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

Undergraduate Course: Theoretical Archaeology (ARCA10064)

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 explores the diverse and changing nature of the discipline of archaeology from the 19th century to the present day. Themes covered include the construction of chronologies, data recovery, classification and interpretation, cultural and processual/post-processual models and the developing role of archaeological and environmental sciences.
Course description This core course is compulsory for all third year students enrolled on any of the following: MA Hons in Archaeology, all Joint MA Hons and BSc in Environmental Archaeology. It explores, at an advanced level, the diverse and changing nature of archaeology, from its antiquarian beginnings in the 18th-19th centuries to the more explicitly theoretical perspectives of the present day. Moreover, it investigates the emergence of archaeology as an independent discipline, the progress of archaeological thought and the intellectual relationship of archaeology with cognate disciplines in natural and social sciences, and in the humanities.

The course aims to strengthen students' engagement with the discipline, to enhance their theoretical sophistication, and to facilitate an understanding of theories and methodologies used by archaeologists to interpret the past. It also aims to develop further skills of analysis and critical appreciation of archaeological interpretation. To that end it presents archaeological ideas against the background of cognate disciplines, covering broad definitions as well as important and influential perspectives in current archaeological research.
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.
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
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  36
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The final mark for the course is arrived at through a combination of degree examination (50%) and continuous assessment (50%). Within the continuous assessment component, students are required to write one essay (25%), one seminar paper (15%) and one minor coursework (10%).
Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
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 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
Bentley, R. A., H. D. G. Maschner and C. Chippindale (eds) 2008 Handbook of Archaeological Theories. Lanham, MD: AltaMira.

Bintliff, J. L. and M. Pearce (eds) 2011 The Death of Archaeological Theory? Oxford: Oxbow.

Díaz-Andreu, M., S. Lucy, S. Babic and D. N. Edwards 2005 The Archaeology of Identity. Approaches to Gender, Age, Status, Ethnicity and Religion. London and New York: Routledge.

Hodder, I. (ed.) 2001 Archaeological Theory Today. Cambridge: Polity.

Johnson, M. 1999 Archaeological Theory: An Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell.

Kristiansen, K., L. Smejda and J. Turek (eds) 2015 Paradigm Found: Archaeological Theory - Present, Past and Future. Oxford: Oxbow.

Renfrew, C. and Bahn, P. (eds) 2005 Archaeology: The Key Concepts. London: Routledge.

Trigger, B. 2006 A History of Archaeological Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ucko, P. (ed.) 1995 Theory in Archaeology: A World Perspective. London: Routledge.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsTheoretical Arch
Course organiserDr Lindsey Büster
Tel: (0131 6)51 5223
Course secretaryMiss Lorna Berridge
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