|Semester 1 Credit Value:||20|
This course is designed to introduce you to the material, sites and communities that characterize the prehistoric archaeology of the British Isles. We will study these remains period by period, from the earliest human occupation in the British Isles to the Roman invasion.
This module aims:
•to provide a general grounding in the prehistoric archaeology of the British Isles;
•to emphasise the role of landscapes, archaeological sites and monuments, and material culture in how archaeologists interpret life in prehistoric Britain.
Outline syllabus, intended as a guide only; week-by-week topics may be slightly different to the following
1. Introduction Introduction to British prehistory.
Outline of module structure, seminars (including presentation advice), assessment, blackboard.
2. Palaeolithic Britain Palaeolithic Britain, Boxgrove
3. Late Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Britain Upper Palaeolithic and Earlier Mesolithic Britain Dr Rob Young
4. Earlier Mesolithic Case study: Changing interpretations of Star Carr
5. Later Mesolithic Later Mesolithic Britain
Seminar 1 GNM Neolithic artefacts
6. The Mesolithic/Neolithic transition What do we mean by the Neolithic? Where did Neolithic products and practices comes from? The earliest Neolithic in Britain
Fieldtrip Off campus Visiting henge monuments and stone circles in Cumbria
7. Early Neolithic Earlier Neolithic Britain
Seminar 2 Debating the Mesolithic/Neolithic transition
8. Middle Neolithic Earlier to Middle Neolithic
9. Early and Middle Neolithic Case study: The Avebury region - Windmill Hill and West Kennet
10. Later Neolithic Later Neolithic Britain
Seminar 3 Writing essays on British prehistory: what makes a good essay? How to cite radiocarbon dates, and other conventions
11. Later Neolithic Case Study: Orkney - Barnhouse, Stones of Stenness, Ring of Brodgar, Maes Howe
12. Chalcolithic/Beaker period/Early Bronze Age The British ‘Chalcolithic’ and the start of the Early Bronze Age: Beakers, burials and copper
13. Neolithic and early Bronze Age art Portable objects, passage grave art, open-air rock art and its reuse in early Bronze Age monuments
14. Early Bronze Age Early Bronze Age Britain: burials and barrows, cists and cairns; stone circles and henges revisited
15. Excavating Neolithic/early Bronze Age sites Examples: chambered cairns and early Bronze Age cremation deposits at Cairnderry and Bargrennan
Seminar 4: Locating, excavating and interpreting prehistoric sites. How to evaluate the evidence from prehistoric archaeological sites
16. Everyday life in the Middle and Later Bronze Age Middle and Later Bronze Age Britain: Re-evaluating the ‘disappearance’ of monuments; changing settlement and landuse patterns, changing ways of treating the dead
Seminar 5 GNM Bronze Age artefacts
17. Ritual and religion in the Bronze Age Including Flag Fen, deposition of metalwork and ritual at settlements
18. Iron Age Early Iron Age Britain
Seminar 6 Great North Museum Iron Age artefacts
19. Iron Age Case study - Archaeology and ethnicity: was the Iron Age 'Celtic'?
20. Iron Age Later Iron Age Britain: Hillforts, oppida and settlement
Seminar 7 Iron Age bog bodies
21. Iron Age Later Iron Age Britain: Contact with the Roman world
22. Overview: Cosmology Interpreting cosmology from houses, monuments, burial practices and acts of deposition
23. Overview: Social organization Interpreting social relations, power relations, and identity
24. Revision Revision, questions, etc Seminar 8 (two groups): Review of essay feedback, exam preparation techniques
1. an outline of the past of Britain from prehistoric hunter-gatherers to the arrival of the Roman Empire;
2. awareness of forms of artefacts, sites and landscapes characteristic of different periods of British prehistory;
3. awareness of the range of evidence available to, and produced by, archaeological enquiries into the prehistoric past within the British Isles.
