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

Undergraduate Course: Conceptualising the Neolithic (ARCA10020)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe period from the mid-6th to mid-4th millennium BC in Central and North-Western Europe witnessed major social and economic changes. The establishment of cereal cultivation and animal husbandry were accompanied by profound social and ideological transformations of human societies. This course examines the evidence pertinent to this important evolutionary change in European prehistory and investigates the extensive cultural patterns which transcend modern cultural boundaries, and which created conditions for all subsequent cultural developments in Europe.
Course description This course introduces students to the archaeology of Neolithic Europe, from the end of the Mesolithic and the beginning of food production (6th millennium BC) to the establishment of metalwork (Copper and Early Bronze Age, 3nd millennium BC). The aim of the course is to provide foundations in the major themes in the development and diversity of Neolithic societies and cultures in Europe, as well as an introduction to some of the key sites and archaeological remains that document these changes. Emphasis will be given to developing an understanding of the profound social and ideological transformations of human societies during the European Neolithic through an examination of key topics such as the establishment of new technologies, dwelling practices, burial customs, worldviews and the monumentalisation of the landscape. Case studies will focus on the Balkans, Central and Western Europe, Mediterranean Europe, Scandinavia and the British Isles.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Pre-requisites: Archaeology 2A and 2B, or Honours entry to degrees in Classics, or equivalent.
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 Archaeology courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Barker, G. 2009. The agricultural revolution in prehistory: why did foragers become farmers? Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Cochrane, A. and Jones, A. (eds) 2012. Visualising the Neolithic. Oxford: Oxbow.

Hofmann, D. and Smith, J. (eds) 2013. Tracking the Neolithic house in Europe. New York: Springer.

Marciniak A. 2005. Placing animals in the Neolithic: social zooarchaeology of prehistoric farming communities. London: University College London.

Midgley, M. S. 2008, The Megaliths of Northern Europe, Routledge, London.

Pétrequin, P. et al. 2008. Neolithic Alpine axeheads, from the Continent to Great Britain, the Isle of Man and Ireland. Analecta Praehistorica Leidensia 40: 261-279.

Price, T. D. (ed.), 2000. Europe's first farmers. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Robb, J. and Farr, R.H. 2005. Substances in motion: Neolithic Mediterranean 'trade'. In The Archaeology of Mediterranean Prehistory, edited by E. Blake and A.B. Knapp, pp. 24-45. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

Smith, M. and M. Brickley. 2009. People of the long barrows: life, death and burial in the earlier Neolithic. Stroud, The History Press.

Vander Linden, M. 2007. What linked the Bell Beakers in third millennium BC Europe? Antiquity 81(312): 343-352.

Whittle, A., 1996. Europe in the Neolithic. The Creation of New Worlds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Whittle, A. and Cummings, V. (eds) 2007. Going Over: The Mesolithic-Neolithic Transition in North-West Europe. (Proceedings of the British Academy 144). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Guillaume Robin
Tel: (0131 6)50 9963
Course secretaryMiss Alexandra Adam
Tel: (0131 6)50 3767
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