Skip to main content

Archaeological Landscapes


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 6
  • Convenor: Dr Tim Reynolds
  • Assessment: 2500 words of field class reflective notes (25%), a 2500-word essay (25%) and a three-hour examination (50%)

Module description

Landscape can mean different things to different people in various contexts. On this module we explore archaeological approaches to landscape and examine theoretical debate alongside applied case studies and site visits to explain human experiences of associated spaces. We will explore landscapes as created through:

  • literature and art
  • archaeological endeavour
  • experiencing humanly defined space in site visits.

Site visits include the Avebury World Heritage Site in Wiltshire, a walk between the cities of London and Westminster, and a medieval townscape in Ely, Cambridgeshire. We will also explore issues involved in the management and public interpretation of such landscapes both in class and onsite.

Indicative syllabus

  • What is landscape? (Theories, practice and experience)
  • Landscapes of England (geology, topography and people)
  • Imagined landscapes and experienced landscapes
  • Townscape and cityscapes
  • Communication
  • Management of historic landscapes
  • Landscapes of conflict/Contested landscapes
  • Invisible landscapes (invisible people and places)
  • Personal landscapes and ritual landscapes
  • Site visits: the cities of London and Westminster; Tower of London/Greenwich/Westminster; Avebury; Fenland; Ely/Museum of London

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will:

  • be familiar with major theoretical orientations to landscape within archaeology, history and material culture studies
  • have a grasp of the conceptual challenges to ‘reading’ space in archaeological records
  • have a sound basis for research into archaeological landscapes
  • have a broad knowledge of the archaeology of landscapes
  • understand the interpretative models for archaeological landscapes
  • understand the interplay between archaeological evidence, method and theory
  • be able to critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the archaeological sources for archaeological landscapes.