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ART H 201 A: Survey of Western Art-Ancient

Meeting Time: 
MWF 1:00pm - 2:20pm
ART 229
Sarah Levin-Richardson

Syllabus Description:

Art History 201: Survey of Western Art-Ancient

Winter 2024

MWF 1:00-2:20pm

ART 229


Prof. Levin-Richardson (you can call me Professor Levin-Richardson, Professor L-R, or just Professor)

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Office Hour: Mondays 2:30-3:30pm in person (I wear a mask when holding office hours in my office; Zoom option available, too—please email me in advance so I can set it up) and by appointment

Office: Denny 227; enter the main doors of Denny, pass the water fountain and elevator, and it’s the

first office on the left

class google doc:



This course surveys select developments in architecture, sculpture, painting, and other arts in Southern Europe, Southwest Asia and Northeast Africa from the bronze age to the 4th century. There are no prerequisites.


Learning Objectives:

  1. identify and correctly apply art-historical terminology and concepts
  2. locate ancient art and architecture within its geographic context
  3. discuss ancient art and architecture within its historical, cultural, and social contexts
  4. engage the ways in which ancient art and architecture influences, and is influenced by, modern cultures


Supporting your learning and well being

If you know of something that might affect your learning (technology problems; health or family crisis; religious observance) please contact me as soon as possible, ideally at the beginning of the quarter, so that I can make appropriate accommodations.

  • Health (including COVID)

  • Other resources:
    • UW Academic Support:
    • UW Counseling Center:
    • Husky Health and Well-Being:
    • UW Emergency Aid:
    • Disability Resources for Students:
      • If you have already established accommodations with Disability Resources for Students (DRS), please communicate your approved accommodations to me at your earliest convenience so we can discuss your needs in this course.
      • If you have not yet established services through DRS, but have a temporary health condition or permanent disability that requires accommodations (conditions include but not limited to: mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts), you are welcome to contact DRS at or DRS offers resources and coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities and/or temporary health conditions.  Reasonable accommodations are established through an interactive process between you, your instructor(s) and DRS.  It is the policy and practice of the University of Washington to create inclusive and accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law.
    • Religious Accommodations:
      • Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Religious Accommodations Policy . Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form .


Required Readings:

The required textbook for this class is listed below; a digital version can be rented through the University Bookstore ( for around $46 (you can rent or purchase copies from online retailers, as well), and a print copy is on course reserve at Odegaard Library. The Undergraduate Textbook Fund is designed to defray the cost of textbooks for Classics majors and minors; more information can be found here. Please be sure to get the right edition of this textbook (the easiest way to do that is to click on “shop textbooks by course,” and fill in our course information, or to use the ISBN number below to search at another retailer). Other required readings can be found on the course canvas site. Each meeting in the schedule below has one or more assignments to be completed before that class session.


Kleiner, Fred S. Gardner’s Art through the Ages: The Western Perspective, Volume I. 16th Edition. Wadsworth, 2013. ISBN: 978-0357370384  


These readings are a starting point for class lectures, which often will expand upon the assigned readings and/or present new material. Thus, I strongly recommend careful reading of the assigned material (using the posted study guides to direct your focus) as well as attending class lectures.


Assignments and Grading:

AI/Chat GPT is not allowed for any assignment, including studying for quizzes/exams/assignments. Use of AI/Chat GPT will be considered an academic integrity violation and be reported to the Office of Student Conduct.

  • Canvas Quizzes: see schedule below. The lowest quiz will be dropped. 30%
  • Exam 1 (IN PERSON): Monday January 29. Covers readings, lectures, and other assigned material from January 3rd to January 26th: 30%
  • Exam 2 (IN PERSON): Monday March 4. Covers readings, lectures, and other assigned material from January 31st to March 1st: 30%
  • Final assignment : Monday March 11 by 4:20pm (upload to Canvas; cover readings, lectures, and other assigned material from the whole course). 10%


Quizzes will be multiple choice or true/false and will assess vocabulary/terminology and geography (see learning objectives 1 and 2, above). Exams will focus on analyzing ancient art and architecture in its historical, cultural, and social contexts (see learning objective 3 above). The final assignment asks you to respond (in any way you like, from drawings to audio recordings to short written answers) to four things that you learned in class (at least one of these must be from week 10 material; see learning objective 4 above). More information about each assignment will be posted in advance on Canvas.


