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

Undergraduate Course: From Foraging to Farming: The Beginnings of Agriculture in the Mediterranean and Europe (ARCA10051)

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 course provides students with the opportunity to study the archaeological and other evidence relating to one of the most important events in human prehistory - the transition from hunting and gathering to farming. The main issues surrounding the economic, technological and social developments that marked the transition are explored for specific regions of Europe.
Course description The aim of the course is to instil in students:
- a sound knowledge and understanding of the principal sources of evidence that can be used to reconstruct the behaviour of the last hunting-gathering and earliest food producing societies in Europe;
- an appreciation of the difficulties involved in interpreting that evidence, and the major areas of controversy;
- the ability to critically assess current hypotheses of the transition to agriculture as applied in three geographically distinct regions of Europe, the Balkan Peninsula, the
- a critical awareness of how archaeological perceptions and approaches to research have historically influenced interpretations of the evidence.
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. 2006. The Agricultural Revolution in Prehistory: Why did Foragers Become Farmers? Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bellwood, P. 2005. First Farmers: the Origins of Agricultural Societies. Oxford: Blackwell.

Diamond, J. 2002. Evolution, consequences and future of plant and animal domestication. Nature 418: 700-707.

Colledge, S. & Conolly, J. (eds) 2007. The Origins and Spread of Domestic Plants in Southwest Asia and Europe. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press.

Colledge, S. & Conolly, J. (eds) 2013. The Origins and Spread of Domestic Animals in Southwest Asia and Europe. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press.

Lichter, C. (ed.) 2005. How Did Farming Reach Europe? Anatolian-European relations from the second half of the 7th through the first half of the 6th millenium cal BC (Proceedings of the International Workshop Istanbul, 20-22 May 2004). Istanbul, Turkey : Ege Yay¿nlar¿.

Price, T.D. (ed.) 2000. Europe's First Farmers. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserProf Clive Bonsall
Tel: (0131 6)50 2375
Course secretary
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