Study Abroad and Exchanges

Modules

Modules

ARA2011 : Prehistoric Europe

Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

This course explores the archaeology of Europe from the appearance of our own species at around 40,000 years ago to the end of the Iron Age. This is a period that witnesses a number of key transformations: a change in human species, social organisation, new relationships with animals and the landscape and the use of new materials such as ceramics and metals. The module aims to give students a broad understanding the emergence of these changes across Europe and how they played out at a regional level. Through this we will address number of major issues and key debates that have arisen in the interpretation of the archaeology of this period. These include the extinction of the Neanderthals and the emergence of spiritual beliefs at the height of the last ice age; the adoption of the Neolithic and monumental architecture; the appearance of metal and associated social changes; population mobility and cultural interaction in the Neolithic and Chalcolithic; changes in understandings of the landscape, identity and death in the Bronze and Iron Age.


Aims:
• To introduce students to key themes and debates in an archaeological understanding of European Prehistory.
• To familiarise students with the defining characteristics and the archaeological materials encountered in the Upper Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic (& Beaker period), Bronze Age and Iron Age periods.
• To introduce students to the approaches used by archaeologists to address this material and the problems that these pose.
• To provide students with an awareness of the regional variation involved in the way these key transformations were played out across Europe.
• To develop students’ ability to discuss the relationship between evidence and interpretation

Outline Of Syllabus

The syllabus may vary slightly from year to year, but the following is indicative of the module structure:

Week 1. The emergence of Modern Humans.
Lecture (1hr) Introduction; the last days of the Neanderthals
Lecture (1 hr) The Upper Palaeolithic ‘revolution’.
Seminar (1hr) Thinking through human origins

Week 2. The Upper Palaeolithic
Lecture (1hr) The origins of spirituality: The Early Upper Palaeolithic
Lecture (1hr) Life in the Ice Age
Seminar (1hr) Interpreting Cave Art

Week 3. Mesolithic 1
Lecture (1hr) Pioneers in the north
Lecture (1hr) Lost landscapes: Northsealand and its neighbours
Seminar (1hr) Animals and hunter-gatherers

Week 4. Mesolithic 2
Lecture (1 hr) Complex hunter-gatherers in Southern Scandinavia
Lecture (1 hr) The first cemeteries
Seminar (1hr) Death in the Mesolithic

Week 5. Neolithic 1
Lecture (1 hr) Neolithic settlements and subsistence in southeast and central Europe
Lecture (1 hr) Neolithic settlements and subsistence in northern Europe
Seminar (1 hr) What is so important about Neolithic houses?

Week 6. Neolithic 2
Lecture (1 hr) Neolithic things, Neolithic places – northern Europe
Lecture (1 hr) Neolithic cultural interaction and scales of community – central & northern Europe
Seminar (1 hr) What is so important about Neolithic monuments?

Week 7. The Chalcolithic and the origins of metallurgy

Week 8. Late Neolithic/Corded Ware/Beakers
Lecture (1 hr) Cultural change, population mobility and social interaction in the third millennium – Yamnaya, Corded Ware and early Beaker communities
Lecture (1 hr) The Beaker people
Seminar: (1 hr) What is so important about Beaker burials? Debating cultural identity in the third millennium


Week 9. Early Bronze Age
Lecture (1hr) Central Europe
Lecture (1hr) Life, death and the cosmos in Early Bronze Age Northern Europe
Seminar (1hr) Identity in EBA northern Europe

Week 10. Late Bronze Age
Poster Workshop

Week 11. The Early Iron Age

Week 12. The Late Iron Age

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion651:0065:001/3 of guided independent studies
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading651:0065:001/3 of guided independent studies
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops11:001:00Poster workshop
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study341:0034:001/3 of guided independent studies
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

A series of subject-specific lectures will provide a detailed outline of the key features and social changes encountered in European Prehistory. Seminars will provide students with the opportunity to explore key debates in greater depth and interpret archaeological material. A workshop on poster production will enable students to successfully complete assessment 2. Students will be expected to individually complete 65 hours of reading/writing for the assessed coursework.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M602500 words
Essay2M401000 words plus images.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The extended essay will provide experience of discussing subject-specific knowledge, including the relationship
between evidence and interpretation, and encourage understanding, time management and literacy skills. The poster will test student’s abilities to investigate specific case studies, drawing upon detailed archaeological evidence, and its relation to broader issues. It will test their ability to present evidence concisely and in an engaging manner. All 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 12 pm 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