Your final course grade is calculated from these assignments in the proportions given. Please prepare carefully for these assignments and please contact me in advance if you have any questions about how to best prepare. There is no extra credit.

Further Expectations:

  • No recording, photographing, posting, or distributing of course materials of any kind is permitted without my written authorization.
  • The University of Washington prohibits the selling of notes online or through any other channels.
  • Getting in touch with each other
    • Please check Canvas and your UW email daily; this is how I will communicate with you about pertinent information. You are responsible for all information disseminated over email and through the course website.
    • I’m available in office hours for you! If you are anxious about assignments, please set up a time well in advance of the assignment or exam so we can discuss strategies. I’m also happy to chat about any other class-related concerns you have, or study abroad opportunities, how to follow your interest in archaeology or ancient history, etc. I am happy to answer questions over email, but please check the syllabus first to see whether the answer is there.
    • I will respond to emails by the end of the next working day (which means that if you email me on Friday afternoon, I may not respond until Monday afternoon).
  • Grading
    • Students are expected to adhere to ethical behavior in their work, including following guidelines posted for each assignment concerning group work, group studying, AI or ChatGPT, and plagiarism/cheating. Failure to adhere to these policies will be considered an academic integrity violation and can be reported to the Office of Student Conduct, and you might receive a zero on the assignment. If you have any questions about what is or is not allowable for an assignment, I’d be more than happy to clarify!
    • I’d be happy to discuss any of your graded work with you, but I ask that you wait twenty-four hours after receiving your assignment back in order to begin to process my feedback. After the twenty-four-hour period, please feel free to email me to set up a time for a meeting. Due to University policy, I cannot discuss grades over email.


Schedule of Topics and Required Readings:


Week 1: Introduction

Jan 3: Introduction to ARTH 201

Jan 5: Pre-recorded Panopto lecture/ No in-person class: Introduction to Antiquity [Prof. Levin-Richardson at Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America]


Part I: Select Civilizations in the Bronze-Age Mediterranean


Week 2: Southwest Asia in the Bronze Age; Northeast Africa in the Bronze Age

Jan 8: Pre-recorded Panopto lecture / No in-person class: Mesopotamia: Sumer and Akkad [Prof. Levin-Richardson at North American Congress of Greek and Latin Epigraphy]

  • Kleiner chapter 2: beginning through section on Akkad

Jan 10: Mesopotamia: Third Dynasty or Ur, Babylon, Elam; Anatolia: Hattusha / The Hittites

  • Kleiner chapter 2: sections on Mesopotamia: Third Dynasty of Ur, Babylon, Elam
  • Jürgen Seeher. Hattusha Guide: a Day in the Hittite Capital. Revised Edition. Istanbul: Ege Yayinlari, 2002. Read pages 155-170 [available on Canvas]

Jan 12: COMPLETE 1ST QUIZ BY MIDNIGHT [on key vocab and locations from Week 1 F to Week 2 W]. Pre-dynastic and Old Kingdom Egypt

  • Kleiner chapter 3: beginning through section on Old Kingdom: Architecture


Week 3: Northeast Africa in the Bronze Age

Jan 15: NO CLASS [MLK day]

Jan 17: Old and Middle Kingdom Egypt

  • Kleiner chapter 3: sections on Old Kingdom: Sculpture and on Middle Kingdom

Jan 19: COMPLETE 2ND QUIZ BY MIDNIGHT [on key vocab and locations from Week 2 F to Week 3 W]. New Kingdom Egypt

  • Kleiner chapter 3: section on New Kingdom


Week 4: Southeast Europe in the Bronze Age

Jan 22: PROF L-R OUT SICK: WATCH LECTURE ON PANOPTO:Aegean: Cycladic Cultures and Minoans

