City Literary College | WEA | General Courses

City Literary College

2018

At present, I have put on hold courses with City Lit.
In the meantime feel free to look at all the resources I have added on the Maya and other areas of the world here.

Summer Courses 2017

Course: Frauds, Myths and Mysteries in Archaeology
Date and Time: 10.30-4.30 pm, Saturday 5th August

Course: Discovery and Deciphering Ancient Writings
Date and Time: 10.30-4.30 pm, Saturday 15th July

Course: Prehistory of Religion
Date and Time: 10.30-4.30 pm, Friday 4th August

Course: The Maya Civilisation
Date and Time: 6-7.30 pm, Mondays, starts on 24th April for 9 weeks


 

Frauds, Myths and Mysteries in Archaeology

Date and Time: 10.30-4.30 pm, Saturday 5th August 2017

 

Course Description

Did aliens build the Great Pyramid of Egypt? Are there archaeological traces of the lost civilization of Atlantis?   What is the truth behind the legend of the crystal skulls? Learn about why these ideas remain so popular despite the accumulation of archaeological evidence. 

This course will correct the misinformation that is often given in the media (movies, television) about how archaeological sites came about – for example the Nazca lines being an airstrip for alien spaceships, the lost civilisation of Atlantis, the Bosnian Pyramids, Ancient Astronauts and so on. We will discuss these explanations and the biases that underlie them and we will learn how to properly evaluate archaeological and scientific evidence. Finally, we will analyze the logical flaws in the pseudoscientific explanations and hone critical thinking skills.

Course Level

No previous experience with archaeology or anthropology is required, nor is there a course prerequisite. You will be encouraged to participate by asking questions, expressing your opinions and generally contributing your experience and knowledge.


 

Discovery and Deciphering Ancient Writings

Date and Time: 10.30 – 4.30 pm, Saturday 15th July

“I liked the use of different media in presenting the course. The instructor, Dr Diane Davies, was excellent. She had a very in-depth knowledge of the subject”

Course Description

The course will take a look at how some of the world’s ancient writings have been discovered, the problems involved in deciphering these ancient writings and examples of successes and failures in decipherment.

A background to ancient writings will be given, followed by examples of discoveries of writings in both the Old and New Worlds. We will then discuss the issues inherent in translating ancient scripts, noting successes and failures.  Finally, we will try our hand at deciphering scripts.

Course Level

No previous experience is required, nor is there a course prerequisite. You will be encouraged to participate by asking questions, expressing your opinions and generally contributing your experience and knowledge.


 

The Prehistory of Religion

Date and Time: 10.30-4.30 pm, Friday 4th August

“The course was perfect, the tutor was so in charge of her material and presented it in a very lively manner”

Course Description

Using the archaeological record, we will look at the earliest evidence of religion and ritual in different corners of the world and how it played an integral role in rise of complex societies

The course would look at how ancient sacred buildings, complexes, tomb structures, artwork, and so on has provided the archaeologist with knowledge about the varieties of early spiritual experience around the world. We will look at the earliest evidence of religion in the archaeological record, as well as discussing how archaeologists reconstruct ancient religious rituals from the material remains alone.  We will discuss what particular sites reveal about the evolution of religion and we will also look at burial customs and afterlife. The course will not only show the integral role that religion played in great ancient civilisations, but also it will add a new level of understanding to the student’s knowledge of ancient history.


 

The Maya Civilisation

Date and Time: Mondays from 24th April 2017, 6-7.30 pm

Learn about one of the most magnificent, but misunderstood civilisations of the ancient world – the ancient Maya from the rainforests of Central America. A detailed examination of their history and culture will be given.

Course Description

The Maya created one of the most sophisticated civilizations in the ancient world. Their achievements in the arts and sciences, along with their complex social, political and economic systems, make them one of the most remarkable culture groups in the Precolumbian Americas. These people brought us an intricate calendar system, complex hieroglyphic writing, some of the largest pyramids in the world, a form of ballgame that is like no other and most importantly chocolate!

This course will provide you with an overview of the history and culture of the Maya. We will trace the culture’s development from its earliest beginnings to its cultural fluorescence focusing on the social, political, economic and ideological development of the society as well as the magnificent art, architecture, calendar and writing system. We also will explore both the continuities and changes that have occurred in Maya society from Precolumbian to modern times. Information will be drawn primarily from archaeological investigations, translations of the hieroglyphs, ethnographic accounts and Spanish ethnohistoric documentary sources.

Course Goal

  • State at least three myths surrounding the Maya – explain the causes of the ‘Maya collapse’
  • Be able to read the Maya calendar and calculate sums using the Maya number system
  • Identify at least 3 Maya sites.

Course Level

No previous experience is required, nor is there a course prerequisite. You will be encouraged to participate by asking questions, expressing your opinions and generally contributing your experience and knowledge.