Undergraduate

modules

Modules

ARA2004 : Environmental Archaeology

Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

To introduce key concepts in environmental archaeology
To introduce students to practical skills in microscopy
To introduce students to the use of multi-proxy approaches in the reconstruction of past landscapes

Outline Of Syllabus

The natural environment provides the backdrop to human activity, and understanding the relationship beteen people and their environment is fundamental to understanding the development of societies. How did people interact with the environment and use natural resources? What influence did the environment have on cultural and economic development? This module introduces key themes in environmental archaeology including the origins of domestication and agriculture, the developments and impacts of pyrotechnology, and the links between environmental change and human development. It provides an introduction to the major methods of environmental archaeology, including the analysis of microfossils, plant remains and sediments. We will examine and critique ideas such as environmental determinism, and look at the relationship between archaeology and geography. Case studies are drawn from current research and span a wide range of geographic and temporal scales, from early prehistory to the Crusades.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion651:0065:0040% of guided independent studies
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:0012:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical122:0024:00To include student led group activity
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading651:0065:0040% of guided independent studies
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study341:0034:0020% of guided independent studies
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 environmental evidence and how it is used.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M603000 words
Report1M40Technical report 1500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

An essay will test written communication skills and the ability to relate their knowledge to key themes in environmental archaeology. 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 recognise and interpret key environmental proxies studied in the course.

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