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

Postgraduate Course: The Archaeology of Migrations: Revisiting Human Mobility (PGHC11534)

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
SummaryPeople move. Whether in small or large groups, mobility has always been a critical aspect of human history. This course will provide an overview on migratory processes from prehistory to the present, focusing on archaeological sources but also incorporating written evidence whenever available.
Course description Migrations represent one of the most defining features of human history since its beginnings to the present. In recent years, archaeological research has witnessed the so-called 'third science revolution', triggered by the development of bioarchaeological methods - especially archaeogenetics and isotopic analyses. These approaches have forced us to radically rethink mobility in the past and develop new pathways of integrating all available evidence to move beyond simple narratives of human migration. Due to its long-term perspective, archaeology is in an advantageous position to contribute to a deeper reflection on the topic, by not only counteracting isolationist narratives, but also showing the complexity of human mobility in the past and present and the challenges and opportunities it poses.
This course will provide an overview on migratory processes from early prehistory ('out of Africa' in the Palaeolithic) to the 21st century. It will combine an introduction to the key definitions and theoretical perspectives on migration with the presentation of specific case studies from different periods and geographical regions. While the main emphasis will be on the material evidence of migrations, other sources including texts will also be incorporated whenever available. Thus, the course has an interdisciplinary design, and should be attractive for students from different subject areas.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking On the move: Human migrations from the beginnings to the 21st century (ARCA10095)
Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesStudents must be enrolled in a taught MSc programme.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
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 a detailed and critical command of the body of knowledge concerning migratory processes in the long-term;
  2. read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of source material;
  4. 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
Anthony, D.W. 1990. Migration in archeology: The baby and the bathwater. American Anthropologist 92(4), 895-914.

Burmeister, S. 2000. Archaeology and migration. Approaches to an archaeological proof of migration. Current Anthropology 41(4), 539-567 (with comments).

Cabana, G. and Clark, J. (eds.) 2011. Rethinking Anthropological Perspectives on Migration. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.

Fisher, M.H. 2013. Migration: A World History. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Frieman, C.J. and Hofmann, D. 2019. Present pasts in the archaeology of genetics, identity, and migration in Europe: acritical essay. World Archaeology 51(4), 528-545.

Hakenbeck, S. 2008. Migration in archaeology: are we nearly there yet? Archaeological Review from Cambridge 23(2), 9-26.

Hamilakis, Y. (ed.) 2018. The New Nomadic Age: Archaeologies of Forced and Undocumented Migration. Bristol: Equinox Publishing.

Kenny, K. 2013. Diaspora: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kristiansen, K. 2014. Towards a new paradigm?? The third science revolution and its possible consequences in archaeology. Current Swedish Archaeology 22, 11-34.

Manning, P. 2005. Migration in World History. London/New York: Routledge.

Reich, D. 2018. Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Van Dommelen, P. 2014. Moving on: Archaeological perspectives on mobility and migration. World Archaeology4 6(4): 477-483.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills On successful completion of the course, students should be able to:
- gather and critically assess relevant information;
- have an overall knowledge on migratory movements from a long-term perspective;
- present their ideas and analyses in a coherent fashion to diverse audiences and in a number of different formats.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Manuel Fernandez-Gotz
Tel: (0131 6)51 5223
Course secretaryMiss Danielle Jeffery
Tel: (0131 6)50 7128
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