Study Abroad and Exchanges

Modules

Modules

ARA3004 : Geoarchaeology (Inactive)

Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

To introduce key concepts in geoarchaeology.
To develop students to practical skills in microscopy.
To introduce students to the use of earth science approaches in the reconstruction of past landscapes and lifeways, and the characterisation of archaeological materials.

Outline Of Syllabus

Geoarchaeology uses the methods and concepts from earth sciences to understand the human past. Sediments and stones are more than ‘dirt’ – they are the raw materials used for the construction of material culture from pottery to lithic tools, to domestic and monumental architecture. The analysis of these materials is fundamental to understanding how people selected and used resources within a landscape. Within an archaeological site, anthropogenic sediments, produced and modified by the actions of people, are part of the material culture record. How did people select and modify sediments in the construction of mudbrick houses, and what can this tell us about social organisation? What can geochemical signals preserved in house floors tell us about the uses of buildings? How do we use geological methods to identify the provenance of artefacts and reconstruct patterns of trade? This module examines the natural and cultural formation processes of the archaeological record, and the properties of soils and sediments that we can measure to give us clues about the past.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion551:0055:001/3 guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:0012:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical102:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading551:0055:001/3 guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching22:004:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study541:0054:001/3 guided independent study
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures provide the background information and overviews of the subject material. The practical classes provide training the application of the methods and how they are used in archaeology. The student-led activities provide group working and presentation skills, and the opportunity for in-depth discussion on ‘controversies’, making students think critically about geoarchaeological evidence and how it is used. Students will think critically about the importance of understanding context and taphonomy in the process of archaeological interpretation.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation102M10500-1000 words
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M602500 words
Practical/lab report2M30Lab report 1000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

An essay will test written communication skills and the ability to relate their knowledge to key themes in geoarchaeology. It will develop key research skills, and skills in reading and writing.
The practical report will test skills in writing in a technical style, and the ability to provide a basic interpretation of an archaeological thin section.

The presentation will be based on the lab report and will be 10% of the report mark. This will test the students’ ability to give an oral presentation and explain their study to an audience of peers.

Submitted work tests intended knowledge and skills outcomes, develops key skills in research, reading and writing.

This module can be made available to Erasmus students only with the agreement of the Head of Subject and of the Module Leader. This option must be discussed in person at the beginning of your exchange period. No restrictions apply to study-abroad, exchange and Loyola students.

All Erasmus students at Newcastle University are expected to do the same assessment as students registered for a degree.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. This will take the form of an alternative assessment, as outlined in the formats below:

Modules assessed by Coursework and Exam:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be one essay in addition to the other coursework assessment (the length of the essay should be adjusted in order to comply with the assessment tariff); to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Exam only:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be two 2,000 word written exercises; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Coursework only:
All semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be expected to complete the standard assessment for the module; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.
Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending the whole academic year or semester 2 are required to complete the standard assessment as set out in the MOF under all circumstances.

Reading Lists

Timetable