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Unit of study_

ARCO2007: Ancient Greece

Semester 1, 2022 [Normal day] - Remote

This unit traces the history and development of the Greek world during the first millennium BC. We explore key sites such Athens, Corinth, Lefkandi, Zagora, and Pergamon, and examine the transformations that occurred in socio-political organisation, religion, burial practice, art and architecture.

Unit details and rules

Unit code ARCO2007
Academic unit Archaeology
Credit points 6
12 credit points at 1000 level in Archaeology OR 6 credit points at 1000 level in Archaeology and 6 credit points at 1000 level in Ancient History
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Lesley Beaumont,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Presentation hurdle task Tutorial exercise
15% - 10 minutes (equivalent to 1000 words)
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Online task hurdle task Online Exam
Further details can be found on Canvas
35% Formal exam period 1.5 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO2
Assignment hurdle task Essay
50% Week 09
Due date: 29 Apr 2022 at 23:59
2000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO5
hurdle task = hurdle task ?

Assessment summary

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Work of excellent standard

An authoritative and highly effective response that engages with the full implications of the question. The issues and methodology are set out clearly, critical arguments are exceptionally well-developed, and there is a clear and complete understanding of the material and terminology. Written work demonstrates initiative and ingenuity in research and reading, pointed and critical analysis of subject matter, innovative interpretation of evidence, and makes an insightful contribution to current debate. Persuasive use of case studies to drive home arguments, and unpack or challenge issues of archaeological context and interpretation. A considerable degree of independent thought and interpretation is demonstrated, as is an understanding of the full nature and complexity of archaeological data, methodologies and interpretation. Evidence is provided of wide-ranging and insightful use of relevant literature, with demonstrated ability to widen the scope of research in pursuit of specific evidence or debate. The conclusion expresses the candidates independent judgment in a mature way; writing will be scholarly and elegant. Expression is efficient and lucid, without unnecessary complication. Faultless presentation of citations and bibliography; judicious use of academic conventions.


75 - 84

Work of a superior standard.

A sharply-focussed answer that engages with many implications of the question and maintains a sophisticated level of analysis throughout. Case studies will relate clearly to the question, and employed persuasively to demonstrate key points or arguments. A considerable degree of independent thought is demonstrated, and a strong understanding of the nature and complexity of archaeological data, methodologies and interpretation. Clear outline of issues and method of approach; differing arguments are presented critically, with a strong understanding of the material and vocabulary. The assignment concludes with a synthesis rather than a summary, showing some independence of view. Lucid writing characterised by style, clarity and creativity, with rare errors of form or style. Fully and consistently documented, with rare errors in referencing style or omissions. Referencing demonstrates: initiative in research; engagement with pivotal and current academic publications on the topic; and the ability to pursue archaeological debate across several sources. Makes good comparisons between different interpretations, linking these clearly to the data or issues of context, theory and/or method. ‘Gets behind’ the evidence to engage with underlying issues of archaeological context, processes, and/or biases in the evidence. Takes an interrogative stance in relation to assumptions, argument and interpretation, shows critical understanding of the principles and values underlying the unit.


65 - 74


Competent work, demonstrating potential to complete Honours work, though further development needed to do so successfully.

Written work that engages with the question effectively, with a clear essay structure of the essay that builds and reinforces a critical argument, using an appropriate range of vocabulary. Case studies employed effectively to critically and consistently reinforce an argument. Offers synthesis and critical evaluation of material on its own terms, and takes a position in relation to various interpretations. In addition, it shows some extra spark of insight or analysis. Well written and documented with appropriate use of citations and evidence of comprehensive reading; has a strong bibliography that expands well beyond the recommended readings and is only minimally reliant on internet searches. Demonstrates understanding of broad archaeological context and methodologies, good selection of evidence, coherent and sustainable argument, some evidence of independent thought, grasp of relevant archaeological theory and debate.


Highly competent work, demonstrating clear capacity to complete Honours successfully.

Engages critically and creatively with the question, with evidence of research-initiative and extensive reading; solid grasp of subject matter and appreciation of key issues and context. Use of case studies will be extensive, with evidence employed effectively in support of key arguments. Has a strong essay structure that reinforces central arguments consistently; concluding paragraph employed deftly to drive these points home. Attempts an analytical evaluation of material, with solid understanding of the complexity of archaeological data, methodologies and interpretation. Use of relevant literature demonstrates some intellectual independence and an ability to weigh up different interpretations, perhaps drawing on ideas from outside the course. Makes a good attempt to critique alternate archaeological interpretations or issues of context, and offers a pointed and thoughtful contribution to an existing archaeological debate. Some evidence of ability to think theoretically as well as empirically, and to conceptualise and problematise issues in archaeological terms. Concisely and articulately written, with few errors of form or style. All sources for evidence, arguments, or interpretation cited appropriately, with a strong and consistent bibliography that extends well beyond the initial readings.


