Somerville was instrumental in the foundation of this joint school, which seeks to bring the tangible evidence of the ancient world into modern day scholarship.
You don’t need to have studied Classics at A level to apply, although many of our students do choose this path and find it very helpful. You also don’t need to know either Latin or ancient Greek to apply, as there is plenty of tuition on offer to give you the skills you whatever amount of knowledge you have of the languages when you arrive at Somerville.
CAAH is one of the most unique courses at Oxford. You will use multiple sources to investigate themes of interest. You will study the ancient Classical world, but you can also pursue your interests in related topics such as ancient Egypt, Islam, and the Celtic World.
Our teaching methods are different to other courses, employing seminars taught by teams of tutors or researchers in addition to the usual Oxford tutorials and lectures. You will learn through a combination of technical archaeological training with study of the historical context necessary to understand the artifacts and sites. A typical week in your first year might include 4-6 lectures, one tutorial, and one seminar. In the second and third year you will choose six options from a wide array on offer, as well as producing a site or museum report.
Somerville has two full-time teaching fellows in the field, our Tutor in Ancient History, Beate Dignas, and our Tutor in Classical Archaelogy, Charlotte Potts. Beate specialises in late classical Hellenistic civilisation and the cultures and history of ancient Anatolia, and researches cultural phenomena such as the genesis of the cult of Dionysus in Mysia; and the textual and visual representation of satyrs and their role in Dionysiac worship in the ancient Hellenistic world. Charlotte Potts returned to Academia after a career in content development for museums in New Zealand, Australia, Southeast Asia and the UK. Her current research focuses on evaluating the architecture of pre-Roman central Italy in light of the latest excavations and theoretical developments. Somerville also has a full-time Tutor in Classics, Associate Professor Luke Pitcher, who specialises in Greek and Roman Historiography. You can confidently expect to receive excellent and varied teaching provision within college.
Somerville’s library has a distinguished collection of Classical Archaeology volumes. The college is also located close by to the Ashmolean Museum whose special collections and adjoined Sackler Library are among the finest resources in the world in the world for the subjects. The Faculty’s Classics Centre is also within five minutes walking distance.
For more information about the course and applying, go to the University’s listing for the course on their website.
We aim to admit two undergraduates per year, who join our Ancient and Modern history students and our Classicists in a large and vibrant undergraduate community of scholars of antiquity.
While some CAAH graduates go on to further study and research or work as professional archaeologists and museum curators, others go into more diverse professional fields including education, finance, publishing, the Civil Service and Law.
Beate DignasBarbara Craig Fellow & Tutor in Ancient History; Associate Professor in Ancient History
Luke PitcherFellow & Tutor in Classics; Associate Professor in Classical Languages and Literature
Charlotte PottsWoolley Fellow & Tutor in Classical Archaeology; Sybille Haynes Lecturer in Etruscan and Italic Archaeology and Art
Tessa RajakSenior Research Fellow; Emeritus Professor of Ancient History, University of Reading; Senior Associate of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies