This was a great course, it was great to be out 'on location' with the archaeologists and Lorenzo Nigro. There was also a great selection of reading material which offered more in-depth information.
wonderful explanation along with good slides and maps and incredible readings\n\nbut the main organization was my favorite part because I learned so much about ancient cities as well as Motya
by Andrey Z•
This is one of the best Courses on History and Archeology in the Coursera platform. I have previously completed more than 10 courses on this platform and consider- that this one is one of the most interesting. Professor Lorenzo Nigro prsesentation is very exciting and easy to understand. I highly recoomend this course to everyone, who is interested in ancient history and archeology of Levant and Mediterranian. Thank you very much and hope you will give more interesting lectures about Phoenicians. Good luck and my best wishes to all the stuff. This course is very-very interesting.
by Leslie H•
I am completely amazed by what Professor Nigro and his teams and others have revealed about the beginning of Mediterranean civilization through excavation of the Phoenician settlement/city of Motya. The story was all here, buried! The story just took very careful excavation with archeology tools and ah-ha moments, like when Professor Nigro understood the connection of the Youth of Motya to Troy based on an inscription on a bowl! Wow! I am fascinated by the connection of the Sacred Pool to astronomy. I am horrified by the implications of the Tophet. I wonder if the tophet ritual was a form of birth control on an island of limited space. This course changed my view of the origins of civilization, not just all Greek and Egyptian, by Near-East and Phoenician. Each class was a mind-changer! I could still use more understanding of what life was like in the busy city - a day in the life of the many types of people there. Thank you Professor Nigro for making this available to a wider audience! I appreciate your completing this in English and I could understand you even when the words weren't exactly an interpretation. Many thanks. I will share your ideas with friends.
Great videos from the professor, but the tests are made in unacceptably bad broken English, and the video subtitles have sometimes terrible quality. Also, the suggested reading materials are often in French, Spanish, German, Italian, and sometimes they aren't even links- am I supposed to purchase these books in order to follow the suggested readings? What is this?
by Alessandra C•
The incapacity of this professor to speak a decent English affects the overall quality of the course. It is actually a pity because the course contents are not that bad.
by Melissa V•
I found the class and the instructor so interesting and amazing that I finished in record time. His thoughtful use of various methods to teach complex concepts was thought provoking and instrumental to help understand complex ideologies. From classroom instruction with pertinent photographs to onsite field work and walking through excavations was both exciting and interesting. It was like being apart of the excavation. It was like being there at Motya. The best teaching aids were the aerial photographs. To be able to see the entire site help me understand the concepts at a higher level of understanding.
The pelvis and the teeth still have me stumped in terms of human sacrifice. The pelvis seems related to fertility but the teeth...thought provoking.
Thank you for a wonderful experience. I loved the quizzes...drove home the main concepts of what Dr. Nigro was teaching us. I would love to visit the island. And from a geological background, I was impressed with the hydrological work that was incorporated into the excavation. Great teamwork.
by Anthony C E•
In this course, Lorenzo Negri's obvious passion for Motya shines through. As the prime excavator of the site, his first-hand experience adds extra layers of richness to the archaeological interpretation. There are obviously glitches in the presentation of this course, sometimes an odd "correct" answer to the quiz, some slight inconsistencies in the transcribing., etc., but really, it has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I have finished these eight weeks with a lot more knowledge of Motya and Sicily, and also a much greater understanding of the Phoenicians. Thank you, very much.
by Vladislav Z•
The course was informative and presented in an interesting manner with lots of slides and recordings of the actual sites to augment the lectures. The occasional technical problems in the videos and the professor speaking in a heavily accented English made it a bit more difficult at times but not to the point where it caused serious communication issues. Hey, learning a second language is tough! Overall I enrolled in this MOOC because of my personal interest in the subject and was satisfied with it.
by Jennifer K•
I was very impressed with this course, as it incorporates recent archaeological findings and is about the pre-classical history of the Mediterranean, a period of history that we didn't used to know very much about, but which fascinates me. The footage and slides presented were very helpful. More courses like this, please!
by Noorali H•
This is my real archaeology course. Looking for more prehistory courses. This course has taught me how much non-literary evidence can enlighten us about the remote past. There is so much mute evidence that I had been ignoring in trying to study ancient religions. Thank you for the amazing clarity of the presentation.
by Deleted A•
wonderful explanation along with good slides and maps and incredible readings
but the main organization was my favorite part because I learned so much about ancient cities as well as Motya
by John M•
I enjoyed learning the material, however, the narrator was Italian and his translations to English/American needed quite a bit of interpreting and proofreading. Numerous times the printout of his narration had incorrect words that could easily mislead the student. Also, some of the "Readings" were not in English and I needed to find a translator program to convert to English so I could read them.
