American University of Beirut

Course Descriptions


MSCU 201 – Coastal and Marine Environments: Introductory Course

Coastal environments and coastal systems provide a basis to explore human interaction with the sea in antiquity. This course explores how archaeologists go about investigating and recording these past activities, and introduces students to a multi-disciplinary approach that combines oceanography and archaeology to shed light on maritime history.


MSCU 202 – Marine Techniques, Prospecting, and Mapping

From echo sounders to bathymetry and photogrammetry, this course explores the variety of techniques and technologies that are used to investigate and document the seabed. Students will gain an understanding of the technical methodology used by oceanographers and geologists to explore maritime environments.


MSCU 203 – Summer Fieldwork Course

The field school, during which students will undertake fieldwork in the Mediterranean Sea, offers a range of experiences, from coastal survey and the deployment and analysis of remote sensing geophysical techniques and data, through to diver survey and the documentation of archaeological remains on the seabed.


MSCU 204 – Coastal and Marine Environments: Maritime Cultural Heritage

This course addresses the range of threats, whether natural or anthropic, that presently target maritime cultural heritage assets. It presents a comprehensive overview of international and national legislation related to the protection and management of the maritime cultural heritage. It also covers the application of the ethnography to the maritime archaeological enquiry and reflects on how maritime communities, past and present, are an integral part of the socio-cultural heritage of a country.


MSCU 211 – A History of Maritime Economics

This course investigates maritime economics of the Mediterranean region from the Neolithic to the Roman Period based on the principles of maritime archaeology and marine sciences with a particular focus on the eastern Mediterranean. Students will be introduced to the concept of a maritime landscape as an inclusive and seamless zone, and learn the ways in which archaeologists, historians, and economics define, quantify, and assess economic activity within these zones. The course will address topics related to the production and distribution of goods through maritime transportation, port management and port systems, maritime commercial networks, the exploitation of marine resources, and the relationship between ports and hinterland within the defined period of study.  ​

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