1. the ability to relate material evidence to the interpretation of social and cultural phenomena;
2. the ability to recognise a wide range of monuments and artefacts in the field or in museums;
3. the ability to identify and utilise specialised archaeological publications including academic papers, fieldwork and excavation reports, and artifact catalogues;
4. the ability to recognise how specific evidence is used to produce general interpretations.
|Graduate Skills Framework Applicable:||Yes|
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||72||1:00||72:00||45% of guided independent studies|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Lecture||24||1:00||24:00||N/A|
|Guided Independent Study||Directed research and reading||72||1:00||72:00||45% of guided independent studies|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Small group teaching||9||1:00||9:00||Seminars|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Fieldwork||1||7:00||7:00||Field trip|
|Guided Independent Study||Independent study||16||1:00||16:00||10% of guided independent studies|
At some seminars the students prepare a short description of key articles, and present these précis to the class as a whole, developing their analysis of texts and their groupwork and communication skills. This is not assessed summatively, but prepares them for writing their essay or an exam question, and provides an opportunity to practice these skills which are assessed in a number of modules later in the degree structure. Other seminars will involve other non-assessed activities and discussions. Key information is imparted en masse during lectures. The reading list clearly identifies key sources for private study, and will be supported by use of web-based resources co-ordinated through a Blackboard site.
The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners
|Written Examination||120||1||A||60||Seen exam – essay questions provided two weeks in advance.|
|Oral Presentation||1||M||Groups of around 4 students must prepare a 10-15 minute précis of a key text on the seminar topic.|
Exam information: Seen exam – essay questions provided two weeks in advance.
Unseen exam – short answers/ multiple choice questions only to be seen on the day of the exam.
The first section of the module (Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic) is assessed by a single essay. The exam will require the student to answer one essay question on the Bronze or Iron Age, and one other essay question which may cover any period of British prehistory, and in some cases ask them to discuss a theme across periods. Finally, there will be unseen short answer or multiple choice questions to measure expected knowledge outcomes across the breadth of the course. These will be taken together with the essay question part of the exam.
It is proposed to provide the exam essay questions two weeks in advance of the exam. It is anticipated that providing the exam questions in advance will promote thorough preparation and reading around the subjects chosen, reflecting the normal process of scholarship. The unseen short questions will ensure that breadth of knowledge in the key knowledge outcomes is assessed.
As part of this module students are required to participate in group work: seminar groups of around 4 students must prepare a 5 minute précis of a key text on the seminar topic. This is designed to give them a taste of giving a presentation, since a number of stage 2 and 3 modules include assessed presentations. Group presentations will be linked directly to some of the essay or exam questions provided in the aim that this will encourage students to read these texts and discuss them in seminars before writing their essays or preparing for the exam.
The above arrangements provide for a structured progression through the module content and a close connection between the material covered, the learning outcomes, and the assessment.
Submitted work tests intended knowledge and skills outcomes, develops key skills in research, reading and writing.
All exchange students at Newcastle University including Erasmus, study-abroad, exchange proper and Loyola are warmly encouraged to do the same assessment as the domestic students unless they have compelling reasons not to do so. If this is the case, they are offered the option of writing one 3,000 word essay to be handed in by 12.00 p.m. of the Friday of the first week of the assessment period. This will replace all assessment work required of domestic students. If they wish to take up this option, students need to discuss it with their module leader, having checked with their home university that the new assessment will be accepted by them.
Students who opt for the alternative assessment because they will have to leave Newcastle University before the assessment period (excluding Erasmus students, who are contractually obliged to be at Newcastle until the end of the semester) should hand in their 3000-word essays before they go away. If this is not possible, they should tell the School exchange coordinator that they are going to submit their essays in absentia, then submit their essays through Blackboard and email copies of the essays to the School Office (firstname.lastname@example.org). Any essay received after the deadline will be considered as a late submission.
Note: The Module Catalogue now reflects module information relating to academic year 16/17. Please contact your School Office if you require module information for a previous academic year.
Disclaimer: The University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver modules in accordance with the descriptions set out in this catalogue. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, however, the University reserves the right to introduce changes to the information given including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of modules if it considers such action to be necessary.