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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Early Farmers of the Near East (PGHC11348)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaPostgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course provides a forum for studying the transition to early farming communities in the Near East from the late epi-Palaeolithic until about 5000 BC. The main issues and theories surrounding the technological, social, economic and cognitive developments that marked the transition to settled farming village communities in the Near East are explored. Some of the debates and thinking about this important development in human history are also explored.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
After successfully completing the course, students will be able to:
┐ demonstrate an understanding of: (i) key concepts and issues surrounding the topic of the transition to agriculture, (ii) deep time and chronological frameworks, (iii) aspects of the nature of the human relationship with the environment, (iv) aspects of human cognitive development;
┐ produce a sound, properly referenced and cogently argued piece of writing;
┐ demonstrate an ability to engage with peers and colleagues in discussion and to communicate their ideas effectively;
┐ demonstrate an ability to read archaeological sources in a critical manner and to construct a reasoned argument using archaeological material;
┐ independently identify and pursue research topics surrounding the transition to farming in the Near East;
┐ exhibit an understanding for different conceptual approaches to the study of archaeology;
┐ demonstrate their written skills, their analytical and their theoretical skills in coursework.
Assessment Information
Assessment will involve a paper of 3000 words. The essay will count for 80% of the final mark. Non-written skills will also be assessed, providing 20% of the final mark (10% for a presentation; 10% for contribution to classroom discussions).

Students will be provided with a detailed course handbook and will have access to a course website which will host lecture summaries and seminar materials. Additionally, students will be required to arrange ad hoc meetings with the course organisers to discuss the progress of their studies and their choice of a research topic for their seminar and coursework paper.
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description The Subject Benchmark makes it clear that detailed knowledge of the historical and social framework of archaeology and prehistory is a key context. This course will look at the archaeology of the Near East from this perspective by introducing students to developments in thinking about the transition to farming and how other cognate disciplines contribute to our understanding of the past. A further key context, which is the relationship between theory and interpreting the past, will be addressed by looking at the development of thinking in research into this topic which has occurred over the past one hundred years. This will be illustrated by highlighting archaeological material, sites and projects from the Near East. The course aims, therefore, to provide a sound foundation of knowledge of the archaeology of this important development in human history by examing key concepts, developments and archaeological material. By its nature this course addresses primary issues of archaeological theory and narrative accounts of past societies which are key considerations in the subject area bench mark statement. Finally, the course will also provide students with a basis of knowledge of the ethical and professional contexts of archaeology abroad.
Syllabus Week 01: Introduction and discussion
Week 02: Theoretical approaches to the transition to farming
Week 03: Environmental and biological considerations
Week 04: Natufian Culture
Week 05: Early sedentism and the exploitation of plant/animal resources
Week 06: Pre-Pottery Neoltihic A and case studies
Week 07: A revolution in symbols and cognitive developments
Week 08: Pre-Pottery Neoltihic B and case studies
Week 09: The spread, collapse and transformation of neolithic societies
Week 10: Pottery Neolithic and case studies
Week 11: Overview
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list ┐ Adams, R. (ed.) (2008) Jordan: an archaeological reader, London: Equinox Publishing.
┐ Akkermans, P. and G. Schwartz (2003) The Archaeology of Syria: from complex hunter-gatherers to early urban societies (ca. 16,000-300 BC), Cambridge World Archaeology Series, CUP.
┐ Aurenche, O. and J. Cauvin. 1989 NÚolithisations. BAR Int Ser 516. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports.
┐ Cauvin, J. (2000) (trans T Watkins) The Birth of the Gods and the Origins of Agriculture, New Studies in Archaeology Series. CUP.
┐ Douglas Price, T. & A. Gebauer (1995), Last Hunters, First Farmers: New Perspectives on the Prehistoric Transition to Agriculture. Sante Fe: School of American Research Press.
┐ During, Bleda (2010) The Prehistory of Asia Minor: from complex hunter-gatherers to early urban societies, Cambridge University Press.
┐ Harris, D., (1996) The Origins and Spread of Agriculture and Pastoralism in Eurasia. London: UCL Press Ltd.
┐ Gebauer, A. and T. Douglas-Price. (1992) Transitions to Agriculture in Prehistory. Monographs in World Archaeology 4. Madison (WI): Prehistory Press.
┐ Hodder, I. (1990) The Domestication of Europe, Blackwell: Oxford.
┐ Hodder, I. (2010) Religion in the Emergence of Civilisation: Catalhoyuk as a case Study, Cambridge University Press.
┐ Kuijt. I. ed. (2000) Life in Neolithic Farming Communities. Social Organization, Identity, and Differentiation. London.
┐ Lewis-Williams, D and D. Pearce (2005) Inside the Neolithic Mind, London: Thames & Hudson.
┐ Levy, T (ed.) (1998) The Archaeology of the Holy Land, London: Leicester University Press.
┐ Ízdogan, M. and N. Basgelen eds. (1999 ) Neolithic in Turkey. Istanbul: Arkeoloji ve Sanat Yayainlari.
┐ Peltenburg E. and A. Wasse (eds) (2004) Neolithic Revolutions. New perspectives on south-west Asia in light of recent discoveries on Cyprus, Levant Supplementary Series 1, Oxford:Oxbow.
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Gordon Thomas
Tel: (0131 6)50 2383
Course secretaryMs Rosie Edwards
Tel: (0131 6)50 3782
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