Module Catalogue 2015/16

ARA2091 : Archaeologies of the Roman Empire: The Roman World from Augustus to Justinian

  • Offered for Year: 2015/16
  • Module Leader(s): Prof. Ian Haynes
  • Owning School:
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This course examines the archaeology of the Roman Empire from Augustus to Justinian. It spans a period that saw high drama and rapid change for many of the peoples of Europe, North Africa, Asia Minor and the Near East. The different and unequal ways that the imperial authorities and local populations adapted to one another are manifested in a plethora of settings, from epic monuments to humble homes, and from rich graves to rubbish pits. This course offers a comprehensive introduction to the landscapes, buildings and artefacts of the Empire, while at the same time revealing the important role of regions far beyond Rome in generating new forms, styles and ideas.

Outline Of Syllabus

This course covers:
Archaeologies of Empire
Cities of the Roman World
The Archaeology of Emperor Worship
Roman Epigraphy
The Armies of Rome
Pottery in the Roman world
Coinage and Trade
Public Architecture
Bread and Circuses: theatres, amphitheatres and other centres of spectacle
Private homes? From palaces to paupers huts
Villas, things called villas and farms
Riches from the Earth: How Rome exploited natural resources
Landscapes of the Dead
The Archaeology of cult in the Roman Empire

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

1 Students will demonstrate a detailed awareness of the role of archaeology in expanding our understanding of the Roman Empire.
2 Students will learn how to identify and analyse key artefact types.

3 Students will be familiar with a variety of interpretative frameworks for modelling contact and culture change, and will show an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of these models.

4 Students will show awareness of the widely differing ways in which the Roman past is presented and exploited in the modern world.

Intended Skill Outcomes

In order to complete the module successfully, all students must demonstrate that they have developed the following intellectual skills:

Reading, understanding, critiquing historical and archaeological data. The capacity to work with bulk finds data and to appreciate basic statistical models for numismatic analysis.
Analysing and evaluating archaeologists’ use of evidence.
Research, critical reading and reasoning, sustained discussion and appropriate presentation of the results.

All students will also develop the following key skills:
Time management
Bibliographic and library skills
Oral discussion and debate
Writing and revising analytic prose

Graduate Skills Framework

Graduate Skills Framework Applicable: Yes
  • Cognitive/Intellectual Skills
    • Critical Thinking : Assessed
    • Data Synthesis : Assessed
    • Active Learning : Assessed
    • Literacy : Assessed
    • Information Literacy
      • Source Materials : Assessed
      • Synthesise And Present Materials : Assessed
      • Use Of Computer Applications : Assessed
  • Self Management
    • Self Awareness And Reflection : Present
    • Planning and Organisation
      • Goal Setting And Action Planning : Present
      • Decision Making : Present
    • Personal Enterprise
      • Innovation And Creativity : Present
      • Initiative : Present
      • Independence : Present
      • Problem Solving : Present
      • Adaptability : Present
  • Interaction
    • Communication
      • Oral : Present
      • Foreign Languages : Present
      • Interpersonal : Present
      • Written Other : Present
    • Team Working
      • Collaboration : Present
      • Relationship Building : Present
      • Leadership : Present
      • Negotiation : Present
      • Peer Assessment Review : Present
  • Application
    • Occupational Awareness : Present
    • Commercial Acumen
      • Market Awareness : Present
      • Governance Awareness : Present
      • Financial Awareness : Present
    • Social Cultural Global Awareness : Present
    • Legal Awareness : Present

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture191:3028:30N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion601:0060:0040% of guided independent studies
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical11:301:30Epigraphy exercise
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical12:002:00Saturnalia exercise
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading501:0050:0040% of guided independent studies
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching61:006:00seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork12:002:00Segedunum visit
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study501:0050:0020% of guided independent studies
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The programme combines lectures, seminars, practical (object handling) sessions and site visits to develop student familiarity with both synthetic analysis and raw material for the study of the Roman Empire. Particular emphasis will be placed on fostering basic finds handling skills.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1201A70Unseen
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises1M15data handling/coin assessment exercise
Practical/lab report1M15Presentation: Saturnalia
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Examination examines conceptual understanding through 2 essays (selected from six questions), 1 further essay selected from a choice of three questions on topics of Provincial dress, Roman buildings and ancient rhetoric, and technical knowledge of Roman administrative machinery through short multiple choice section (25 questions). Knowledge outcomes 1, 3 & 4.

Data handling exercise assesses knowledge outcome 2.

ERASMUS students at Newcastle have 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, they need to discuss it with the module leader. It remains the case that, if an ERASMUS student wishes to do the same assessment as the domestic students, that option remains open to them. No variation of the deadlines will be allowed except on production of medical or equivalent evidence.

Study Abroad students (i.e. non-EU exchange students) are required to complete the normal assessment under all circumstances.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Note: The Module Catalogue now reflects module information relating to academic year 15/16. 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.