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Discovering Archaeology: From Field to Finds Room


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 4
  • Convenor: Dr Tim Reynolds
  • Assessment: two 500-word reviews (20% each) and a 1500-word essay (60%)

Module description

In this module we introduce you to the practical and analytical skills of archaeology. Lectures and classes give you a comprehensive picture of the discipline and its practice in a contemporary context, with subjects ranging from preliminary site assessments to the excavation of a site and its interpretation.

Focusing on the archaeology of prehistorical and historical periods, we consider:

  • the ways in which evidence is preserved in the archaeological record
  • the ways in which data from fieldwork converges and contrasts with that derived from the written record
  • different techniques of archaeological investigation, e.g. excavation and non-invasive techniques.

Over 10 weeks, we will evaluate current techniques of archaeology through case studies from a range of sites in northern Europe and the Mediterranean region, dating from the archaic to medieval periods. The case studies have been selected to demonstrate applications of different methods and encourage consideration of specialist debates in the field.

Indicative syllabus

    • What is archaeology (including history)?
    • Survey and excavation
    • Avebury trip
    • Built archaeology: standing buildings
    • Dating and deposits
    • Ecofacts and artefacts
    • Bones (fauna and human remains)
    • Narratives: writing and presenting the past
    • Review: the practice of archaeology