What is Classical Archaeology and Ancient History (CAAH)?
The course combines study of the history, archaeology and art of the classical world. It looks at the societies and cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world through their written texts, visual art and material remains, and has at its centre the two classical cultures of Greece and Rome. It is aimed at anyone interested in investigating ancient civilisations and their remains, from Greek temples and Roman amphitheatres to wall-paintings and the poignant residues of everyday life. While it is primarily a historical and non-linguistic degree, ancient languages can be used and learned as part of the course.
CAAH at Oxford
The CAAH degree is taught through a mixture of tutorials, lectures and classes. Some cover specifically archaeological or historical approaches to ancient Mediterranean cultures, but the degree is unique in also offering courses that combine both approaches. In every year of the course there are classes led by two faculty members, one archaeologist and one historian. These classes are designed to give an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to the topics studied.
The University’s resources for this combined subject are excellent, in terms of both library facilities – much of the Sackler Library’s collection is built around these two subjects – and the range and number of postholders in the two fields. The University’s Ashmolean Museum also contains wide-ranging collections of art and artefacts from the classical cultures.
While some Classical Archaeology and Ancient History graduates will go on to further study and research to become professional archaeologists and historians, others will move into different areas. Graduates have started their careers in museum curation, heritage management and education, as well as in finance, advertising, publishing, the Civil Service and law. Recent Classical Archaeology and Ancient History graduates include a financial adviser, a teacher and a curator. Sarah, who graduated in 2007, is now a personal adviser. She says: ‘My degree at Oxford provided the challenging environment in which I developed the skills I later needed to successfully complete Reed’s rigorous application procedure.’