. See notes in Pathway each semester for the specific topic.

HISTORY𧈬WY Decade of Dissent: The 1960s Credits: 3

The social movements and conflicts that developed during the 1960s continue to define American culture. Questions of racial and gender equity, a greater willingness to challenge authority, concerns about the environment, and a new openness about issues of sexuality all developed during the sixties and remain as arenas of debate today. This course will examine the origins, contexts, and major themes of the these social and cultural movements.

HISTORY𧈭WI Historiography and Method Credits: 3

This basic course is required of all history majors at the beginning of the junior year. Content includes: 1) what history is 2) its value and usefulness 3) the diversity of our fields, approaches, and methods and 4) the techniques of preparing and writing history papers. Texts and reading are approved by the Department (i.e.: Turabian for style). Although the emphasis is general instead of particular, the instructor will be assisted by other historians representing their main special interest areas.

HISTORY𧈮 Colonial North America, 1492–1763 Credits: 3

This course examines European colonization in North America, from the voyage of Christopher Columbus to the eve of the American Revolution. Students will consider the Atlantic-world context of colonization, the environmental factors that shaped colonial development, and the complex interactions of European, African, and Indian peoples.

HISTORY𧈯 The American Revolution, 1763-1789 Credits: 3

This course examines the history of the American Revolution, from the explosive political crisis of the 1760s to the struggle over ratification of the Constitution. Students will consider the origins and conduct of the war, as well as the Revolution’s far-reaching political, social, and economic consequences.

HISTORY𧈰 The Early American Republic, 1789–1850 Credits: 3

This class will survey major themes in the history of the early American republic, from the passage of the Constitution in 1789 to the California Gold Rush of 1849.

HISTORY𧈱 America, 1828-1852: The Jacksonian Period Credits: 3

An analysis of the political, social, economic, and intellectual factors in American society, 1828-1852. The period featured the presidency of Andrew Jackson, the shaping of a new democratic ideology, the culmination of manifest destiny, the quickening of the antislavery impulse, the Mexican War, the growing sectional split, and the Compromise of 1850.

HISTORY𧈲 America, 1850-1877: Civil War and Reconstruction Credits: 3

A survey of the political, social and economic factors leading to the dissolution of the federal union is followed by a consideration of the major features and developments of the war period. This, in turn, leads to an analysis of the major factors and relationships involved in the "reconstruction" of the federal union. The course covers the years 1850 to 1877.

HISTORY𧈲A History of Christianity to the Middle Ages Credits: 3

This course examines the cultural, historical and theological development of Christianity from its origins to the High Middle Ages. The main themes follow the mechanisms and conditions shaping Christianity's expansion into a major cultural, social, institutional, and intellectual force in Western Europe with a focus on patterns of crisis and reform.

HISTORY𧈳A History of Christianity from the Middles Ages to Present Credits: 3

This course examines the cultural, historical and theological development of Christianity from the High Middle Ages to the present. The main themes follow the development of foundational Christian theological thought and practice into what are now mainstream Western Christian theologies, the institutional histories of Western Christianity, and the cultures of Western civilization.

HISTORY𧈵 World War II Film and Propaganda Credits: 3

This course examines film and propaganda, including posters, political cartoons, speeches, and other media, created in prewar or wartime conditions by both the Allies and Axis powers from 1933 to 1945 as it affected World War II.

HISTORY𧉎 History of Technology Credits: 3

The course examines technology as it shapes and is shaped by human society. Students will consider technology as a product of historically-specific and sometimes overlapping contexts shaped by culture, economics, natural environments, and social processes.

HISTORY𧉗 Oral History Credits: 3

This course focuses on the methods, theories, ethics, practices, and applications of tools in documenting and recovering the experiences of people hidden from the “traditional records.” Through lectures, readings, discussions, and fieldwork, students will learn the various steps in developing a robust oral history project. Students will go out into the community to capture the histories of communities in Kansas City.

HISTORY𧉜 Missouri/Kansas Border Wars Credits: 3

This course explores the history of the Civil War on the Missouri/Kansas border, where residents first shed blood over the issue slavery. An exploration of this most uncivil of wars provides insight into the ways in which societies can be fragmented by ideology and ultimately rebuilt upon different lines.

HISTORY𧉝 Civil War in Memory and Film Credits: 3

This course explores how the era of the Civil War and Reconstruction has been portrayed in film, literature, and art, and if the popular memory of the war accurately reflects the history. We also will discuss how the understanding of this pivotal event in American History has changed over time and how cultural artifacts often say more about the time in which they were produced than the actual history of the Civil War.

HISTORY𧉤 Rise of the City in the U.S. Credits: 3

This course treats the background and major developments of the urbanization of the United States. Includes the American urban tradition, the scope of urbanization, colonial beginnings, urban rivalries, promotion, case studies of cities, the growth of urban services, the slum, problems of government, population trends, urban planning, and suburban growth. Consideration is also given to the methods and techniques of urban research and history of the development of this field.

HISTORY𧉥 The American West Credits: 3

This course deals with the relationship of the American West to the social and economic development of the United States. Major emphasis is placed on the role of the trans-Mississippi West in the economic growth of the national economy. Related cultural and political events are evaluated in the terms of the many Western frontiers. Emphasis will be placed on the Turner thesis, the Indian heritage, frontier violence, and the cow town experience.

HISTORY𧉦 History of the American South I Credits: 3

A study of the political, intellectual, cultural, economic, and social development of the American South up to and including the Civil War. Special topics discussed will be the plantation system, slavery, abolition, secession, the Confederacy, and the interaction of the region with the nation.

HISTORY𧉨R Constitutional History of the United States Credits: 3

The general question covered is: how does American society govern itself? Topics include the fusion of Anglo traditions and American environment, creation of the American republic under the Constitution of 1787, the struggle for sovereignty during the Marshall-Taney era, and the Supreme Court's utilization of the 14th Amendment to adapt the Constitution to modernity.

HISTORY𧉬R Nature, Culture And The Human Experience Credits: 3

This course is an introduction to various interpretations of nature with a focus on American culture and society. We will consider ideas about nature from diverse perspectivesincluding history, literature, philosophy and religion-in order to understand how human perceptions and uses shape relations with the natural world. Specific themes include such diverse topics as the aesthetic tradition, environmental thought, and environmental justice.

HISTORY𧉭A American Environmental History Credits: 3

This course examines the changing relationships between human beings and the natural world through time. The main argument of this course will be that American History looks very different through an environmental lens. Nature is an important category of historical analysis-as well as a topic worthy of historical study itself-and this course will examine themes as diverse as Native American ecology to the modern environment crusade.

HISTORY𧉮RR American Labor History Credits: 3

This course examines the history of work and the working class in the U.S. from 1750 to the present. We will focus on the transformation of the workplace, the rise of the union movement, the nature of cultural and political organizations, workers' relationships with other social groups, and the role played by gender, race, and ethnicity in uniting or dividing the working class.

HISTORY𧉱 Women and Work in Early America Credits: 3

This course examines the ways in which gender, race, region, and class have shaped the historical experiences of American women. Students will trace women’s lives from pre-European contact to 1877 through an examination of a wide variety of social, cultural, economic, and political forces and factors.

HISTORY𧉲 Introduction to Material Culture Credits: 3

This course will consider the ways in which material culture contributes to our understanding of history. Scholars have increasingly recognized the significance of "the things they left behind," particularly as they provide insights to the lives of those who did not leave extensive written records. Students will consider all aspects of material culture, drawing largely on examples from American history: architecture, domestic utensils and furnishings, clothing, tools, and good agricultural practices. The courses will emphasize the process of handicraft technology as well as the product, and will consider the impact of modernization upon both process and product.

HISTORY𧉳 American History Through Film Credits: 3

This course will move through the twentieth century and highlight major themes and developments that reveal the contours of American history as depicted in film. Students will examine the ways in which filmmakers have presented history, paying particular attention to the presentation of political, cultural, and social conflicts.

HISTORY𧉷 Success and Failure in Nineteenth Century America Credits: 3

This course traces the social history and cultural significance of success, failure, and poverty in nineteenth-century America. The class will investigate how diverse Americans made sense of the rapidly growing disparities of wealth that accompanied the rise of industrial capitalism.

HISTORY𧉻 Museums, Monuments, and American Life: An Introduction to Public History Credits: 3

This course will investigate the ways America commemorates, invokes, and misremembers its history—what scholars call public history. Students will learn the skills professionals use to communicate historical scholarship to wider audiences, and will grapple with the political and ethical issues that arise when we expand the discipline’s stakeholders.

