Undergraduate

modules

Modules

ARA3036 : Neolithic & Early Bronze Age Britain in its European Context

Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

This module aims to provide students with an advanced understanding of social, cultural, and economic developments in the British Isles from c. 4000 BC to c. 1500 BC. The module will explore changes in how and where people lived, what and how they ate, what they did with their dead, how they moved during their lifetimes and how they interacted with one another at differing scales, the places they built and altered, the things that shaped their daily lives, and their understandings of life, death, community and the cosmos.

The module also aims to provide students with a detailed knowledge of current debates in the interpretation of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Britain - from how we interpret the art and monuments of the period to how we assess the evidence used to infer dramatic changes in diet and/or populations in some centuries. The module aims to stimulate students to reflect on how arguments about the interpretation of the prehistoric past are produced, and evaluate the contribution made by different approaches to various kinds of archaeological evidence.

The majority of the module will focus on Britain, but some sessions will also include parts of Ireland, and throughout reference will be made to how the British evidence fits in with (or sometimes contrasts with) the evidence from the near Continent.

Outline Of Syllabus

Although session titles may vary from year to year the following syllabus is indicative of the kind of topics that will be taught and the weekly teaching pattern.
Lectures/presentations (2 hrs)/ Seminars/presentations (1 hr)

The basics: What, where and when / Projects, presentations and essays
Material culture: Earlier Neolithic; Later Neolithic/ Mines and quarries
Subsistence and consumption: Earlier Neolithic; Later Neolithic / Neolithic foodways
Dwelling: Earlier Neolithic; Later Neolithic / ‘House societies?’
Monuments and landscapes: Earlier Neolithic; Later Neolithic / Cosmology (architecture and art)
Death: Earlier Neolithic; Later Neolithic / Mortuary practices
Student presentations: Neolithic projects / Student presentations: Neolithic projects
Identity and mobility: Earlier Neolithic; Later Neolithic; EBA / Debating identity and mobility: aDNA, isotopes, material culture, architecture
Change and continuity: the later second millennium /The Beaker phenomenon
Death and Material Culture: Beakers to Cordoned Urns / Early Bronze Age mortuary practices
Monuments and landscapes: Chalcolithic to Early Bronze Age / Cosmology (architecture and art)
Student presentations: EBA projects / Student presentations: EBA projects

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion531:0053:001/3 of guided independent studies
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture102:0020:00Lectures
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading531:0053:001/3 of guided independent studies
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops61:006:00Student presentations
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork16:006:00Fieldtrip
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study521:0052:001/3 of guided independent studies
Total200:00
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
ARA8036Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Britain in its European Context
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Key knowledge about the archaeological evidence and main interpretive approaches will be provided through lectures. Each lecture topic will also have an associated seminar for which students will each read a text and discuss it with the rest of the class and the seminar leader. The fieldtrip will provide first-hand experience of relevant archaeological sites in their landscape setting.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M402000 words maximum
Essay1M603000 words maximum
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation1MOn topic of long assignment
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Students complete two summatively assessed assignments – a long and a short assignment. One deadline is mid-module the other in the assessment period following the end of the module. Each student may choose whether to do their long assignment for the first deadline or the second, and must do the short assignment for the other deadline. Each student will give a 15 minute presentation on their long assignment topic in a student presentation workshop timed for 1-2 weeks before the assignment submission deadline. Formative verbal feedback will be provided on each presentation.

The long assignment will be a project designed to explore one aspect of the module in depth, focussed on exploring a theme within one region or period, or critically evaluating a specific line of argument in detail (e.g. the argument for interpreting Late Neolithic communities in Orkney as ‘house societies’). The short assignment is designed to consider a more general thematic issue at a broader scale (e.g. how we interpret changes in settlement evidence during the British Neolithic). This combination tests different aspects of the students’ knowledge, and research and writing skills.

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