  • Kleiner chapter 4: beginning through sections on Minoan Art

Jan 24: Aegean: Mycenaeans; Conflict and Gender in the Bronze Age Mediterranean

  • Kleiner chapter 4: sections on Mycenaeans

Jan 26:  COMPLETE 3RD QUIZ BY MIDNIGHT [on key vocab and locations from Week 3 F to Week 4 W] . In-class review


Part II: Select Civilizations in the Iron-Age Mediterranean


Week 5: Southeast Europe in the Iron Age

Jan 29: EXAM 1 (IN PERSON): Covers readings, lectures, and other assigned material from January 3rd to January 26th

Jan 31:  Greek Geometric, Orientalizing and Archaic Period (Statuary)

  • Kleiner chapter 5: beginning through section on Archaic Period: Statuary

Feb 2: Greek Archaic Period (Architecture and Architectural Sculpture; Vase Painting; Aegina and the

Transition to the Classical Period)

  • Kleiner chapter 5: remaining sections on Archaic period (see topics above)


Week 6: Southeast Europe in the Iron Age

Feb 5: Greek Classical Period (The Athenian Acropolis)

  • Kleiner chapter 5: section on Early and High Classics Periods: The Athenian Acropolis [note section!]

Feb 7: Greek Classical Period (Statuary and Painting) and Greek Late Classical Period (Sculpture and


  • Kleiner chapter 5: sections on Early and High Classical Periods: Statuary; Early and High Classics Periods: Painting; Late Classical Period: Sculpture; Late Classical Period: Architecture [note the sections—we’re not reading all of them!]

Feb 9: COMPLETE 4th QUIZ BY MIDNIGHT  [on key vocab and locations from Week 5 W to Week 6 W]. Greek Hellenistic Period


Week 7: Southern Europe in the Iron Age

Feb 12: Roman Republic

  • Kleiner chapter 7: beginning through section on Republic

Feb 14: Roman Republic and Early Roman Empire (Pompeii and the Cities of Vesuvius)

  • Kleiner chapter 7: section on Pompeii and the Cities of Vesuvius

Feb 16: COMPLETE 5TH QUIZ BY MIDNIGHT  [on key vocab and locations from Week 6 F to Week 7 W]. Early Roman Empire

  • Kleiner chapter 7: section on Early Empire


Week 8: Southern Europe in the Iron Age

Feb 19: NO CLASS [Presidents Day]

Feb 21: High Roman Empire  

  • Kleiner chapter 7: section on High Empire [skip section on Ostia]

Feb 23: COMPLETE 6TH QUIZ BY MIDNIGHT [on key vocab and locations from Week 7 F to Week 8 W]. Late Roman Empire

  • Kleiner chapter 7: section on Late Empire


Week 9: Southwest Asia and Northeast Africa in the Iron Age

Feb 26:  Mesopotamia: Assyria and Neo-Babylonia; Persia: Achaemenid and Sasanian Empires

  • Kleiner chapter 2: sections on Mesopotamia: Assyria, Neo-Babylonia; and on Persia

Feb 28: Nubia

  • Kleiner chapter 3: section on First Millenium BCE
  • Solange Ashby. 2021. “Priestess, queen, goddess: The divine feminine in the kingdom of Kush” The Routledge Companion to Black Women’s Cultural Histories. 23-34 [read pp. 23-32, skipping the section on “God’s Wives of Amun” on pp. 27-28]

March 1: In-class review


Week 10: Legacies and Afterlives

March 4: EXAM 2 (IN PERSON)

March 6: Legacies and Afterlives

March 8: The West


Final assignment due Monday March 11 by 4:20pm by uploading to Canvas



The grading scale used in this class is as follows:



Percentage Earned 

Grade-Point Equivalent




































































0.7 [lowest passing grade]

59 and x < 59






Catalog Description: 
Major achievements in painting, sculpture, architecture, and the decorative arts in Europe, the Near East, and North Africa, from prehistoric times to the beginnings of Christianity.
GE Requirements: 
Arts and Humanities (A&H)
Last updated: 
October 16, 2023 - 11:24pm