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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: The Scottish Lowlands: Archaeology and Landscape before the Normans (PGHC11075)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course investigates the archaeological landscape of the Scottish Lowlands by assessing the potential and limitations of its archaeological record. We will compare in detail how people of the past explored and exploited this landscape over time, from the earliest settlers to AD 1000. Course material benefits from having most data sources (aerial photographs, finds archives, grey literature reports) as well as the professionals generating these (RCAHMS, National Museums Scotland, commercial units) in close proximity of the University. As most data now derive from developer-funded archaeology, the course also offers insight into commercial archaeology practice in Scotland
Course description The course introduces the concept of 'archaeological landscapes' using the University's immediate hinterland as a case study. The core area comprises the lowland landscapes between the Moray Firth and the Scottish Borders and the particular character of their archaeological record. The chronological scope extends from the initial colonization of Scotland, but more specifically from the Neolithic period to c. AD 1000, with the main focus on later pre- and proto-history: c.1500 BC - AD 500. The course concentrates on key concepts such as survival and detection of the archaeological resource and the impact of developer-funded archaeology in preserving archaeological remains through record. The course content will include active projects and guest lectures delivered by professional archaeologist from various sectors. The course presents a diachronic, comparative approach to critically examine one type of an archaeological landscape. Course work will capitalise on locally-accessible resources such as the National Monuments Record (delivered via CANMORE and CANMAP/PASTMAP) and the National Museums Scotland. It will also allow students to explore developer-funded archaeology, a major branch of employment. Compared to other taught post-graduate courses in archaeology the specific content and student course work can greatly benefit from the geographical proximity of the study area and the generators of primary data and their interpretation (e.g. RCAHMS and most commercial archaeology units). The course allows post-graduate students to gain a particular expertise in Scottish prehistory.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
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 in coursework and examination as required, a detailed and critical command of the body of knowledge concerning the archaeology of lowland landscapes with the Scottish Lowlands as the case study
  2. Demonstrate in coursework and examination as required, an ability to analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship concerning lowland archaeology, primary source materials concerning case study sites in the geographical and chronological scope of this course, and conceptual discussions about survival, detection and preservation of this particular archaeological resource
  3. Demonstrate in coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand and apply specialised research or professional skills, techniques and practices considered in the course including data assessment, evaluation and analysi
  4. Demonstrate the ability to develop and sustain original scholarly arguments in oral and written form in seminar discussions and presentations by independently formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence considered in the course
  5. Demonstrate in seminar discussions and presentations originality and independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers; and a considerable degree of autonomy
Reading List
Armit I, McKenzie J, 2013 An inherited place: Broxmouth hillfort & the south east Scottish Iron Age. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Cook M., Dunbar L, 2008 Rituals, Roundhouses and Romans: excavations at Kintore, Aberdeenshire 2000-2006. Edinburgh: Scottish Trust for Archaeol Research Monogr.

Dunwell A, Ralston I, 2008 The archaeology and early history of Angus. Stroud : Tempus Publishing.

Gwilt A, Haselgrove C, 1997 Reconstructing Iron Age societies : new approaches to the British Iron Age. Oxford: Oxbow Books (Monograph 71.

Halliday S, 2006 'Into the dim light of history: more of the same or all change?' in: Landscape and environment in Dark Age Scotland / edited by Alex Woolf. University of St Andrews, 11-27.

Halliday S, 2007 'Unenclosed round-houses in Scotland: occupation, abandonment and the character of settlement', in Burgess, C., Topping, P. & Lynch, F. (eds) Beyond Stonehenge: Essays on the Bronze Age in Honour of Colin Burgess. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 49-56.

Harding D W, 2009 The Iron Age Round-House : Later Prehistoric Building in Britain and Beyond. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Haselgrove C, 2009 The Traprain Law Environs Project Fieldwork and excavations 2000-2004. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Hunter F, 2001 'Roman and native in Scotland: new approaches', Journal of Roman Archaeology 14, 289-309.

Hunter F, 2007 Beyond the edge of the empire : Caledonians, Picts and Romans. Rosmarkie: Groam House Museum.

RCAHMS (ed.) 2007, In the Shadow of Benachie. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland / RCAHMS.

Welfare A (ed. Halliday, S.), 2011 Great Crowns of Stone: the recumbent stone circles of Scotland. Edinburgh: RCAHMS.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information The timetable is arranged annually;
KeywordsScoLow Scottish Lowlands
Course organiserDr Tanja Romankiewicz
Course secretary
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