50 - 64


Work of an acceptable standard.

Written work contains evidence of minimal reading and some understanding of subject matter, offers descriptive summary of case-studies and material relevant to the question, but may have a tendency to paraphrase; makes a reasonable attempt to organise material logically and comprehensibly and to provide scholarly documentation but demonstrates little initiative in research and/or over-reliance on internet searches. Demonstrates rudimentary awareness of the nature and complexity of archaeological data, methodologies and interpretation. Language is clear and bibliography is adequate but limited; possibly some errors of form or style. There may be gaps in any or all of these areas.


Work of a satisfactory standard.

Competent written work, with broad and reasonably accurate command of the subject matter and some sense of its broader significance; clearly understands the question. Case studies will be relevant, and used critically to support core argumentation. Offers synthesis and some evaluation of material, demonstrates an effort to go beyond the essential reading, although still reliant on basic search skills; bibliography may perhaps remain shallow or undeveloped. Clear essay structure with a coherent argument and consistent focus on the principal issues. Articulate, properly documented, with room for improvement in matters of style and/or grammar and punctuation. Demonstrates understanding of relevant scholarship and diverse interpretations, with a solid awareness of archaeological context and complexities.
There may be some weaknesses of clarity or structure.


0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 1. Introduction 2. Dark Age socio-political development Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 02 1. Dark Age key sites 2. Dark Age art and architecture Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Tutorial project and essay assessments discussion Tutorial (1 hr) LO4
Week 03 1. Dark Age burial and religion 2. Geometric period socio-political development Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Ceramic technology and the Protogeometric style Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 04 1. Geometric period key sites 2. Geometric period art and architecture Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Student presentations on Geometric period artefacts Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 05 1. Geometric period burial 2. Geometric period religion Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Student presentations on Geometric period artefacts Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 06 1. Archaic period socio-political development 2. Archaic period key sites Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Student presentations on Archaic period artefacts Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 07 1. Archaic period art and architecture 2. Archaic period burial Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Student presentations on Archaic period artefacts Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 08 1. Archaic period religion 2. Classical period socio-political development Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Student presentations on Classical period artefacts Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 09 1. Classical period key sites 2. Classical period art and architecture Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Student presentations on Classical period artefacts Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 10 1. Classical period burial 2. Classical period religion Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Student presentations on Classical and Hellenistic period artefacts Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 11 1. Hellenistic socio-political development 2. Hellenistic period key sites Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Student presentations on Hellenistic artefacts Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 12 1. Hellenistic period art and architecture 2. Hellenistic period burial Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
1. Student presentations on Hellenistic artefacts 2. Exam preparation Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 13 1. Hellenistic period religion 2. Course review Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Presentation and essay feedback and distribution of marks awarded One-to-one tuition (0.2 hr) LO5

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: According to Faculty Board Resolutions, students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are expected to attend 90% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board. The Examiner’s Board will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold.
  • Lecture recording: Lectures will be recorded and made available to students on the LMS.
  • Preparation: Students should commit to spend approximately three hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

Readings for this unit can be accessed on the Library link available on Canvas.

  • Required textbook: W.R. Biers, The Archaeology of Greece, 2nd ed. (Cornell University Press, 1996)  –  you are strongly recommended to buy this book. It can be purchased from Gleebooks at 49 Glebe Point Road, where you can claim a 10% discount on the cost of $57 by showing your student card.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate a firm understanding of evidence provided by archaeology for the development of Greek society and culture during the first millennium BC
  • LO2. understand relevant archaeological methodologies and how these may be utilised to illuminate aspects of ancient Greek society
  • LO3. apply theoretical knowledge to practical contexts, particularly through independent first hand investigation of Greek artefacts in the Nicholson Museum collection
  • LO4. demonstrate an ability to work interactively with others in the tutorial context
  • LO5. demonstrate an improved capacity to access, organise and communicate knowledge and a considered opinion in written and spoken English.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Students who took ARCO2007 in 2021 expressed their pleasure and satisfaction in being able to handle ancient artefacts from the Nicholson Collection of the Chau Chak Wing during tutorial sessions. Covid permitting, this opportunity will again be offered to ARCO2007 students in 2022.

Site visit guidelines

Students attending face-to-face tutorials in the Chau Chak Wing Museum should come equipped with a face mask.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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