HISTORY𧊈A Archival Internship Credits: 1-3

Students work directly with professional archivists and other personnel at the Kansas City Federal Records Center, the Truman Library, Jackson County Historical Society, and similar facilities in the area. Emphasis will be given to areas of arrangement, description and preservation of archival materials. Each student must make individual arrangements through the department.

Prerequisites: Departmental consent.

HISTORY𧊈B Public History Internship Credits: 1-3

Students work directly with public history and editorial personnel at the Kansas City Museum, the Kansas City Pitch Weekly, the Truman Library, and similar facilities in the area. Depending on the institutional affiliation, emphasis will be given to museum operations and displays, editing, fund-raising, historical research and writing. Each student must make individual arrangements through the department.

Prerequisites: Departmental consent.

HISTORY𧊎 Black Civil Rights in the 20th and 21st Centuries Credits: 3

This course examines the fight for black civil rights in the United States in the 20th and 21st centuries, focusing on the Jim Crow period, the fight to end segregation, and the enduring problem of race in the United States.

HISTORY𧊐 Special Studies Credits: 1-3

Courses on subjects which are not a part of the regular department offering. The courses result from one or more of the following: (1) The expressed desire of students (2) the broadened or refocused scholarship of a member of the history faculty (3) the temporary presence of a scholar whose specialization is not reflected in the department's regular offerings (4) the conclusion by the department that the course meets a community need (5) the effort of the history faculty to provide an interdisciplinary approach to an era or topic. The course is experimental in the sense that it is a one-time offering with the potential of repetition or modification--depending upon student, faculty and community response.

HISTORY𧊐CW Cluster Course: Critical Issues in Women's & Gender Studies Credits: 3

What does it mean to grow up female in America? How does being female influence the body, the mind, identity? This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of the issues that have shaped the lives of American women throughout the life cycle and across the timeline. This course examines the role that culture and society have played in shaping and defining what it means to be an American girl and woman.

HISTORY𧊐WI Special Studies Credits: 1-3

Special studies in History. Writing Intensive.

HISTORY𧊔 Women and Gender in Latin America Credits: 3

This course studies gender in Latin America from the eve of conquest by the Portuguese and Spanish in the fifteenth century to the present. It examines how ideas about gender affected the lives of Latin American men and women. This course additionally analyzes how gender and race contributed to the creation of a hierarchical social order. Finally, it discusses the exercise of authority within and outside households and its impact on private and public spaces.

HISTORY𧊕 Colonial Latin America (From the Encounter to the Early 19th Century) Credits: 3

This course discusses the conquest and colonization of Latin American by the Spanish and the Portuguese imperial powers from the time of the encounter to the early nineteenth century. It studies the Iberian, Indigenous and African cultures and their influence in the creation of a hierarchical imperial order. Emphasis is given to the impact of the conquest, the economics of exploitation, race, sexual and gender identities and, religious and legal domination.

HISTORY𧊖 Modern Latin America Credits: 3

This course studies social, political, economic and cultural trends in Latin America in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Discussion topics include nation building after independence with an emphasis on gender and race in the creation of national identities and new forms of social stratification integration of national economies into the world economic system the expansion of political participation and citizenship immigration and the tensions caused by the forces of modernization and tradition.

HISTORY𧊗 Latin American Crises and Opportunities Credits: 3

This course studies why Latin America has experienced in the 20th and 21st centuries recurrent economic and political crises – and why it is still a land of enormous opportunity. While this is primarily a history course, it undertakes a multidisciplinary examination of the region’s strengths and weaknesses by discussing theories of economic development, political and sociological models as well as the influence of crime and violence. Case studies anchored in representative countries will be used to illustrate historical trends and theories.

HISTORY𧊛A Medieval Civilization I Credits: 3

This course covers the period between the decline of the Roman Empire in the West and the Investiture Controversy. Topics include the rise of Christianity and early church-state relationships the barbarian invasions and the various Germanic kingdoms the age of Charlemagne monasticism and feudalism. There will also be special sessions on the civilizations of Islam and Byzantium.

HISTORY𧊛B Medieval Civilization II Credits: 3

HISTORY𧊜A Medieval Women & Children Credits: 3

This course explores the roles of women in the social, economic, political and cultural environments of medieval and early modern Europe. We examine the lives of women in all areas of life, from the ordinary to the extraordinary, in urban and rural environments, from the centers of religious and political power to the margins of society. Focus will be on the world of work for urban and peasant women and on the social and legal institutions of marriage, kinship and the family. The course makes extensive use of primary sources by and about women during this period.

HISTORY𧊞 Reformation Credits: 3

Beginning with a description and analysis of the social, intellectual and political aspects of the later Middle Ages, the course continues with an examination of those profound religious, social and political changes which mark the 16th century as the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the modern secular era.

HISTORY𧊠R The French Revolution and Napoleon Credits: 3

Narrative history concentrating on the explosive and colorful events and personalities in France, but also showing the European and Western context and impact of the revolution and Napoleon. Illustrated accounts cover such "great days" as the storming of the Bastille, the fall of Robespierre, and Napoleon's Coup of 18 Brumaire, and great battles. Main periods are: the origins of the revolution (economic, social, political, intellectual) revolution and reconstruction (1789-92) through terror to Thermidor (Jacobins and sans-culottes) Napoleon's wars and reconstruction (France and Europe). Cinema, slides and martial music periodically. Discussion of major authors and interpretations.

HISTORY𧊤CC World War I in Film: The World made Modern Credits: 3

This cluster course examines World War I and its legacy through the lenses of international history and film studies. It explores the origins and conduct of the "Great War," as it was called at the time, as well as its transforming effects on the modern international relations and the ongoing process of globalization. It also examines how the war spurred the growth of an infant motion picture industry, and how movies produced during the decades that followed helped shaping popular memories of the conflict-reflecting and shaping cultural discourses regarding the myth or reality of modern civilizational progress the ethics of modern weaponry the individual's placed in mass society constructions of class, race, and gender and the meaning of national identify in a globalizing world. The class will draw on selected history texts and an array of films and film clips.

HISTORY𧊩R European Criminal Justice History, 500-1900 Credits: 3

This course will survey European crime, criminal procedure, policing and punishment between 500 and 1900. Particular attention will be given to changing methods of proof (oaths, ordeals, juries) changing type of criminal activity (banditry, vagrancy, witchcraft, professional theft) and changing penal strategies (the stocks, breaking on the wheel, the workhouse, the prison, the penitentiary). English experiences are emphasized.

HISTORY𧊬B Gender & Medicine: Patients & Practitioners From Antiquity to Present Credits: 3

This course explores, in a selective fashion, the role of women in Western medicine both as health care providers and patients. The subject of the history of medicine is too broad to be covered comprehensively in a semester, and so we will focusing on diseases or physical conditions which were believed to be limited to women--childbirth, certain mental health conditions, reproductive health, breast cancer-- as well as the increasing marginalization of women within the profession of health care providers to those branches concerned primarily with "women's problems.

HISTORY𧊮RA 'We Are The Dead': The Great War Experience Through its Artifacts Credits: 3

World War One was the "war to end all wars" all previous wars were indeed eclipsed by its scale of destruction. And yet, it was a war that initiated a century of continual bloodshed and crimes against humanity. This course will explore the causes, nature and consquences of the Great War of 1914-18. It will be taught on different themes each Winter semester at the National World War One Memorial Museum at Liberty Memorial.

HISTORY𧊯R Medieval England, 1066 To 1485 Credits: 3

Beginning with the Norman conquest of England in 1066, this course traces the history of Medieval England through the establishment of the Tudor dynasty. Covered will be such items as the rise of the Angevin Empire, the conflict between monarch & nobility, the evolution of Parliament, as well as the Anglo-French rivalry which culminated in the Hundred Years' War.

HISTORY𧊰R Tudor England, 1485-1603 Credits: 3

This course covers England from the accession of Henry VII, the first Tudor, to the death of Elizabeth I in 1603 Topics to be covered are: transformation of England into a modern state, the Reformation, the role of Parliament, conflicts with European powers, especially Spain, etc.

HISTORY𧊱R History of Britain 1603-1832 Credits: 3

This course surveys the history of Britain from the the rise of the Stuart dynasty through the Industrial Revolution, with particular emphasis on the cultural aspects of political, social, economic, and military changes. Topics include: the domination of the aristocracy the rise of the Navy the exploration of the Pacific the monarchy of George III the loss of the American colonies the wars with Napoleon the Agricultural and early Industrial Revolutions and the social changes they brought in both Britain and the Empire.

