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Unit information: Post-Excavation Analysis in 2020/21

Unit name Post-Excavation Analysis
Unit code ARCH20059
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Prior
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

None

School/department Department of Anthropology and Archaeology
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description

This unit examines artefacts, artefact production methods (ancient technology) and artefact analysis.

Students will be introduced to the scientific basis and application of the major dating methods applied in archaeology in order to establish a chronology. Students will be introduced to the basic elements of environmental archaeology that can be found in the field and in excavation contexts.

Students will investigate the various types of material culture found through excavation (lithics, metals, ceramics and organic materials) and have practical `hands-on' sessions to understand their production through `ancient technology' demonstrations'. Student attendance on the practicals and on the excavation is essential.

The unit will introduce students to the basic skills used by archaeologists, museum curators, conservators and other professionals to successfully document, analyse and curate material culture.

Aims:

  • to acquaint students with the various types of material culture commonly found in excavations and museum collections;
  • to acquaint students with the various types of environmental archaeology they will encounter in the field and through excavation.
  • to introduce basic typological sequences, artefact classification and seriation;
  • to enable students to correctly identify and adequately describe artefacts;
  • to introduce students to the technologies used in the production of different artefacts;
  • to provide students with an understanding of some of the principal techniques in the analysis of scientific dating in archaeology;
  • to enable students to gain experience in the use of these techniques through practical application of these skills in the context of the study of specific artefacts and the preparation of a poster for presentation.

Intended learning outcomes

At the end of this unit, a successful student will be able to:

1) Identify the various types of material culture commonly found in excavations and museum collections;

2) Recognise the various types of environmental archaeology encountered in the field and through excavation;

3) Comprehend typological sequences, artefact classification and seriation;

4) Correctly identify and competently describe artefacts;

5) Discuss critically the technologies used in the production of different artefacts;

6) Identify the principle techniques in the analysis of scientific dating in archaeology;

7) Confidently handle artefacts and ecofacts;

8) Draw and photograph artefacts to publication standard

Teaching details

Weekly lectures and practical sessions/workshops. These weekly lectures/practicals and workshops will run online in TB1.

                                                                                                                            Participation at a training excavation or equivalent fieldwork in TB2 (following disciplinary standards for archaeological fieldwork during COVID-19).



Assessment Details

  • One notebook (67%). Assesses ILOs 1-7
  • One poster and presentation (33%). Assesses ILOs 3-8
  • Archaeological Skills Passport. Assesses ILOs 2, 3, 4, 7, 8. This element must be passed in order for credit points to be awarded for the unit.

Reading and References

  • Aitken, M. 1990. Science-based Dating in Archaeology. Longman Archaeology Series.
  • Henderson, J. 2000. The Science and Archaeology of Materials. London:Routledge.
  • Hodges, H. 1989. Artefacts. An Intro. to Early Materials and Technology. London: Duckworth
  • Shopland, N. 2005. Archaeological Finds: A Guide to Identification. Stroud: Tempus
  • Griffiths, N., Jenner, A. & Wilson C. 1990. Drawing Archaeological Finds: A Handbook. Archetype Publications Ltd.
  • Wilkinson, K. & Stevens, C. 2003. Environmental Archaeology: approaches, techniques and applications. Tempus: Stroud

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