Themes in Archaeological Theory and Practice (ARCM120)

StaffDr Marisa Lazzari - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level7
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

  • To provide knowledge of recent archaeological theory and methods.
  • To provide you with critical analytical skills to discuss and assess current applications of archaeological theory and method to particular case studies.
  • To provide you with a first experience with a range of analytical skills applied to archaeological research through the discussion of case studies and ongoing research projects.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Develop knowledge and appreciation of theoretical approaches that are required for the specific tasks set in the module
  • 2. Develop knowledge and appreciation of methodological approaches that are required for the specific tasks set in the module

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Demonstrate familiarity with specific skills relating to data and practice in archaeological research
  • 4. Show familiarity with a wide range of theoretical approaches in the discipline, and discern their applicability in a range of contexts

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. Contribute to group discussions in a collaborative environment, either face-to-face or remotely via online platforms
  • 6. Present developed skills in writing and summarising arguments
  • 7. Present developed skills in oral presentations
  • 8. Present advanced critical analytical skills of both specific case studies and broader thematic issues

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Recent approaches to archaeological theory
  • Interaction and socio-material networks
  • Technologies and skill transmission
  • Interdisciplinary approaches in Archaeology
  • Spatial analysis
  • Human-environmental relations
  • Critical heritage approaches and indigenous archaeologies
  • Case studies in archaeological research

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching14Lecture content, discussion events & exercises (comparable to 7 x 2 hour sessions)
Scheduled learning and teaching6Student led-discussion boards (equivalent to 3 x 2 hour seminars)
Scheduled learning and teaching2Individual presentations followed by discussion boards
Guided independent study128Independent study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay draft plan1500 words1-4, 6Verbal or written feedback
Seminar presentations (verbal, or via pre-recorded PowerPoint, followed by participation in discussion board)10 minutes, plus discussion board participation1-5Verbal or written feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Individual presentation: case study critique (Either verbally or pre-recorded)2015 minutes maximum (12-15 slides max, PowerPoint + script submission. 1, 3-4, 6, 8Mark and written feedback
Essay804000 words1, 3-4, 6, 8Mark and written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Individual presentation: case study critiqueWritten critique (2000 words)1, 3-4, 6, 8Referral/Deferral period
EssayEssay (4000 words)1, 3-4, 6, 8Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 50%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will be capped at 50%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Bentley, A., H. Maschner & C. Chippindale. 2008. Handbook of Archaeological Theories. Altamira Press
  • David, B. and J Thomas. 2012. Handbook of Landscape Archaeology. Routledge.
  • Hodder, I. 2012. Archaeological Theory Today. Polity
  • Johnson, M. 2010. Archaeological Theory: An Introduction (2nd ed.).  Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Lydon, J. and U Rizvi. 2010. Handbook of Postcolonial Archaeology. Routledge
  • Meskell, L. and R. McGuire. 2004. A Companion to Social Archaeology. Blackwell

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Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

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Archaeological theory methods