HISTORY𧊴R Modern German History Credits: 3

This course traces the history of Central Europe from the fall of Bismarck to the reunification of Germany one century later. It will ask students to think critically about the relationship between state and society, elites and 'ordinary' Germans, in the various German-speaking regimes that existed over the course of this era: two empires, two interwar republics, two fascist dictatorships, and three post-fascist republics. All assigned readings will be in English a background knowledge of European history is recommended.

HISTORY𧊵AWI Imperial Germanies, 1848-1918 Credits: 3

This course traces the history of German-speaking Central Europe from the Revolutions of 1848 to the collapse of the Hohenzollern and Habsburg empires at the end of World War One. It will ask students to think critically about the relationship between state and society and the role played by 'elite' and 'ordinary' people in shaping German history. This reading and writing intensive course will be run as a seminar. Final grades will be based on a portfolio of assignments of which students will select what they consider to be the best examples of their work.

HISTORY𧊵BWI First German Republics, 1917-1935 Credits: 3

This course traces the history of the two German Republics during the inter-war years-the First Austrian Republic and the so-called Weimar Republic-from the peace movements of the First World War to the solidification of fascist dictatorships. It will ask students to think critically about the relationship between state and society and the role played by "elite" and "ordinary" people in shaping German history. This reading-and writing-intensive course will be run as a seminar. Final grades will be based on a portfolio of assignment of which students will select what they consider to be the best portfolio of assignments of which students will select what they consider to bet the best examples of their work.

HISTORY𧊵DWI Cold War Germanies, 1941-1991 Credits: 3

This course traces the history of the three postwar German Republics-- the Second Austrian Republic, the German Democratic Republic, and the Federal Republic of Germany -- from the initial plans of the Allies for postwar reconstruction to the Reunification of Germany in 1991. It will ask students to think critically about relationship between state and society and the role played by 'elite' and ' ordinary' people in shaping, and in the remembering, of German history. This reading-and writing-intensive course will be run as a seminar. Final grades will be based on a portfolio of assignments of which students will select what they consider to be the best examples of their work.

HISTORY𧊼R Islam and the Arabs: The Formative Period Credits: 3

The first semester of a three-semester sequence begins with a brief overview of the geography and topography of the Middle East. The course proceeds with a discussion of the conditions of pre-Islamic Arabia the appearance of Muhammad and his mission the rise and spread of Islam the establishment and consolidation of the Arab dynasties in the Middle East, North Africa and Spain Islamic institutions and Islamic society and culture. The time span will be approximately 500 A.D. to the Mongol conquest of Baghdad in 1258.

HISTORY𧊽 The Ottoman Empire in the Middle East to World War I Credits: 3

The second semester of a three-semester sequence covers the transition from Arab to Turkish hegemony in most of the Middle East as well as the restoration of native Persian dynasties in Iran and their subsequent development. The emphasis is on the rise and decline of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. Attention is given to the Ottoman provinces and to the national movements of subject peoples. The course ends with an overview of World War I and the peace treaties which marked the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.

HISTORY𧊾R The Middle East from World War I to the Present Credits: 3

The third semester of a three-semester sequence deals with the emergence of the modern countries of the Middle East after World War I and their history and course of development to the present day. There will be a general survey of the government and politics, economic situation, and social and cultural characteristics of each important country in the area. In addition, special topics will be discussed such as the modernization process, ideological alternatives, relations with the great powers, the economics and politics of oil, and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

HISTORY𧋐 Medieval Methods and Paleography Credits: 3

This course examines the methodology and historiography of Medieval Studies. Through an introduction to paleography, the study of medieval handwritings, it prepares students for advanced work in Medieval and Renaissance studies. Using an interdisciplinary approach, this course will examine the historical and cultural settings for medieval texts, their physical form and production, as well as the tradition of textural transmission in the medieval world. In addition to gaining familiarity with the many different types of primary sources, such as literary, artistic, legal, and notarial sources, students will be exposed to methods for practical archival work in various European nations.

HISTORY𧋔R Archaeology and the History of Antiquity Credits: 3

This course will analyze the contributions of archaeology to the understanding of ancient history. It will cover archaeological excavations and their pertinence to classical civilization in the Near East and Greece. The techniques and methodology of field archaeologists will be discussed and demonstrated. Archaeological excavations relating to the Hittite capital, to the Ugaritic tablets, to the Minoan-Mycenaean civilization and its link to the Near East will be treated.

