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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 Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
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 The following themes will be included within twice-weekly lectures. The exact themes/order of occurrence may be subject to change depending on the academic year.

Week 1 Archaeological methods and applications - an introduction/Artefact studies
Week 2 Artefact materials' characterization and provenance studies
Week 3 Materiality and Identity
Week 4 Dating techniques/interpretations,and perception of time
Week 5 Environmental and climatic reconstruction
Week 6 Urban and buildings' archaeology
Week 7 Archaeological reconnaissance/remote sensing and survey
Week 8 Data analysis in archaeology
Week 9 Landscape archaeology
Week 10 DNA/forensic archaeology
Week 11 Dietary reconstruction

In addition, there are a series of 8 practical sessions ranging in theme from the recording of artefacts, ceramics, digital drawing, data analysis, to surveying,

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; molecular and radiometric dating methods; and landscape studies and environmental archaeology.
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 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  65
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 22, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 150 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 40 %, Coursework 60 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
750 word Practical Report 1 - Artefact Form and discussion (15%)
Practical Report 2 - producing plan in illustrator (15%)
Practical Report 3 - GPS and Survey producing labelled image (15%)
1500 word Practical Report 4 - Health, Safety and Ethics on site (15%)

Two hour exam (40%)
Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the tutor/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 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 Joanne Rowland
Tel: (0131 6)51 1925
Course secretaryMiss Marketa Vejskalova
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