Otherwise, I enjoyed learning about the early expansion of the Mediterranean civilizations and the factors that made for success and development of the people.
by Shelley A•
The content was excellent and the new information was personally very exciting to me. Prof. Nigri and the staff are to be complemented. As a native English speaker, the English in some of the transcripts and certain quiz questions did cause me to stumble at times (e.g., there is a major difference between 'basement' and 'battlements')--but I appreciate the effort it took to teach this course in a foreign language. I learned so much and this course has opened up a whole new world of ancient history to me. I want to visit the excavation at Motya! Grazi!
by Jamie W•
Very interesting case studies into ancient civilizations. I took this class because of my own Sicilian heritage and it was fulfilling in that it taught me about my history. I think more connections could be made between the various civilizations we read about. Some articles were also written in Spanish and Italian, which I can't access with my level of ability in those languages. Otherwise I would recommend to someone who is interested in this time period or culture.
by Katherine W•
The content of the course was interesting. Professor Nigro was informative and entertaining. I'm grateful for the chance to take a course with him via Coursera. That said, I spent way too much time on the course. I laughed each time I saw the estimated time for completing the assignments with some measure of comprehension and retention and a shot at a decent qiz grade.
The transcripts (I assume the English version is done via voice recognition?) and the quiz questions are little better than word salad. If I had to do it over, I'd still take the course. Instead of working hard and spending a lot of time, I'd watch the videos and complete the readings. What I would not do is try to decipher the quizzes and transcripts. Linear A will be understood before they will be comprehensible.
by Francoise W•
I loved the theme but the contents and especially the delivery was not very good. The teacher, Mr. Nigro, is very dynamic but his english is poor and extremely difficult to understand.
I still learned a great deal about Motya, the Phoenicians and the spread of their civilization and I am very grateful for the numerous examples and pictures.
The subject is very interesting and Prof. Nigro is a knowledgeable and nice guy, but there are many repetitions in the text, Terms are not defined clearly (maybe they are easy for Italian speakers), and the words are sometime incomprehensible (even in the text).
Overall an important course for those interested in ancient Mediterranean history.
by Theresa N•
The translations are horrific and exams almost impossible to understand. While the subject matter is wonderful and the Professor (cute) and very engaging you need to PULL THIS COURSE and clean up language, syntax and translations. You are messing up a very fine course without doing that! T Nardi
A very interesting subject, unfortunately presented in very bad English which is amply compensated for by the enthousiasm of Prof. Nigro. However, the English transcripts are even worse, and this seems to be the responsibility of Coursera.
by Annette R F•
The material is interesting, but the language level is really lacking and often difficult to understand, especially for exams. However, the instructor is very knowledgeable and does his very best to garble through in a foreign language. In all fairness to students, the course designers should have gotten a native-language English speaker to write or at least review the language correctness of the tests. Also, I found the title to be misleading. In my opinion it should be, The Phoenician City of Motzia, as the founding of civilisation across the Mediterranean was not really the main point, even though it was a connected issue.
by Jen P•
The material was excellent. I cannot fault the scholarship or research. However, the delivery was very poor. The lecturer is animated and enthusiastic, but his English is poor, and the subtitles and transcript very often don't help as they simply reinforce his errors and poor pronunciation. An example is the word used 'cellar'. He doesn't know the translation into english (sacred room), so he says the Latin 'cella' and the transcript writes 'cellar' meaning an underground room! You could keep his poor delivery (if only for his vast enthusiasm), but the transcript needs much more correction.
by Nienke O•
The material that the course covers is great. However, the whole course could've been set up a lot better if some additional time and money had been spent on a proper translator. They could've taken a look at the quizes but also go over the script of the professor's lectures. All in all, the course didn't look very professional. I think the knowledge of this professor and of Sapienza University would benefit from being broadcasted in a more professional manner.
by Paul W•
Interesting to some extent but very difficult to follow. The text accompanying the videos were not good. Some of the suggested readings were in Italian and did not translate well. There seemed to be a lot of replicated information.
by Analia C C•
Me ha fascinado el curso, sumamente instructivo, felicito al Profesor Nigro y a su staff de la Universidad La Sapienza por tan importante investigacion acerca de una culura fenicia, de la que no se profundiza demasiado en algunos ambitos de la enseñanza y que tanta importancia tuvo en esos intercambios culturales con otras civilizaciones del Mediterraneo.
Los materiales aportados como de apoyo han sido fantásticos y permiten continuar profundizando el tema.
Dos unicos puntos que quisiera sugerir si se me permite, serian: el aporte de lineas de tiempo histórico en los videos pues en ocasiones algunos eventos y construcciones que son contemporáneos entre sí al ser proyectados en diferentes videos dio cierto trabajo sincronizarlos y los mapas de cada una de las construcciones que son pequeños en las proyecciones y eso dificulta su visualizacion, (tal vez deberian estar solos en una imagen, no con otros elementos, pues al ampliarlos se pierde mucha definicion...pero solo son sugerencias.
by Patricia T•
Agradezco mucho al Profesor Lorenzo Nigro el haber compartido sus amplios conocimientos sobre este fascinante lugar llamado Motya. Muy relevante en el curso fue la explicación de varios procesos de sincretismo religioso, cultural y artesanal en Motya, lo que, en mi opinión, constituye una dificilísima tarea. Disfruté enormemente los descubrimientos arqueológicos y conocer cómo los fenicios sentaron las bases de la Civilización Mediterránea.
by Paul H•
This course filled all my expectations and then some. It gathered evidence from many different fields to build a picture of life in the early historical period. The nitty gritty of getting the evidence was also very interesting.
Would recommend highly for anyone interested in archeology and history. Also nice to see the Mediterranean views in the midst of cold weather in North America.