ARA1028 : Prehistoric Britain
- Offered for Year: 2017/18
- Module Leader(s): Dr Chris Fowler
- Teaching Assistant: Dr Robert Young
- Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
- Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
|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 Of Syllabus
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 and Bronze Age objects in the GNM galleries
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 Neolithic and Bronze Age artefacts: object examination seminar
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 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
|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|
Teaching Rationale And Relationship
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.|
Assessment Rationale And Relationship
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 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 List Website : rlo.ncl.ac.uk