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Module

ARA3129 : You are what you make: archaeology and experiment

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Chloe Duckworth
  • Lecturer: Dr Mark Jackson, Dr Chantal Conneller
  • Visiting Lecturer: Mr Richard Carlton
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

Look around you. We live in a world in which almost everything has been made, modified, and adapted by humans. From the chair you are sitting on, to the window you look out of, to the field that you see in the distance: all were constructed thanks to a web of knowledge and skill that is known as technology.

Archaeology is the only discipline that studies human technology over a long time-period, to examine both how we shaped it, and how it has come to shape, and define, us. This module will provide you with the toolkit you need to investigate the social aspects of the technologies used to transform, modify, and create materials. You will learn how to apply key archaeological and anthropological principles to case studies ranging from the earliest development of stone tools, and the oft-overlooked skills of woodworking and textile manufacture, to making pottery, extracting metals from their ores, and creating glass from sand.

Lectures will delve into archaeological case studies from different periods and regions, and relate these to broader themes and methods. In seminars you will have the chance to use your new knowledge to challenge assumptions about technology, and how it relates to social factors such as identity and power. In practical classes, you will get a taste of the ways in which experimental archaeology informs us about technological choices, from smelting metals, to flame-working glass beads.

Outline Of Syllabus

ARCHAEOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY (THE CHICKEN AND THE EGG)
STONE, BONE, ANTLER, WOOD AND TEXTILES
MINING AND MINERAL EXTRACTION
CERAMICS AND ETHNOGRAPHY
METALLURGY
GLASS

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials111:0011:001 lecture p/w. Remote contact.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion541:0054:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical112:0022:00IN-PERSON practical classes including lecture and seminar components.
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading113:0033:00Three hours of reading (or viewing video resources and other materials) per week.
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading801:0080:00N/A
Total200:00
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
ARA8119You are what you make: the archaeology of technology and production
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will provide students with the key theoretical concepts and the structured knowledge base required for this subject.

Practical classes will provide students with experience of experimental design, problem-solving, group work, interpersonal communication, and adaptability. They will incorporate elements of structured guided learning and seminars, depending on the topic and week at hand.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Poster2M50A2 or A1 poster. Must contain a combination of text and images. Maximum 1500 words. Minimum font size 11.
Essay2A502000 words
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Prob solv exercises2MProblem-solving and team-work skills developed in the course of practical classes.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

1. Academic posters will be created and presented online, providing experience of project-design, innovative communication, and peer assessment (students will have the opportunity to provide peer-to-peer feedback at the conference). The poster titles offered to students will relate to the overall themes of the module, but also link into the experimental archaeology work they undertake in the practical classes, testing ability to design and undertake a practical research project, and to interpret and appropriately report the results.

2. Written coursework will provide the students with the opportunity to apply the theoretical elements taught in the module to a real archaeological problem, to synthesise and critically analyse academic literature, and to interpret archaeological data.


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