Module Catalogue 2020/21

ARA2004 : Animals, Plants and People: an Introduction to Environmental Archaeology

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Lisa-Marie Shillito
  • Lecturer: Dr Eric Tourigny, Dr Francesco Carrer
  • Technician: Ms Diana Blumberg, Dr Eline Van Asperen
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment

For Archaeology Students (V400, VV14 and VV41) there is a pre-requisite of ARA1026: Introduction to Archaeological Science.

For Geography Students (F800, FH82 and L701) there is a pre-requisite of GEO1020: Introduction to Physical Geography or equivalent.

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment

N/A

Aims

To introduce key concepts in the methods and themes of environmental archaeology and how it links with related discplines
To introduce students to practical skills in analysis of environmental proxies and data
To introduce students to the concept of multi-proxy approaches in the reconstruction of past landscapes and lifeways

Outline Of Syllabus

The natural environment provides the backdrop to human activity, and understanding the relationship between 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 climate change and human development. It provides an introduction to the major methods of environmental archaeology, including the analysis of microfossils, plant remains and animals bones. We will examine and critique ideas such as environmental determinism and the Anthropocene, 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 post-medieval periods.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

A basic knowledge of common techniques in environmental archaeology
A basic understanding of key themes in environmental archaeology

Intended Skill Outcomes

A basic ability to use light and stereomicroscopes
The ability to interpret basic environmental data
The ability to relate environmental evidence to wider archaeological questions

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials91:009:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion561:0056:0040% of guided independent studies
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities23:006:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities14:004:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities32:006:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading561:0056:0040% of guided independent studies
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities102:0020:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery91:009:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study251:0025:0020% of guided independent studies
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk91:009:00N/A
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lecture materials provide the background information and overviews of the subject material.
Academic skills activities provide training in the application of the methods and how they are used in archaeology.
Structured research and reading activities guide students through key reading and activities to reinforce learning.
Module talks provide a space for summary of the weekly topics and to reflect on activities of the week.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M502000 words
Report1M50Technical report 2000 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.

Timetable

Past Exam Papers

General Notes

N/A

Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2020/21 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 2021/22 entry will be published here in early-April 2021. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.