Mycenaeans: The Dawn of Ancient Greece


The Mycenaeans, a prosperous and intriguing civilization, flourished in the Greek mainland, the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean in the second millennium BCE. They are considered as the first speakers of Greek and they constituted a substantial artistic, trading and religious force in the prehistoric Mediterranean.

Join us as we examine this fascinating piece of (pre)history from a theoretical and practical perspective through the use of substantial visual materials, interactive exercises and physical props. You will learn how to critically engage with a past civilisation, its sources and interpretations, as well as to develop your research skills. We will also hold one museum session.

Programme details

Courses starts: 22 Jan 2024

Week 1: Introduction to archaeology and to the Mycenaeans

Week 2: Ceramics

Week 3: Architecture

Week 4: Frescoes and other arts

Week 5: Religion

Week 6: Linear B, Economy

Week 7: External Relations: trade, migration, colonisation

Week 8: Society, Diet and Everyday Life

Week 9: Ashmolean Museum visit

Week 10: Interpretations and receptions of the Mycenaeans

Digital Certification

To complete the course and receive a certificate, you will be required to attend at least 80% of the classes on the course and pass your final assignment. Upon successful completion, you will receive a link to download a University of Oxford digital certificate. Information on how to access this digital certificate will be emailed to you after the end of the course. The certificate will show your name, the course title and the dates of the course you attended. You will be able to download your certificate or share it on social media if you choose to do so.


Description Costs
Course Fee £257.00
Take this course for CATS points £10.00


If you are in receipt of a UK state benefit, you are a full-time student in the UK or a student on a low income, you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees. Please see the below link for full details:

Concessionary fees for short courses


Dr Anna Simandiraki-Grimshaw

Dr. Anna Simandiraki-Grimshaw is an Aegean Bronze Age archaeologist. She lectures in Archaeology at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, among other institutions. She also researches at Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) and is affiliated with Durham University and Humboldt University in Berlin.

Course aims

This course aims to provide students with introductory knowledge about the Mycenaeans, to cultivate critical interpretative skills when examining the past, and to whet intellectual appetites for further involvement with archaeology.

Course objectives:

The course is designed to:

  • teach and analyse the most important facets of the Mycenaean Civilisation, using concrete archaeological examples;
  • explore the artistic, social and other characteristics of Mycenaean societies;
  • enable students to critically approach a prehistoric society through material culture.

Teaching methods

A variety of teaching and learning methods will be used, taking into consideration students' different learning styles and individual needs. We will use tutor presentations and explanations, substantial visual material and handouts, some documentary footage and extensive discussion. Group presentations will be opportunities when main topics will be analysed by different teams. We will enact theoretical and practical situations. There will be the opportuntity of on-site learning during a museum visit in session 9.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be expected to:

  • recognise and effectively describe aspects of Mycenaean material culture (e.g. pottery, architecture, frescoes etc.);
  • interpret and analyse aspects of the Mycenaean civilisation in their wider social, political, economic and spiritual context;
  • evaluate different datasets and interpretations about the Mycenaean civilisation, using acquired knowledge, observation and critical skills.

Assessment methods

The official OUDCE assessment guidelines for weekly coures stipulate that "Students may be expected to do a number of short pieces of coursework, which will constitute, when complete, a portfolio of c. 1,500 words, or equivalent, per term (Option A).  Alternatively, where the students and the tutor so wish, students may be expected to complete a single project equating to 1,500 words or equivalent (Option B) [...] Students doing Option A coursework may also complete one or more additional, informally assessed pieces of coursework, to enable them to benefit from the tutor feedback before attempting the formally assessed components of the portfolio [...] Where a tutor is setting a single project as the means of assessment (Option B), it is required that students submit a plan, set of notes, or first draft of the assignment, of up to 500 words in total, before the end of the course."

For this course, all students will be shown a workbook at the first session (Option A). This will contain 5 questions and guiding material, the answers to which will become apparent as we progress through the course. Students will be expected to draw on both what is covered in class and on their private study, reflection and museum visit(s). They will be expected to demonstrate their progression and development by completing the workbook and handing it in by the last session. The entire length of the answers should be approximately 1500 words, i.e. about 250 words for each answer. 

In the case of students who feel their learning styles are not compatible with the workbook, the tutor will be flexible in accommodating other ways of equivalent written assessment (Option B). Students' attention is drawn to the fact that the word limit for assessed coursework is limited to 1,500 words and any work exceeding this cannot - and will not - be marked.

Student progress will also be informally evaluated on the basis of analysis, collaboration, organisation and knowledge, as demonstrated during class activities.

Students must submit a completed Declaration of Authorship form at the end of term when submitting your final piece of work. CATS points cannot be awarded without the aforementioned form - Declaration of Authorship form


To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an enrolment form (Word) or enrolment form (Pdf).

Level and demands

Students who register for CATS points will receive a Record of CATS points on successful completion of their course assessment.

To earn credit (CATS points) you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework in order to benefit fully from the course. Only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard.

Students who do not register for CATS points during the enrolment process can either register for CATS points prior to the start of their course or retrospectively from the January 1st after the current full academic year has been completed. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.

Most of the Department's weekly classes have 10 or 20 CATS points assigned to them. 10 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of ten 2-hour sessions. 20 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of twenty 2-hour sessions. It is expected that, for every 2 hours of tuition you are given, you will engage in eight hours of private study.

Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS)