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ARA8292 : Graduate Seminar in Lithics Analysis (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Chantal Conneller
  • Other Staff: Miss Isabella Caricola
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This course aims to give students an in-depth knowledge of lithic analysis and equip them with the necessary skills to undertake professional lithic analysis. The module places particular emphasis on learning how to ‘read’ assemblages, in terms of the human activities that generated them, as well as taphonomic issues that may affect their composition. The course also aims to enable students to recognised the techniques used to generate individual artefacts and an assemblage, as well as basic sourcing techniques. Students will also learn how to recognise diagnostic tool types and technologies from each period.

Outline Of Syllabus

Week 1. Introduction to terminology and frameworks of analysis
Week 2. Technology 1: Flake cores and prepared cores. Experimental production
Week 3. Technology 2: Blade technologies. Refitting.
Week 4. Techniques of tool production. Lithic illustration.
Week 5. Reading assemblages. Introduction to assessment.
Week 6. Lower and Middle Palaeolithic
Week 7. Upper Palaeolithic
Week 8. Mesolithic and Early Neolithic
Week 9. Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age
Week 10. The Bronze Age and beyond
Week 11. Project support
Week 12. Project support

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture13:003:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion651:0065:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical103:0030:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading651:0065:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery13:003:00Supported project preparation
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study341:0034:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Apart from an introductory lecture which introduces conceptual frameworks, teaching on this course is entirely practically focused. This is to give students the in-depth experience of handling lithic material which is needed to gain expertise in this field. Teaching by showing is also the best method to permit them to recognise the technological and morphological traits needed to categorise lithic material and assign it to its correct chronological period.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research paper1M1004000 words
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Report1M1000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Both formative and summative assessments are based on the practical analysis and reporting of lithic material. The formative assessment is designed to replicate a real-world commercial lithic report, based on the analysis of a small assemblage. The summative assessment is also based analysis of lithic material, either an assemblage or class of artefacts, but is intended to be more in-depth and research-based, relating the material to the broader context of the material and related literature.

Reading Lists