Module Catalogue 2018/19

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

  • Offered for Year: 2018/19
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Ian Haynes
  • Lecturer: Dr Mark Jackson, Dr James Gerrard
  • 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



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

In order to give participants a deeper insight into the temporal change in the Roman world, each week explores a different theme with cases studies from Augustus to the Tetrarchy (with Prof Haynes) and from Constantine to Valentinian (with Dr Jackson). Themes include power, patronage and the emperors, urbanism, the military, religion and ritual, leisure and entertainment, palaces and private homes, and the economy. At all times students will be invited to explore both those elements that served to bind the empire together, and those that contributed to enduring and emerging regional and provincial cultures. As an archaeology module, this course emphasises the contribution of material culture to our understanding of daily life in the Roman Empire. Practical sessions, including coin handling, the reading of inscriptions and one site visit are included.

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 completion601:0060:00Project work 37% of guided independent study time
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion401:0040:00Exam revision 25% of guided independent study time
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical11:301:30Epigraphy exercise
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading123:0036:00Weekly reading 22% of guided independent study time
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching61:006:00seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork12:002:00Segedunum visit
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study261:0026:00Independent study 16% of guided independent study time
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
Written exercise1M302500 word Student Essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Examination examines conceptual understanding through 2 essays (selected from six questions), 1 further essay and technical knowledge of Roman administrative machinery through short multiple choice section (25 questions).
Knowledge outcomes 1, 3 & 4.

The Project aims to assess knowledge outcomes 1, 2, 3 & 4. It aims to familiarise students with the unity and diversity of the Roman Empire through project work on themes of their own choice drawing specific regional case studies.

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.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2018/19 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 2018/19 entry will be published here in early-April 2018. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.