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Module

ARA1026 : Introduction to Archaeological Science

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Andrea Dolfini
  • Lecturer: Dr Chloe Duckworth, Dr Eric Tourigny, Dr Alasdair Charles, Dr Lisa-Marie Shillito, Dr Chantal Conneller
  • Teaching Assistant: Dr Francesco Carrer
  • Other Staff: Miss Elenora Montanari
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

Archaeological Science is the application of scientific methods to the study of the human past. In the last few decades, a wide range of scientific techniques have been employed by archaeologists to address an array of questions concerning past societies, including chronology, human evolution, climate, the environment, health, diet, technology, mobility, and the exchange of goods. This module will introduce some of the problems that archaeologists can address using scientific methods of enquiry. It will also show how science can be employed to enhance our understanding of the past. Case studies ranging from prehistory to historical times, hands-on laboratory sessions and group seminars will help students familiarise with this fascinating, ever-growing field of archaeology. Given its introductory nature, the module does not require students to have a background in science.
The aims of the module are:
• To introduce the principal scientific methods used today in archaeology
• To enable students to place archaeological science within the wider field of archaeology
• To foster an understanding of science as an essential tool for addressing social problems in archaeology
• To encourage students to develop an area of interest in specific aspects of archaeological science

Outline Of Syllabus

Lecture topics may include:
- Chronology and dating techniques
- Environmental archaeology and the landscape
- Geoarchaeology and sedimentology
- Zooarchaeology
- Bioarchaeology
- Diet and nutrition
- Mobility and exchange
- Ancient technologies and materials
- Statistics in archaeology
- DNA Research in Archaeology

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 materials182:0036:00Recapped lectures and formative assessment, e.g. non-assessed Canvas quizzes and revision exercises
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion701:0070:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00Remote lab practicals, seminars and assignment tutorials
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities181:0018:00Weekly readings and online learning material
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery91:009:00Drop-in and surgery sessions - online
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study581:0058:00N/A
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide an introduction to the archaeological questions and techniques discussed through the module.
Seminars provide students with an opportunity to discuss subjects in more depth and test their understanding of topics introduced in the class.
Laboratory practicals provide hands-on approaches to methods and their archaeological applications.
Tutorials and recaps provide support for assignment and exam preparation.

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
Essay2M50Dating methods essay (2,000 words)
Essay2M50Essay on other topics covered by the module (2,000 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Essay #1 evaluates the ability to understand scientific dating methods and to discuss them critically while Essay #2 evaluates knowledge and understanding of all other main subjects and scientific methods covered by the module.

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.

Reading Lists

Timetable