One of my favourite subjects within archaeology is underwater or maritime archaeology. The University of Leicester’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History offer a second year module called ‘Mediterranean Archaeology’ which covers the topic of maritime archaeology. I very much enjoyed taking the module which was what pushed my decision of doing an Erasmus year abroad in Malta as it is a small island with archaeology in abundance, not just on land but underwater too. What I have found very interesting in my studies in Malta is that maritime archaeology features heavily in many of my modules and assignments. This is because underwater archaeology is and has been carried out several times within the Maltese waters.
This has got me thinking about how specific topics and area specific aspects of archaeology, such as British Prehistory, are normally covered in the area the subject occurs and less elsewhere. For instance in order to study Maltese Prehistory, which is something I am also very interested in, doing an Erasmus year abroad in Malta was the perfect opportunity for my to do this as it is not available elsewhere. Obviously it makes sense to teach these area specific aspects of archaeology in the country or area that they occur however, what I am questioning is where there should be a break in this trend and perhaps a step towards extending these lesser known subject areas into other institutions not just in Europe but around the world.
Just like most institutions, there are normally several modules that do touch on or are fully based on other geographical areas other than the one in which the institution is situated in, such as the ‘Mediterranean Archaeology’ module mentioned above. But are there enough? And should we try and introduce more module choices on archaeological areas far from the home institution?
It has also occurred to me that this can also apply to many other disciplines such as English.
Please let me know your thoughts and opinions on this as I am very interested to see if it is something other have thought about.