HISTORY𧋕 Archeology and Biblical History Credits: 3

An examination of ancient Israel as she emerges from the ruins of the past, both lapidary and literary. Through a study of the "mute documents," artifacts man-made (storied cities, household utensils, inscribed shards from Jericho to Jerusalem) we gain an insight indispensable for Biblical studies, for ancient Near Eastern history.

HISTORY𧋖 Ancient Egypt Credits: 3

This course describes the political, social and cultural evolution of ancient Egypt from pre-dynastic times, with major emphasis upon the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms (especially the 18th dynasty and the reign of Akhenaton).

HISTORY𧋗 Ancient Greece Credits: 3

This course begins with a survey of the pre-classical Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations and then describes the rise of prominent Greek city-states (with particular emphasis upon the evolution of Sparta and the political, social and cultural contributions of Athens). The course concludes with the rise of Macedon and Alexander's conquests and significance.

HISTORY𧋗P Ancient World: The Political Structure Of The Ancient World Credits: 4

The four-hour lecture period on weeknights will emphasize the historical aspects of the ancient civilizations. The lectures will be chronologically organized to focus upon their evolution from their rise to their collapse.

HISTORY𧋘 Ancient Rome Credits: 3

This course covers Roman history from its origins (including the Etruscans) to the decline of the imperial system. Particular emphasis is placed upon the political, social and economic developments in the Republic, the death of the Republic, the early Principate, and the factors that led to Rome's decline in the ancient world.

HISTORY𧋘P Ancient World: The Cul/Intellectual Dimension Of Ancient Civi Credits: 4

The four weekend periods will provide the students with a general picture of these civilizations: society, religion, economics, and culture (w.f., arts, literature, philosophy, science, etc.). Guest lecturers, slides, films and video cassettes will be used to introduce the varied aspects of these ancient peoples.

HISTORY𧋚 Late Antiquity: The Transformation of the Mediterranean World (200–600 AD) Credits: 3

The decline of the Roman Empire and the barbarian invasions transformed the Mediterranean and European worlds, forming the foundation of Europe and the Islamic world. Students will investigate the multicultural society of Late Antiquity and become familiar with the primary sources for the period.

HISTORY𧋛WI The History of Ancient Israel Credits: 3

Judaism has had a tremendous impact on our civilization and yet most Americans are only dimly aware of its origins and development. This course will trace the roots of the Jewish religion in its historical context from its beginnings through the formation of rabbinic culture. The rise of Christianity will be examined in its original Judaic context, and recent discoveries, particularly those pertaining to the Dead Sea Scrolls, will be interpreted.

Prerequisites: RooWriter.

HISTORY𧋜 Medieval Jewish History Credits: 3

This course covers the general period from the decline of the Roman Empire to the dawn of early modern times. It is concerned with Jewish centers of life and learning in the Diaspora, both East and West. The course considers the Jews under Islamic rule from the time of Mohammed through the Golden Age of Moorish Spain. The focus then shifts to the situation of the Jews in Christian Europe, from the period of Constantine to the expulsions from England, France and Christian Spain. The Jews in the Ottoman Empire are mentioned and the course ends with the episode of Sabbatai Zevi, the false Messiah.

HISTORY𧋝 Modern Jewish History Credits: 3

This course surveys modern Jewish history from the Napoleonic period to World War II. Analyzing the social status of the Jews in Medieval Europe, it proceeds towards a discussion of the growth of the national state and the breakup of the Holy Roman Empire and analyzes the growth of socialism, integral nationalism, and liberalism as they affected the Jewish communities in Europe and America. The course serves as a survey of modern political and economic trends as they affect a distinct group.

HISTORY𧋰 Historical Research Project Credits: 1-3

Working extensively with an individual faculty member actively engaged in his/her research, students practice the multiple facets of investigating the sources of history, developing a comprehensive analysis from such sources, and composing a persuasive interpretation.

Prerequisites: Departmental consent.

HISTORY𧋱 Special Topics and Readings Credits: 1-6

Intensive reading and/or research in an area selected by the student in consultation with the instructor. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

HISTORY𧋲WI Senior Capstone Credits: 3

This is the capstone course in the department and is required for majors in the senior year. It consists of tutorial sessions with a regular faculty member and independent research leading to a major paper using original source materials. Performance in this course will weigh heavily in the award of departmental honors.

HISTORY H497 Special Topics and Readings Credits: 1-6

Intensive reading and/or research in an area selected by the student in consultation with the instructor. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.


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