When Egypt meets the Aegean: Interconnections in the Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean (Thera [Santorini], Crete, Athens)

The objective of this course is to offer a deep insight into the cultures of Greece during the Bronze Age within their wider Eastern Mediterranean context.

The Egyptian Collection of the National Archaeological Museum at Athens, one of the most important worldwide, will be the platform for the teaching of the ancient Egyptian civilization and its wonders, as well as its interaction with the people of Greece. The focal point of the course is the site of Akrotiri, the “Pompeii of the Prehistoric Aegean” at the magnificent island of Thera (Santorini) in the Cyclades. The students will familiarize themselves with all aspects of the Aegean Bronze Age through visits to the site itself, the Museum of Prehistoric Thera, the caldera which is a miracle of geology and the numerous key-sites of this unique island.

An essential part of the course is the trip to the near-by island of Crete, where the majestic sites of Knossos and Phaistos and other important locations, as well as the superb Archaeological Museum of Herakleion will be explored. On Crete, students will also be able to work at a traditional pottery workshop in order to understand aspects of pottery production and consumption. Of equal importance will be a trip to the Argolid in the Peloponnese (mainland Greece), where the course participants will explore the citadels of Mycenae, Tiryns and Midea, and other major sites in order to see the greater picture. The course will conclude in Athens.

The students will have the extremely rare opportunity to experience hands-on activities and behind the scenes visits at a number of instances, allowing them to comprehend better and deeper the material culture through actual contact with prehistoric artefacts. Distinguished scholars and specialists of Greek archaeology will be teaching throughout the course and share with the participants their academic interests and excitement. Apart from the assigned readings, the students will be benefitted by accessing some of the richest and specialized libraries of the world regarding the cultures of Eastern Mediterranean.


This course requires a minimum enrollment of 10, with a maximum enrollment of 20.

60 contact hours

Essential Information
The course starts and ends in Athens . Transportation between Athens, Santorini and Crete as well as during day excursions is included in the course fee.

Enrolled students will have access to detailed information prior to departure that will include directions to the Academic Center and other practical information about the course. CYA recommends the following websites for general information about Athens and Greece: http://www.athensguide.com/ and http://www.greektravel.com/; and about Santorini http://www.visitgreece.gr/en/greek_islands/santorini and Crete http://www.visitgreece.gr/en/greek_islands/crete

IMPORTANT NOTE: This course involves extensive travel.  Be wary of overpacking.  Pack only what you can carry comfortably, because you will be required to check- in and out of accommodations for each stay / travel segment of this course. It will also be useful to bring with you travel-size cosmetics.

The CYA Academic Center is located next to the Athens Marble Stadium and houses classrooms, the library, the student lounge and cafeteria, computer facilities (including wireless access for those students who choose to bring laptop computers), laundry facilities, and administrative offices. The Academic Center is accessible Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., Friday 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

Housing & Meals
Students are housed within walking distance of the CYA Academic Center in either CYA student apartments located in the Pangrati neighborhood of central Athens or in hotel accommodations arranged by CYA. CYA apartments are simply furnished and equipped with a full kitchen and air-conditioned bedrooms. Towels, linens and housekeeping service will be provided. Hotel accommodations in Athens or while travelling will be in simple 2- or 3-star hotels, double- or triple-occupancy, in air-conditioned rooms with breakfast included.

While the group is in Athens, a full mid-day meal will be served weekdays in the CYA cafeteria between the hours of 12:00-3:00 p.m. A welcome and a farewell dinner are also included.

Accommodations at Villa Mathios, at Akrotiri village on Santorini.  Breakfast will be served daily.  Dinner will be served Monday through Thursday.

Accommodations at Olympic Hotel in Heraklio town, Crete (last night on ferry boat returning to Athens).  Breakfast will be served daily.  No other meals included.

Accommodations at Park Hotel in Nauplio town.  Breakfast will be served daily. No other meals included.

Day-to-day Program & Itinerary

The day-to-day program and itinerary of the course are subject to change. Students are advised not to make plans for their free time or weekends in advance, as class schedules and site visits may be re-scheduled depending on local conditions.

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