At the Origins of the Mediterranean Civilization: Archaeology of the City from the Levant to the West




Sapienza University of Rome




Free (certificate fee: USD$ 29, optional)

Available in

English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian


This course explores the roots of the so-called 'Mediterranean Civilization,' starting from a review of archaeological evidence on peoples and cultures of the ancient Mediterranean region. It can be accessed through Coursera, an online education platform.

The course discusses the historical account depicted by archaeological resources to illustrate the functioning of the city-state and social dynamics of the rising urban community in southern Levant and across the Mediterranean. Through the course, participants will learn the early history of the ancient Phoenician city of Motya (Sicily), situated in the middle of the Phoenician trade network, unveiling cultural and trade links across the region. Besides this, the course explores the role of religion on the Phoenician community and broader Mediterranean context.

 Some of the course contents are:

  • Relate timing of Phoenician landing on Motya and other historical hallmarks in Mediterranean history
  • Assess what goddess Astarte meant in ancient Mediterranean in the years of Phoenician colonization
  • Estimate the role played by water related cult and religion