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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Archaeology

Undergraduate Course: Archaeology 2B: Archaeology in Action (ARCA08012)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course provides a broad introduction to the approaches, techniques, concepts and real-world applications that archaeologists use to reconstruct the past. Emphasis will be placed on developing an understanding of professional archaeological practice and the use of scientific techniques to further understanding of the human past.
Course description Week 1 Archaeological methods and applications - an introduction
Week 2 Site formation processes
Week 3 Archaeological reconnaissance and survey
Week 4 Landscape archaeology
Week 5 Reconstructing the environment
Week 6 Reconstructing diet
Week 7 Preserving the past
Week 8 Dating techniques and perception of time
Week 9 Artefacts and materials
Week 10 Characterization and provenance studies
Week 11 Experimental archaeology

The core themes, archaeological practice and the application of scientific techniques to address current archaeological research problems and to facilitate the reconstruction of the human past, will be explored through a series of case studies and hands-on practical exercises using a range of archaeological artefacts drawn from the Vere Gordon Childe Teaching Collection. Key topics include: artefact and materials identification, recording and chemical characterisation; methods and approaches to underwater and shipwreck archaeology; molecular and radiometric dating methods; and landscape studies and environmental reconstruction.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Archaeology 2A: Scotland before History (ARCA08013)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 1 introductory level Archaeology or cognate subject course at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 18, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 154 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Successful completion of the course will require one 3000-6000 word portfolio (40%), comprising a written report of a seminar presentation and practical write-ups, as well as one two-hour examination (60%).
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate the ability to produce a sound, properly referenced and concise piece of work in accordance with the common marking scale;
  2. demonstrate knowledge of the principle methods and techniques used to reconstruct the human past;
  3. demonstrate critical understanding of the application of archaeological techniques to key research issues in Old World archaeology;
  4. demonstrate competence in the basic skills required in archaeological practice;
  5. demonstrate a familiarity with legislation, publication, education and public engagement in archaeology.
Reading List
Balme, J. & Paterson, A., 2006. Archaeology in Practice: Archaeology in practice: a student guide to archaeological analyses. Malden, Blackwell.
Brothwell, D.R. & Pollard, A.M., 2004. Handbook of archaeological sciences. Chichester, J. Wiley.
Brown, T.A., 2011. Biomolecular archaeology: an introduction. Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell.
Carver, M.O.H., 2009. Archaeological Investigation. London, Routledge.
Henderson, J., 2000. Science and Archaeology of Materials. London, Routledge.
Hunter, J. & Ralston, I., (eds) 2006 Archaeological Resource Management in the UK (2nd Ed.). Stroud, Sutton Publishing.
Johnson, M., 2007. Ideas of Landscape. Oxford, Blackwell.
Jones, A., 2002. Archaeological theory and scientific practice. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Lyman, R.L., 2008. Quantitative Paleozoology. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Maschner, H.D.G. & Chippindale, C., 2005 Handbook of Archaeological Methods. Lanham MD, Altamira Press.
Reitz, E.J. & Wing, E.S., 1999. Zooarchaeology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Renfrew, C. and Bahn, P., 2008. Archaeology, Theories, Methods and Practice. London, Thames & Hudson.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsArch 2B in Action
Course organiserDr Ulf-Dietrich Schoop
Tel: (0131 6)50 2503
Course secretaryMrs Summer Wight
Tel: (0131 6)50 4580
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