Module Catalogue 2023/24

ARA1027 : Introduction to Archaeology

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Chloe Duckworth
  • Lecturer: Professor Chantal Conneller, Dr Eric Tourigny, Dr Matthew Haysom, Dr Duncan Wright, Dr Sophie Moore, Professor Andrea Dolfini, Dr Louise Rayne
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



The aims of this module are to provide students with an introduction to:

• the history of archaeological thought and its development into current theoretical approaches
• methods and techniques used by archaeologists to investigate artefacts, sites and landscapes
• ways in which archaeologists and anthropologists identify features of social and cultural life
• the role of ethics and conservation in archaeology

Outline Of Syllabus

Outline of syllabus (To inform module choice of current students):

1. We Dig the Past: What is Archaeology?
      Seminar: Who Are Archaeologists?

2. The Extraordinary History of Archaeology, from Pompeii to Colonialism
      Practical: Grow Your Own Cropmarks

3. Space Archaeology? Protecting Heritage from Afar
      Seminar: Endangered Archaeology

4. The Let’s Dig a Cake Challenge! Excavation and Recording
      Seminar: [tbc]

5. A Brief History of Time in Archaeology
      Practical: Stone Age Finds

6. What Do Your Bones Say About You? The Archaeology of Death and Burial
      Lab Class: Working with Human Remains

7. Underwater Archaeology: Shipwrecks and Lost Cities
      Seminar: The Ulu Burun Shipwreck

8. Cold Cases: Two Archaeological Mysteries Solved by Science
      Lab Class: Using X-Rays to ‘Read’ Finds

9. Difficult Archaeologies: Colonialism, Gender and Race
      Seminar: [tbc]

10. Myths, Aliens, and … Woolly Jumpers? Archaeology in TV and Media
      Practical: How to Be Engaging – Trade Secrets!

11. Archaeology Case Study as Voted for by YOU
      Seminar: Archaeological Mystery Challenge

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of this module students will know:
• The major trends in archaeology as a discipline, and how these developments reflected wider intellectual movements.
• The principal techniques archaeologists use to recognise, investigate and conserve material evidence of the past.
• How archaeologists and anthropologists identify, explain features of social and cultural life.

Intended Skill Outcomes

By the end of this module students will have developed the following skills:
• Using software provided by the Robinson Library to conduct searches for references to sources located in the library and in online sources;
• Being aware of differences between books, edited volumes and conference proceedings, journals and journal articles, encyclopaedias and websites;
• Providing accurate and appropriate citations of references using the Harvard System, and knowing how to construct a bibliography.
• Assessing the usefulness and reliability of various different publication media, and being aware of the importance of evaluating source material for writing effective coursework;
• Taking notes from lectures and other information sources, and avoiding plagiarism when using notes in coursework;
• Presenting coursework to a standard required by Newcastle University's criteria for assessing work;
• Engaging in interpersonal communication through working in small groups in seminars;
• Being aware of ways in which archaeological and anthropological data are used, in order to develop these skills in later modules.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion641:0064:00Assessment preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:002 lectures p/w
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical51:005:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching61:006:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1031:00103:00Independent learning
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

- Knowledge outcomes will be taught through lectures and seminars in class and developed through private study, they will be assessed.
- Library and research skills will be taught and assessed through written work.
- Key skills will be developed in particular in seminars.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A702000 word essay FINAL DRAFT
Portfolio1A30Portfolio of activities selected from weekly Discussion Boards and Quizzes on Canvas (no word limit as this is variable and will not prejudice the score)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay1M2000 word draft essay. The draft will be submitted on Canvas, marked, and feedback provided to the students prior to the submission of the formative essay. NOTE: the draft is resubmitted as a summative assessment, so this word count is not in addition to that one.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The draft essay is set with an early deadline, to provide students with enough time to process their feedback and use it to construct essay 2.

The portfolio is designed to encourage student learning throughout the breadth of the module, and will be based upon a selection of weekly discussion board and quiz-related activities.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. For their formative assessment, these students will be required to submit the essay only, with an earlier deadline of mid-December.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2023/24 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2024/25 entry will be published here in early-April 2024. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.