Study Abroad and Exchanges

Modules

Modules

ARA3021 : Frontier Communities of Roman Britain

Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

The sheer quantity of information available for the frontiers of Roman Britain allows unparalleled opportunities for archaeological analysis. This course will not only examine the fascinating structures and settlements that formed Rome’s frontier systems, the Gask Line, Stanegate, Hadrian’s Wall and the Antonine Wall, it will also investigate the remarkably diverse communities which lived and worked in their vicinity. Capitalising on our proximity to Hadrian’s Wall and on the remarkable collection of artefacts from the frontiers held in the University’s collections, we will ask what archaeology can tell us of these different groups. In each case, whether discussing the diverse contingents of successive Roman garrisons or the varied civilian populations that interacted with them, we will gain rich insight into life in Northern Britain under imperial rule.

This module aims to:

• Introduce students to the archaeology of frontiers and Romano-British society.
• Develop students’ ability to work with mixed finds assemblages.
• Explore and assess the degree to which theories of community, ethnicity and identity can illuminate the archaeological record.

Outline Of Syllabus

Outline of Syllabus (additions here are underlined)

1
a. Introduction: Frontier Communities
b. ‘Blood of the Provinces’: the Roman auxilia

Field trip: Hadrian’s Wall (8 hrs)

2.
Field trip: The changing face of the frontier
Visit to South Shields (3hrs)

3
a. From the Gask Line to the Stanegate: Early ‘frontiers’ of Roman Britain
b. Practical: Epigraphy and Community

4.
a. The Batavi: German communities from the Rhine to the Tyne
b. Seminar: Reading the Vindolanda Tablets

5.
a. The creation of Hadrian’s Wall
b. Practical: Home and away: Turrets and Milecastles

6.
a. The creation of the Antonine Wall
b. Seminar: Newstead. Interpreting the archaeology of a frontier post.

7.
a. Hadrian’s Wall: The next generation
b. Practical: Coins and Community

8.
a. Cult communities
b. Seminar: Sexing small finds

9.
a. Birdoswald: Cumbrian site, Carpathian context
b. Practical: Pottery and ethnicity? African stoves, Frisian wares and other curiosities

10.
a. Them and Us: ‘Native’ settlements in the Frontier zone
b. Practical: Finds assemblages from native settlements

Practical: Great North Museum: Finds from the Frontier (3 hours)

11.
a. Army and Society in Late Roman Britain
b. Brougham: Cemetery archaeology and alternative identities

12.
a. Seminar: The future of Frontier Studies
b. Revision Seminar

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion541:0054:001/3 of guided independent studies
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:0012:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading551:0055:001/3 of guided independent studies
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical13:003:00Great North Museum
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical51:005:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching51:005:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork18:008:00Hadrian's Wall
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork13:003:00South Shields
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study551:0055:001/3 of guided independent studies
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The structure of the course ensures that students acquire detailed knowledge of one site (two hour long fieldwork session), with extensive experience of finds materials (5 x 1 hour long practical sessions) with an appreciation of wider synthesis (12 x 1 hours of lectures).
Lectures: impart core knowledge and an outline of knowledge that students are expected to acquire and they
stimulate development of listening and note-taking skills.
Seminars encourage independent study and promote improvements in oral communication, problem-solving skills
and adaptability.

Assessment Methods

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

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1201A70Unseen
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M302,000 words week 7
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Essays (1 in Semester, 2 in exam) examine students’ understanding of key concepts. Technical knowledge of Roman frontier structures (layout, organisation and dimensions) is assessed through multiple choice section of exam. Knowledge outcomes 1,2 & 3.

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