An Introduction to the Origins of Civilizations Around the World: A Comparative Perspective

SS126
Fall 21

This course introduces students to the ancient civilizations around the world with a comparative perspective. Students will acquire a broad overview of the landscape, environment, and cultural historical outlines of Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Mesoamerica, and China, thus discover the spatiotemporal changes as a dynamic whole. We will explore diverse topics including lifeways, beliefs, calendars, language, and the hieroglyphic writing system to get closer to ancient civilizations. This course will help students to understand and appreciate the complexities of the ancient world and the continuity of ancient culture in modern world, through which they will identify the characteristics of ancient Chinese culture. Besides, through using archaeological, ethnological, historical, and linguistic methodology, students are expected to get a broad overview of social science methodologies and be able to understand ancient cultures from comparative perspectives. Students are required to attend class regularly. Each student will write a short report based on our museum tour as mid-term exam. At the end of the semester, each student will give a presentation on the topic of their choosing.

Yadi WEN

Yadi WEN

Yadi Wen is a scholar in the field or history and archaeology. She received her MPhil and PhD in History from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.