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Themes and Concepts in Archaeology


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor: Lesley McFadyen
  • Assessment: one essay of 5000-5500 words (100%)

Module description

In this course we introduce you to the major techniques, principal bodies of evidence, research themes and concepts deployed in the discipline in order to develop a critical understanding of how contemporary archaeologists conduct archaeological research and communicate its results in texts, pictures and museum displays.

We will address the perceived divide between theory and practice in archaeological fieldwork and cultural resource management. We aim to produce a new kind of archaeologist, who is theoretically aware whilst grounded in the craft of archaeology. In so doing, we will develop your capacity for interdisciplinary and innovative research in the field, based on a more critical and integrated study of landscape, architecture, and material culture. Context, and an engagement with its material and historical conditions, is crucial to this evidence-based training.

A crucial subject is the value of archaeology in the world and the kinds of community that participate in its practice. The case studies to be looked at in this module relate to historical, prehistorical and classical archaeology and were selected to bring out the importance of methodological insights and skills transferrable across disciplinary boundaries.